Reading with Beverly Stowe McClure Author of STAR OF THE TEAM

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on November 14, 2014 in Books, Guest, Middle Grade, Sports |

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.


A girl.

A dream.

An accident.

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?

Find it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Beverly 2012 smallerAbout the Author:

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.

For more about Beverly visit her blog or website.

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  • Beverly says:

    Thank you, Katie, for hosting me today. I’m happy to answer comments or questions. Have a great weekend.

  • Meradeth says:

    Beverly has quite the interesting story! And it gives me hope that the people I stumble across who don’t like to read will someday realize how awesome it is 🙂

    • Beverly says:

      There’s always hope, Meradeth. If my former teachers could see me now, they wouldn’t believe it.

    • Hi, Meradeth! It’s interesting that Beverly wasn’t an avid reader as a child but is now an author of books for kids. I have to admit that while I enjoyed reading as a kid, I wasn’t voracious about like I am now. And I had very different tastes as a kid than I do now. I’ve also gone through periods of my life when I didn’t read much for pleasure. (Most of high school being a period of non-reading except for school, and even then I didn’t always do all the assigned reading. Too many other things going on.) I kind of forgot about that until Beverly reminded me with her post.

  • Eric Price says:

    I had the same problem, Beverly. The more i’ve thought about it, i’ve started to think I had more of an issue with being told what to read, I didn’t know about reading for pleasure. On top of that, I was a slow reader, so I found reading aloud in class embarrassing.

    • Beverly says:

      Exactly, Eric. I know the books that are required reading in school are good ones, but most kids, and adults, prefer certain types of books, fantasy, contemporary, historical, etc. I think more young people would enjoy reading if they could choose what they preferred to read. And I hated book reports. 🙂

    • It’s interesting how even when the required reading includes lots of good, enjoyable books, it still has a different feel because it’s required.

      And yes, Beverly, I always found book reports no fun at all!

      • Beverly says:

        I used the jacket flap cover a lot for reports. AS if the teacher didn’t know. 🙂
        I guess we don’t like to be told what to read but probably would enjoy the book if we chose it ourselves. Humans are strange creatures.

  • J.Q. Rose says:

    Really enjoyed your post, Bev. I majored in elementary education so I was required to take “kiddie lit”. We read the award winning Newberry and Caldecott award books. I had no idea how fascinating children’s literature could be. Each book I read was better than the next. I devoured them. I wish all teachers could make reading a book and writing the report as much fun as you did. My 8th grade grandson HAD to read the Giver He is not a reader and this book was so far off his radar, it certainly didn’t help encourage him to read. Anyone else read the Giver? What’s your opinion? Thanks Bev and Katie!!

    • I was not a fan of sci-fi or fantasy as a kid, but I loved The Giver. But I absolutely hated A Wrinkle in Time (and still to this day have never finished it). I think that’s one of the reasons why required reading is hard. It’s great to encourage kids to read, and to read great books, but not all books are for all kids. I much preferred the summer reading lists, which had lots of choices. I wish kids had more choices!

    • Beverly says:

      Ah, kiddie lit. How well I remember reading 100 picture books. Reading the award winning books was the beginning of my love of reading. I loved The Giver, but everyone has different preferences. That’s one reason why I think kids should be able to choose, to a certain point.

  • I love hearing about authors who weren’t big readers when they were young because I can then relay that during my school visits. I think it inspires kids who might not normally think of themselves as “book people” to think they might be able to write, too.

    • Oh, that’s cool that you share that tidbit with students you visit. It’s interesting that reading and writing are so often said to go hand-in-hand, but they really do require different skill sets, I think anyway. 🙂

    • Beverly says:

      I agree, Anna. When writers admit they weren’t always readers it takes some of the pressure off the children. And maybe one day they’ll discover what they’ve been missing. When they grow up. 🙂

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