Media Center Rallies Students for February Author Visit

Ashley Wolfe, Editor-in-Chief

Cover art for Matt de la Pena’s novel, “Ball Don’t Lie”

Actors, singers and even Youtubers are among the most popular names mentioned when many are asked about the idols or people who they aspire to be. Only a select–and well-read– few will surprise the inquirer with the name of a writer or author.

Brooklyn author Matt De la Peña is a rising star in the literary field. Recently a winner of the 2016 Newbery Award for his picture book, “Last Stop on Market Street,” De la Peña is a name one should know.

The good news: He’s coming to MHS on February 23.

In preparation for this, the Media Center hosted discussion groups during lunch periods for students to learn more about De la Peña and to discuss his YA novels. His YA novels include “Ball Don’t Lie” and “We Were Here.”  For more titles by him, check out the display by the library entrance.

Librarian Rebecca Plaza hosted the events with cookies and videos from the author himself.

“[My goal for these discussion] is to [allow students] the chance to talk with each other and meet other readers,” said Plaza.

Plaza organized the book discussions using ideas and suggestions from other librarians and knowledgeable discussion boards, she said. She noted that she has always paid attention to ways that she can implement new ways of encouraging reading.

She reached out to De la Pena in the fall of 2015 and, after considering a date, he agreed to visit MHS.

De la Peña will be the second author to visit MHS. Last year, MHS hosted YA Author Simone Elkeles, known for the “Perfect Chemistry” series, which brought a massive turnout. Following her presentation, students lined up for autographs and photos.