20th Annual Author Day at Oak Knoll

Author Day at Oak Knoll just marked its second decade as a Lower School tradition. American Library Association (ALA) Schneider Family Book Award Winner Wendy Mass spoke to grade three and four students in the morning on Friday, March 3, 2023, and grades five and six in the afternoon.

Mass is the author of over 30 stories and graphic novels including her first award winning book A Mango Shaped Space. She shared her favorite quote and encouraged students to “chase down your passions like it’s the last bus of the night,” and explained that she received 49 rejection letters for A Mango Shaped Space before it was finally published in 2004 and went on to win the ALA Award.

“When you’re so excited about something that you love, just don’t let it go. That’s what makes you you and what makes your life different from the person’s life next to you,” she said. “And don’t let anyone judge you and make you feel bad for the kinds of things you love. That’s definitely something that I’ve learned.”

Mass went on to explain her writing process, her inspirations, her research, her various books and series, including one that was adapted for a feature film. In addition to her emphasis on perseverance, she encouraged the students to approach writing with confidence. “I promise that if I can write stories, you can write stories. If you think about it, you’re already writers. A writer is just someone who writes, and you write every day and every day you’re going to get better at it. Whether you’re writing a story, a poem, or answering a question on a history assignment in class you’re just going to get better every day.”

Our thanks to Lower School Librarian Betty Castello for organizing this assembly and Q&A session with a world-renowned children’s author and for giving the Lower School its 20th engaging Author Day.