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Author Visits For Schools And How to Approach The Reluctant Reader Creature

When it comes to school visits, I like to do things a little different. If you look at the picture below, which was taken  at Fulbright Junior High in Bentonville, Arkansas, you will notice some things are missing.

A Stage. A Microphone. A Huge Assembly of Students.

While working with small groups, 100 or less, requires me to repeat the same session 3-5 times each author visit, it’s worth the extra effort. I connect with students more effectively in this manner, allowing direct interaction. Kids are much less intimidated by their fellow students in small groups, allowing them to ask questions freely and join discussions. It gives kids the feeling of being included in the process instead of simply watching a show up on the stage.

 

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Thinking back on my memories of being a young reluctant reader, I must warn you about something. There are certain students who require a different approach.

Some reluctant readers are mysterious creatures. Approach carefully, stealthily, or they will dash to the door!

I was one of those.

My only advice would be this. Do not come at them with books in your hands, offering something to read. This is the equivalent of Superman’s kryptonite. They will immediately make a speedy exit or simply push away each book you offer. Instead, pull out your bag of tricks and get your reluctant readers to help you. Kids want to feel important and be treated like adults. Give them that opportunity by asking for their advice. The next time you need to buy a gift for your niece/nephew/child, find one of your reluctant readers and ask what is one of their favorite movies or games for the purpose of choosing a gift for your family member. Use that information to search for a related book and then ask for their advice again, saying you would like to give your friend/family member a book as part of the gift. Since the reluctant reader suggested the movie or game, ask if they would read some of the book and give their opinion on your choice. It sounds like a lot of work but this is how you can help young students discover their specific combination of story requirements that may ultimately get them hooked on reading. At the very least, you have directly involved them in the process of choosing a book and made them feel important.

 

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Arkansas Author is First – Two Time Winner of Historical Association’s Susannah DeBlack Award

James Babb’s first novel The Devil’s Backbone won the Arkansas Historical Association’s Susannah DeBlack award in 2015- pictured below.

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In April 2018, Babb’s novel titled The Devil’s Den won the same award, making him the first two-time recipient – pictured below.

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The Devil’s Den was published by Plum Street in 2017.

Babb writes historical fiction with a steady stream of action and adventure. His first series has drawn special attention from reluctant readers and racked up a total of six awards.

For author school visit information contact James at silverinkbooks @ windstream . net

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Foreman School Visit

James visited Foreman recently and was delighted with how excited the students were about his books. It was a school visit that he will not forget. James was invited to eat with a few of the leaders of the reading counts program and enjoyed the meal and discussions.

“Foreman was great to me and I want to thank them for everything.” Lunch with the Author - Foreman

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Family Finds Todd’s Treasure!

“I want this treasure hunt to get kids out of the house and involved in history.”       __________Author James Babb

The treasure hunt is doing exactly that!

 

Family Solves Clues And Are First to Find Todd’s Treasure

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Readers of Arkansas author James Babb’s historical fiction trilogy, THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE, THE DEVIL’S TRAP and THE DEVIL’S DEN, recently had the opportunity to go on a modern-day treasure hunt using clues from the story set near Fort Smith in 1881. The first to find the treasure could keep the items inside and sign the log, leaving the box for others to find. The little boy in THE DEVIL’S TRAP had hidden marbles, a necklace his father had worn, an arrowhead, a quartz crystal and several other items inside.

Bob Walter, from Batesville, and his granddaughter Ashlyn Latus, a first grader at Sequoyah Elementary in Russellville, used the clues from the books to successfully find the hidden treasure. According to Walters, he went through the books and marked everything he thought was a clue to the treasure location. Then he spent about a week researching Fort Smith and looking at old maps and historical accounts, trying to match clues to the ground. He said total research time was about two weeks.

Once in Fort Smith, the four generations of family – Walter’s mom, wife Kathy, daughter Sarah and her husband Robert Latus, and grandchildren Ashlyn and Zoey – spent several hours scouting out possible locations for the treasure. Once they had eliminated all areas but one, they spent about an hour searching for a particular match to an important clue. Walter said his granddaughter Ashlyn figured out the clue, and a short time later began to scream, “We found it! We found it!” In addition to the items from the story, Ashlyn Latus wins free autographed books, a free author visit from James Babb to her school, and a pizza party.

“I will always remember Ashlyn’s expression when she opened the box. It was a mixture of excitement, joy and happiness. She will not forget this experience, ever.”        ___________Bob Walter

 

Bob’s family will receive the prizes for being the first to find the treasure but the hunt is not over. Take your family on an adventure they will not soon forget. Go look for Todd’s Treasure.

 

 

 

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Free School Visit? The Devil’s Den Treasure Hunt Update

The Hunt Has Started!

The Devil’s Den book has been released and the treasure hunt has started. Many of the items inside have been listed on this website and one of them has created much interest, a FREE school visit.  If the person who finds the treasure is a student, James will visit their school for free. If the finder is not a student, then James will visit an Arkansas school of their choice.

While hunting for the treasure, you will not need to trespass on anyone’s personal property and you will not need to dig. No Digging.

Good Luck!

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The Devil’s Den Treasure Hunt James Babb

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This is one of the items in Todd’s Treasure Box. It’s a gold coin! Don’t get too excited, it’s a replica. Ames gave Brody some of these coins and you can own one too! Be sure to preorder your book HERE so you can get a head start on the treasure hunt!

Brody and Todd hid the treasure box in 1881 and it was never found. It’s hidden in Fort Smith and if you are the first to find it, you can keep Todd’s Treasures! You can use clues in this series of books to get you there. The Devil’s Den will be released October 1st 2017! Get your treasure hunting brain ready.

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The Devil’s Den James Babb Preorders

Hot off the press! Advance copies of James Babb’s newest installment in The Devil’s Backbone series! Fans of Brody and Ames don’t have to wait much longer! You can place prepublication orders at plumstreetpublishers.com.

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Get Ready! The Devil’s Den Treasure Hunt starts soon!

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This is one of the items in Todd’s Treasure Box. It’s a real arrowhead like Todd had in The Devil’s Trap. This tiny arrowhead was actually found by the author while he was hunting in Arkansas.

Brody and Todd hid the treasure box in 1881 and it was never found. It’s hidden in Fort Smith and if you are the first to find it, you can keep Todd’s Treasures! You can use clues in this series of books to get you there. The Devil’s Den will be released September 2017! Get your treasure hunting brain ready.

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Todd’s Treasure Box Items – Arkansas Crystal

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Get Ready! When The Devil’s Den is released the hunt will start!

This is one of the items in Todd’s Treasure Box. It’s a real Arkansas crystal like Todd had in The Devil’s Trap. This crystal was actually found by the author while he was hunting in Arkansas.

Brody and Todd hid the treasure box in 1881 and it was never found. It’s there and if you are the first to find it, you can keep Todd’s Treasures! You can use clues in this series of books to get you there. The Devil’s Den will be released Sept. 2017! Get your treasure hunting brain ready.

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Todd’s Treasure Box Items -Fur Pelt

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Get Ready! When The Devil’s Den is released the hunt will start!

This is one of the items in Todd’s Treasure Box. It’s a fur pelt like Brody and Joseph had in The Devil’s Trap. Trapping was a huge part of life in the 1800’s.

Brody and Todd hid the treasure box in 1881 and it was never found. It’s there and if you are the first to find it, you can keep Todd’s Treasures! You can use clues in this series of books to get you there. The Devil’s Den will be released Sept. 2017! Get your treasure hunting brain ready.

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