GREENWICH—Greenwich Catholic School welcomed nationally acclaimed author Alan Gratz to campus on October 3 to speak with students in grades 5 through 8. Gratz has written numerous novels for young readers. His first published book, Samurai Shortstop, was chosen as one of the ALA’s Top Ten Best Books in 2007. A North Carolina resident and former middle school English teacher, Gratz has since gone on to publish thirteen additional novels, most of which are historical fiction.
Gratz discussed four of his books, Projekt 1065, Code of Honor, Prisoner B-3087, and Refugee, which was released in July to critical praise and listed as a New York Times bestseller. For over an hour the author recounted stories about how he became a writer and where he finds inspiration for his novels. Students had the opportunity to ask questions, which he answered candidly:
Q: What is your favorite book?”
A: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin.
Q: “Do you know who your characters are before you start writing?”
A: Yes. He maps the characters prior to writing and tries to answer the question: What were they like before my book began?
Q: “How long does it take you write a book?”
A: A year to a year and a half.
Q: “What’s your favorite Xbox game?”
A: Fifa Soccer; he’s better at scoring goals on the screen than on the field!
Following the presentation, Gratz met with students and signed copies of his books. Additional autographed copies will be for sale at the annual GCS Fall Book Fair, which begins on October 16.