Visiting Author Wows Middlebrook School

Illeas, Staff Writer

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Every year, Middlebrook has an author come to the school to teach students about being an author and inspire them. Last year we had best-selling author Margaret Peterson Haddix. She presented her stories and how she came up with her story ideas.

This year, however, the visiting author had a much different style. Jordan Sonnenblick came to the school and wow’d everyone. He told students about his life and allowed students to laugh at his expense. He also allowed listeners to feel sorry for him when something unfortunate happened. His speaking caught many students across Middlebrook and teachers in his speaking web. Nearly all the students were amazed by the speech given.

Jordan Sonnenblick explained that as a child he was miserable. He had huge glasses, severe asthma, braces, and ADHD. His ADHD made him hyper which was horrible since his asthma pills made him even more hyper. He would always tap on his desk which would get him a one-way ticket to the office. As he grew up he became a grumpy teacher. He had a student, Emily, with an annoying laugh. He tried everything to make her stop laughing including putting her next to the most polite kid in the class and an emo boy. Nothing worked. He then learned one day that her brother had cancer and she had just hidden her emotions in public. He felt horrible. He decided to write a book for her. Twenty-one days before the book was published, Emily’s brother died, Sonnenblick explained. The book was able to help Emily and her family though, allowing there to be a little joy in a horrible situation.

Jordan Sonnenblick told the students of Middlebrook how to be a happy adult when you grow up. He explained that the first step students can do now is find something they’re good at and practice. He expanded on this idea by informing us that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert. Even though people may think that some people become an expert overnight with little practice, this is not true. One example Sonnenblick offered is The Beatles. The Beatles were thought to become famous overnight when really, they played in “cruddy” German bars for 8 hours straight. This does not include all the time they spent writing songs and practicing on their own.              

According to Sonnenblick, the second thing needed to become a happy adult is to use your talents to help others. One of the best moments in his life was when he had published his first book. This is because it helped Emily and her family with their unfortunate loss to cancer.

Students were very fond of the author’s incredible storytelling style. One student, Aadi, on 7-Green explained, “ I liked all of the complicatedness in the story because it was very funny.” Another student by the name of Aarushi on the team of 7 Red, stated, “ He was funny; you could hear how he wrote from his speech.”

The author clearly proved to be worthy of the school. Next year, many students hope that there will be an author visit as grand as this one.

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Visiting Author Wows Middlebrook School