Renowned author, Jake Halpern, spoke to the students and staff at Amity Middle School in Bethany on Thursday, November 2nd. Jake recently returned from a trip overseas where he was researching refugee camps. In addition to writing many Young Adult novels, Jake is also a journalist who cares deeply about sharing stories of refugees from all over the world. His latest work is featured in the New York Times and follows a Syrian family who immigrated to New Haven last year.
Jake began his presentation with a captivating, true story of a young Colombian man who was attempting to seek refuge in Canada. His unique style immediately caught the attention of the entire room. He has an amazing ability to turn any story (true or fantasy) into an adventure where the listener is hanging on his every word. He helped to humanize the plight of a young person forced to leave his family and home to find a safer and better life.
He transitioned rather seamlessly to speak about his latest fantasy novel Nightfall. Using sound effects and suspense Jake once again had the gymnasium completely transfixed on every word. Halpern took questions from the students and spoke about his other novels, some of which will be piloted into TV shows in the near future. Upon my return back to the school library, I was inundated with requests for his books, which is absolutely the best news for any librarian.
Article written by: Kathryn McGonigal, Amity Middle School Bethany Librarian
Pictured left to right: Marin Korenaga, Nina Carmeli, Kathryn McGonigal (Librarian), Cailin Myatt, and Grace Lupoli [Photographer: Barbara Cassesse]