Bestselling author visits Blackberry Creek

By on April 4, 2014

The Blackberry PTO invited children’s author Andrea Beaty (right) to a special visit to Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary School on March 17. Beaty spoke with the students about her success as a writer. She brought her new book, “Rosie Revere, Engineer,” which she read along with her book, “Iggy Peck, Architect,” to the classes. Beaty began her career as an author back in 1994. She now resides in Naperville. First-grader Dinaella Brandonisio (below, center) enjoys the storytelling of ”Rosie Revere, Engineer.”
Photos by Lynn Logan

KANELAND—Andrea Beaty is a New York Times Bestselling children’s author who made a visit to students at Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary School on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.

According to Katie Reilley, who teaches fifth grade at Blackberry Creek, Beaty joked with the fifth-graders.

“(Beaty) was talking about how they all came dressed in green,” Reilley said. “And she was like, ‘Oh. You guys look great. I don’t have any green on. I don’t have a green scarf. And I like scarves because it makes the kindergartners hold their attention.’”

Students gathered in the school’s upstairs reading lounge—complete with lamps, couches, chairs and futons—to listen to Beaty read some of her stories, including “Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies,” “Iggy Peck, Architect” and “Rosie Revere, Engineer,” during multiple assemblies for all grades.

Students asked questions about Beaty’s favorite genre, the author who most inspired her, and Beaty’s writing process. Beaty said she likes to read fantasy books about Frankenstein and Dracula, enjoys the author E.B. White, and prefers writing stories in notebooks instead of typing them on a computer.

“They got to see that being an author is not an easy job,” Reilley said. “She talked a lot about the writing process and how editing—which as a teacher really made me go, ‘yeah!’—is really where it’s all at. And getting your ideas is the first step.”
Sophia Lisberg, a third-grader, recalled some facts about the author.

“Her work … is inspired by stuff that was around her,” Lisberg said.

Lisberg noted that the best part of the assembly on Monday was when Beaty read, noting that the author had a lot of her book memorized.

“She was loud,” Lisberg said. “And she was very clear, and she used a lot of expression.”

Sophia’s twin, Wyatt, recalled that the author has gained inspiration about what to write by looking at illustrations from illustrator David Roberts.

Wyatt noticed something else about Beaty, too.

“She’s a really nice person,” he said.

Meanwhile, Reilley learned a particular stand out lesson from the author.

“She said something like ‘anything worth doing is going to be difficult,’” Reilley said. “If it’s easy, it’s not going to be worth your while.”