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placeholder April 17, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 8    •   Oakland, CA
Summer Camps, Schools & Activities

Young Authors Faire provides
a forum for talented writers

Aspiring writers in Diocese of Oakland Catholic schools have submitted their books — more than 500 of them — to the 2017 Young Authors Faire.

Young Authors Faire

Grand Prize Winners

• "Can You Hear That River of Courage," sixth-grader, St. Michael School, Livermore

• "Saints That We See," Fourth Grade Class, Our Lady of Guadalupe School, Fremont

• "Sammy the Sloth Comes to Visit," Kindergarten Class, St. Patrick School, Rodeo

• "Bitter Today, Better Tomorrow," Eighth Grade Class, St. Joseph School, Fremont

• "Please? And Thank you!" First Grade Class, St. Mary School, Walnut Creek

• "The King of Heaven," third-grader, Holy Rosary School, Antioch

• "The Girl with the Mustache," fifth-grader, Our Lady of Guadalupe School, Fremont

• "Diary of a Crusader," seventh-grader, Our Lady of Guadalupe School, Fremont

• "A Beautiful Bouquet of ABC's," Kindergarten Class, Our Lady of Guadalupe School, Fremont

• "A Beautiful Bouquet of ABC's," Eighth Grade Class, Our Lady of Guadalupe School, Fremont
Many of the books are the work of individuals, who offered fiction, poetry, autobiography, graphic novels, children's books, religious theme and special genre work.

Others fall into the category of class books, created by one grade of students. "Buddy Books" are a collaborative effort between two grades.

Thirty-six schools, representing students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, participated. The effort is coordinated by the Diocese of Oakland Young Authors Faire Coordinating Committee, teachers and librarians, who volunteer countless hours.

They draw their inspiration, said one, from the young writers themselves.

The book titles themselves are intriguing. There's "If Jesus Played Sports …" by a pupil at St. Joseph School in Alameda. "The Story of My Nine Year Old Life," by a pupil at Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Fremont, and "This is Us Many Places, Joined Together," by the seventh-grade class at Christ the King School in Pleasant Hill, invite readers.

Among this year's grand prize winning entries, five are from Our Lady of Guadalupe School. Six of the 10 winners are class books, from students at the Fremont school, as well as classes at St. Patrick School in Rodeo and St. Mary School in Walnut Creek.

"We do writing in every subject," said Elizabeth Harmuth, third-grade science teacher and educational technology coordinator at Our Lady of Guadalupe School. Through the Step Up to Writing program, kindergartners begin with journal writing prompts. The junior high students write research papers.

The Young Authors Faire is eagerly anticipated, Harmuth said.

"Kids love to write," she said. "'Every year, they say, 'When is YAF? When do we get to write?'"

Two students, she said, wrote touching stories of their families' migration to the United States. A third wrote of her grandparents'experience with Executive Order 9066, the internment of people of Japanese ancestry during World War II.

At the end of this month, the young authors will gather with their families to receive their awards and see their work on display. Of the 500 entries, there are 395 award winners. Top prize winners will receive gift certificates to spend at a Scholastic Book Fair on awards day. The ceremony will include the fair's featured children's author, Susan Middleton Elya.

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