Author Antony John Visits Hollenbeck Middle

Posted on 09/13/2018
Author Antony John speaks to Hollenbeck students

Hollenbeck Middle School welcomed well-known author Antony John to the cafeteria on Sept. 12, to speak with students. John is an award-winning author born in England who now lives in St. Louis. He has written many critically acclaimed books, including the “Elemental” series, which was nominated for a Truman Award in 2015. He has also won the American Library Association’s Schneider Family Book Award for his young adult fiction book “Five Flavors of Dumb.” John had the opportunity to talk about his most recent book, “Mascot,” and share some inspiration at Hollenbeck.

Students were able to learn more about his new book, set in St. Louis, and hear about some of his experiences as an author. In addition, John provided the students with some helpful tips for writing a story or book of their own. “I like to see them ask questions and interact with the things that I am saying.” He enjoys sharing all the steps he takes in the writing process from first idea to a published book. “I find that even people who don’t consider themselves readers still find that journey fascinating,” says John. After his talk, John opened the floor to questions and signed his new book for interested students.

Author Antony John signs his new book for Hollenbeck studentsHollenbeck Library Media Specialist Kim Riley appreciated the author’s visit to Hollenbeck and said, “A lot of kids would never have that opportunity. They don’t know that authors come to book stores or that there are authors who live here in St. Louis that have published books. I think it is great for them and the more experiences they have like that the more it can encourage them to find more and maybe pursue those careers.” In fact, one of John’s greatest desires for students is to simply find a book that they like. “It’s about the power of a story to kind of change your world a little bit, and I hope that’s what they will take away,” says John. 

FHSD is always excited to welcome guest speakers who inspire students and provide them with insight into passions and potential careers. John is scheduled to visit several other schools in FHSD including Bryan, Independence, Francis Howell Middle, John Weldon, and Barnwell. For more information about Antony John and his books, please visit Special thanks to Main Street Books for arranging John’s visits in the District.

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