Skip to main content

Sugar House Journal

Children’s Author Entertains Young Readers

Oct 06, 2016 15h44 ● By Travis Barton

Children’s Author Entertains Young Readers

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

The library at Beacon Heights Elementary School carries thousands of books, some of which are read to the students every week. On Sept. 9, one of those book authors spent time in that library. 

Mac Barnett, the author of such books as, “Sam and Dave Dig a Hole” and “The Terrible Two” stopped by Sugar House to read with Beacon Heights Elementary students and to sign his new book, “How This Book Was Made” at the King’s English Bookstore on Sept. 9. 

“He was amazing,” Tim Rausch said. Rausch is the library technology teacher at Beacon Heights. 

With Barnett making a scheduled appearance at the King’s English Bookstore, they reached out to some local schools to see if any were interested in having him visit the school. 

“Being a pretty big Mac Barnett fan I was like, ‘You bet [we’d be interested],’” Rausch said having seen a video of him during a book fair for a scholastic preview. 

Barnett has written 24 children’s books in the 13 years since he started and is a New York Times bestselling author. Rausch has read some of those books to the kids over the years, which they have enjoyed. 

“The kids find [Barnett’s books] very funny…[they] really got the humor going on in those books,” Rausch said. 

Barnett spent about two hours at the school where he met with more than 200 first through third graders and read from parts of his books and answered questions. He also spoke about his new book, which takes readers on the journey from how an idea gets made into a book and into the reader’s hands.

“He emphasized that while he doesn’t write every day, he does read every day,” Rausch said. “Just how important reading is to being a writer and being intelligent.”

Rausch said he was impressed with how great Barnett was with the kids. 

“The kids really enjoyed him, I’ve had authors before and sometimes they’re not very entertaining—which is okay—but he was really entertaining,” Rausch said. 

Though he was only scheduled to see the lower grades, Rausch said Barnett was kind enough to stick around and spend time with some fourth- and fifth-grade classes. 

“He was really approachable, the kids were impressed by him I could tell, and so were the teachers,” Rausch said. 

Rausch spends time with all the kids at Beacon Heights. He said he hoped the kids took away from the experience that ideas for books can come from anywhere. Also that writing is a process, something the kids learn in school but don’t necessarily apply. 

“As a writer you need to write several drafts in order to get it the way you want it. So that writing process that teachers teach anyways but [Barnett] emphasized it when he said it took 21 drafts for this one book,” Rausch said.