Student Authors Celebrate Completion of Book Series

Student authors, from left, Allen Z., Harini E., Grace I, Ayan K. celebrate with teachers Joy Scantlebury and Marina Lombardo. The four writers brainstormed and developed a fun, engaging series about the planet Aquawagomingo.

Finally! The last book in the “Aquawagomingo” series has arrived and was recently distributed to third graders at Pocantiico Hills School who had time to sit down, get comfy and see how it all ends at a book party held on June 17.

The four-part series is the culmination of work by student authors Harini E., Grace I, Ayan K. and Allen Z. Together the four writers brainstormed and developed a fun, engaging series about the adventures of Grace, Harini, Allen, Ayan and their friends who live on the planet Aquawagomingo.

English Language Learner Teacher Joy Scantlebury said when the student authors were in second grade, Grace told her she liked to write stories and showed her some of her work. Harini also heard about Grace’s hobby and asked if they could write a story together.

“I thought they’d write a story about themselves,” Ms. Scantlebury said, adding she encouraged the students to write.

Instead, Harini proposed the idea of writing about “traveling to a planet,” to which Grace responded with “super yeah!”

Thus “A Trip to Aquawagomingo” was written.

Ms. Scantelbury was excited that her students were interested in writing, using words, and aspiring to read more. When a third student heard about the work the girls had done, he asked if he could write with them too. They agreed, and Allen contributed to the second book, “Another Trip to Planet Aquawagomingo.” The three collaborated again and wrote “A Return Trip to Aquawagomingo.”

By the time the fourth book came out another student, Ayan, had joined the writing group.

“It represents who they are and their interests,” Ms. Scantelbury said of the story and some of its elements.

“You get to make your own story, in your own way,” Harini said of being an author.

“It really liked drawing the pictures, and it was fun to type and say ideas to put in the book,” Allen said of being a part of this collaborative project.

“It’s fun to see everyone reading it,” said Grace

With all four books in the series completed, the authors teacher Marina Lombardo decided it would be fun to celebrate the students’ efforts with a book party. The entire third grade class, who had been reading each book with much enthusiasm, was invited to the event, which included the release of the fourth (and last, but who knows!) book in the series, “The Super Friends Save Aquawagomingo: The Planet Kidnap.”

During the event, the student authors signed copies of their book for their classmates.

“The creative collaborations were all wonderful,” Superintendent Rich Calkins, said.

Mr. Calkins, who stopped by for the party, hinted a fifth book may be necessary as he was left to wonder what happened to the unfortunate, but well rested, Rosie the Babysitter.

As students read their signed copies one suggested the story be made into a play.

“I’ll be the dragon shark,” one student said.

“I want to be Mr. Taco!” said another.


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