West Side students inspire an author

Mari Barnes' author to write book called 'The Magnificent Classroom'

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By Michael Romain

Editor

Third grade students at Ella Flagg Young Elementary School, 1434 N. Parkside Ave., were delighted with a visit on June 1 by Mari Barnes. 

Barnes, the co-founder of Adventures in Reading, visited the students last year. Back then, they gave her some homework — create a story about everything the students wanted in what they called "The Magnificent Classroom."

Barnes didn't disappointed last Friday when she returned with a completed book, ready for the students to read. The author wrote the book under her pen name, Mari Lumpkin, and the title was published by her Flying Turtle Publishing House. 

"I can't imagine my life without reading and I am always looking for opportunities to share the magic and excitement of books with children any way I can," Barnes said. "This is the first time I've done this, but if creating this book based on these students' interests in mystery and adventure is one way I can help them catch the reading bug, I'm game."

Barnes said that the students wanted "a story that included students disappearing one by one, being locked in the building, ghosts and things flying through the air. Now they have it and I had fun writing it." 

CONTACT: michael@austinweeklynews.com   

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