Tales of a Fourth Grade Librarian

A Librarian Remembers Her Fourth Grade Teacher, Empire State Author, Bruce Coville
Penny Meskos, Director of Children's Services, Fayetteville Free Library

What are your memories of 4th grade?  I remember sitting in my classroom learning the names of the presidents of the United States in order (confession, we stopped at Reagan), listening to Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series being read aloud  and watching my teacher dress up as Igor for Halloween, carrying around a teddy bear.  One day, our teacher told us he had been writing for quite a while, and asked if we would like to hear what he had written? That book was called The Foolish Giant by Bruce Coville.

My class was not surprised that Mr. Coville was a writer, since we were always presented with fun and unique writing assignments like the time we created our own monsters. He always encouraged us to express ourselves creatively.  Though we were sad when Mr. Coville left teaching to pursue a career in writing, we knew he would find great success.

Obviously, Bruce Coville has found great success as a master storyteller, writing close to 100 books and starting his own company, Full Cast Audio.  No library, public or school, is complete without books about unicorns, aliens, monsters, norks, space brats and so many other characters and creatures that Bruce Coville has conjured up for countless readers worldwide.  One of the best parts of my job is when a young boy who doesn’t like to read comes in needing a book for school.  Connecting him with a Bruce Coville book is often the key he is looking for to begin to develop a love for reading and literature, especially since young boys are drawn to his irreverent sense of humor!  

Thankfully, Bruce Coville does not write only for boys looking for a good laugh.  He captivates all readers with his creative, adventuresome writing style and unforgettable settings.  Always looking ahead, he recently announced collaboration with author Elizabeth Levy to write three more books from Paula Danziger’s popular Amber Brownseries. 

This past winter, I had the privilege of sitting in Mr. Coville’s classroom again, during his presentation at my children’s elementary school, watching the next generation of readers laugh and be inspired by this talented author.   I was transported back to sitting in his classroom as a 10 year old girl, completely mesmerized by his stories and tales, just like the rest of the world has been.

Click here to learn more about Coville and the Empire State Author Award.