Beverly Stowe McClure is an author, a former teacher, and a wonderful, supportive member of the kidlit writing community. Today she is sharing her MG contemporary STAR OF THE TEAM with a post about how she wasn’t always a reader. Welcome, Beverly!
by Beverly Stowe McClure
When I was very young, I was not a reader. I listened to the radio instead. A program called “Let’s Pretend” came on every Saturday morning. This was BTV (Before TV). I loved Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Snow White and the Severn Dwarfs and all the others. Even though I never read the books, perhaps I absorbed the stories that years later I would remember how much I enjoyed them.
I squeaked through high school, reading only what I had to. After graduation I worked at various jobs, none of them exciting. When my sons started school, I decided to attend the local university so I could find a job with a future. This meant reading, lots of it. Four years later, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree. And, now get this, I became a teacher. What was I thinking? Teaching meant more reading. I also made an amazing discovery. Not only did I love teaching, I loved reading children’s books.
One of the requirements we had for our fifth-graders was a book report every six weeks. This was before the AR program many schools have today. Our students had to read Newbery winner or honor books. Memories surfaced of how much I hated book reports in my school days, so I hoped to make them more pleasant for my boys and girls. I also had to read the books so I could tell they’d read them. Sigh. I wish someone had introduced me to these stories when I was in school. Maybe they did and I wasn’t listening. For whatever reasons, I was hooked. My students’ reports were amazing. Sometimes, they dressed like the characters and acted out the stories. Other times they wrote reports with illustrations or in story form. Most of them had fun. The teacher had fun. Reading was fun. Remember the saying: “You’re never too old to learn.” It’s true.
So today, I thank John Newbery, the wonderful books that have won his award, and my classroom of fifth-graders for showing their teacher the beauty of a good book.
STAR OF THE TEAM blurb:
A dream shattered.
Eleven-year-old Kate Taylor dreams of being the star of her basketball team, Angels. When Kate’s tooth is knocked out at one of the games and her mother, who is also her coach, says she can’t play until the tooth the dentist replants heals, Kate’s dreams are in jeopardy. Add Emily, the new girl at school who claims she’s the best, and Kate faces a challenge to prove that she is the star.
Will Kate succeed? Or will Emily ruin Kate’s plans?
Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly in front of her computer, writing the stories little voices whisper in her ear. When she’s not writing, she takes long walks and snaps pictures of clouds, wild flowers, birds and deer. To some of her friends, she is affectionately known as the “Bug Lady” because she rescues butterflies, moths, walking sticks, and praying mantis from her cats.
For twenty-two years Beverly taught children in grades two through five how to read and write. They taught her patience. Now, she teaches a women’s Sunday school class at her church. To relax she plays the piano. Her cats don’t appreciate good music and run and hide when she tickles the ivories.