On Wednesday, October 10, the Middle School welcomed Adam Gidwitz to the Big Room stage. Mr. Gidwitz, author of The Inquisitor’s Tale, Tales Dark and Grimm, and other titles for young readers, described his sometimes-rocky journey to becoming a writer and how he was inspired to write The Inquisitor’s Tale after a trip to France. There, he visited St. Michel, and with a guide, waded to the castle through a moat that was naturally booby trapped with puddles of shifting quicksand. He thought to combine this experience with some true medieval stories about a dog who became a saint, Joan of Arc, a farting dragon, and a decree by King Louis to burn all the country’s copies of the Talmud, and he knew had the recipe for a great novel. The kids seemed to agree…who doesn’t love a farting dragon, after all?
Mr. Gidwitz then had lunch with Literary Club in the Library Learning Commons. He signed student copies of his books, then fielded questions about his process, a typical day in the life of a writer, how he discovered his voice, and why he naturally gravitates toward writing for children.
The author also generously taught a story-writing workshop for any interested participants. Sixteen students began writing their own sagas after learning how to create intriguing characters—with seemingly insurmountable problems—who end up saving the day!
Mr. Gidwitz’s most recent project is The Unicorn Rescue Society, a series in which he teams up with writers from different backgrounds to write with cultural sensitivity about a bunch of kids rescuing mythical creatures from different parts of the world.