Famous Author Emails 8th Grade Students

Famous Author Emails 8th Grade DMS Students


Terrye Seamon, DMS 8th Grade Literacy Teacher

Everyone has probably heard the addage “There is no such thing as a dumb question,” or “The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.” The students in Terrye Seamon’s 8th grade English class at DeWitt Middle School recently had a little experience with this that resulted in a once in a lifetime “brush with greatness.”

In conjunction with her unit on dystopian literature, Seamon’s students read the novel The Giver by Lois Lowry. At the conclusion of the unit, her students compiled a list of questions to ask the author about her book, the characters, and herself in general. They then emailed Lowry their list of questions and waited patiently in hopes she would respond to them. About a week later, much to everyone’s surprise, even Seamon’s, they received a response from Lowry. 

“I told my kids from the beginning that I didn’t know if Lowry would actually respond, but we won’t know if we don’t try,” Seamon said. “And, I am so glad we did!”

Questions ranged from details about the story and it’s cliffhanger ending to Lowry’s inspiration for writing the book. Students also asked what emotions the author experienced while writing the novel and who her favorite character was. Seamon added her curiosity to the list of questions by asking Lowry about her daily writing routine and for some advice about writing that she could pass along to her students that would help them become better writers.

“Write a story as if you were telling it to a close friend,” Lowry replied in her email.

The Giver is the first in a series of four books written by Lowry: The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son. The author noted in her email that they need to be read in sequential order.