By Nila McGinnis
Middle school crowds are notoriously tough. Seventh and eighth grade students at Troy Middle School, however, proved to be a wonderful audience at Bonfils Auditorium on May 2 for a special guest appearance by a famous author.
TMS Librarian Rebecca Williams had secured bestselling author Jennifer Nielsen to speak at the school just days earlier. A contact from Main Street Books in St. Charles graciously put TMS on a short list of schools for Nielsen to visit during her time in Missouri to promote her new work of juvenile fiction- a thriller called “The Traitor’s Game.”
“I think this kind of author appearance is important for students to see because it inspires them,” Williams commented to the Journal. “I want our students to know that someone can be successful as an author and that all of their favorite books were written by real people.”
Nielsen began her presentation by showing students a book trailer for her upcoming novel. She then jumped right into the meat of the presentation by bringing up a topic most kids love to explore- secret agents and spies.
Taking the kids on a fascinating journey through the stories of some of the world’s lesser-known heroes and traitors of history, Nielson was able to weave together the lives of intelligence operatives of all different nationalities to make an interesting point on the way that history chooses to tell the stories of its spies. She concluded by pointing out that some spies are forever branded as traitors, while others are lauded as national heroes.
Nielsen rounded out the presentation by fielding questions from the audience about advice on writer’s block, motivations for her next book, and the inevitable “are you single?” from a cheeky eighth grader.
Williams encourages those interested in ordering Nielsen’s newest book to contact Main Street books to purchase books as a thank you for bringing Nielsen to Troy.