Sixth-grade reading teacher Angie Sullivan’s classes completed a novel study using the book “On My Honor”, by Marion Dane Bauer. One of their assignments from the study was to write alternate endings to the story, which they later mailed to Bauer. She responded this week with a letter to the classes indicating she would have the students’ writings placed in the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota Libraries along with her own work.
“For years and years, even years beyond your lives and mine, people who are interested in studying children’s literature will be able to come to the Kerlan and read your chapters. It will tell those researchers how children thought in 2017 and how they reacted to my book. So be proud of yourselves. You have written something that will last,” wrote Bauer.
Megan Simandl, one of Sullivan’s sixth-grade students, said, “I was very surprised and excited to receive the honor of my writing being placed in the vault.”
“I felt so grateful when I found out about my writing,” agreed her classmate, Kayla Philbert.
“At Shadowlawn Elementary we strive to not only develop strong readers, but also strong writers. My students were so excited to create their own endings to the novel. It was so kind of Marion Dane Bauer to respond back to my students. They now recognize the importance of writing in their lives,” said Sullivan.
“We are so proud of our students and Mrs. Sullivan. We wanted to share this very special letter as part of our Celebrate Literacy Week focus on reading!” said Nancy Crowder, the principal of Shadowlawn Elementary.
Governor Rick Scott issued a proclamation earlier this month declaring Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! during the week of January 23-27, as a time to help ensure every student in the preK-12 system reads at or above grade level, and make literacy a priority of every citizen in the state of Florida.
“All week long, our school district has celebrated the books we love and the literacy skills that are vital to student success. It is such a joy to cap off that celebration with this gesture from an acclaimed author who made such a positive impact on our students,” said Superintendent Addison Davis.
Read Marion Dane Bauer's letter to SLE students here.
About Marion Dane Bauer
According to The Authors Guild, the nation’s professional organization for writers, Bauer is the author of nearly 100 books ranging from board books and picture books through early readers--fiction and nonfiction, to novels for middle grade and young adult. She has won numerous awards including a Newbery Honor Award from the American Library Association in 1987 for her novel On My Honor, and her books have been published in more than a dozen languages. She was one of the founding faculty and the first Faculty Chair for the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
About the Kerlan Collection
The Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota is one of the world's great children's literature archives. The Collection includes books, original manuscripts and illustrations, and related materials. The materials in the Collection are studied by teachers, librarians, students, authors, illustrators, translators, and critics from Minnesota and around the world.
The Kerlan Collection contains more than 100,000 children's books as well as original manuscripts, artwork, galleys, and color proofs, and other production materials for more than 2,000 authors and illustrators. A large number of books in the collection are inscribed by the author or illustrator. The Collection includes books that are significant in the history of children's literature, award books, classics, and representative books from Great Britain, Australia, Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, Germany and others.