A highlight during Catholic School’s Week at Saint Clare School was a visit by best-selling author Benjamin Ludwig. He spoke with the students about his current book, “Ginny Moon,” education, about foster care and adoption. Mr. Ludwig started his presentation by asking the students if anyone had any secrets. He emphasized that having secrets is one of the most important things for writing. “It’s what people want to know. It’s what they want to read,” said Mr. Ludwig. They want to read about what secrets help create the characters and lead them to what they do in the story.
Mr. Ludwig informed the students of how his experiences of being a foster parent and later adopting an autistic girl influenced his writing. “Ginny Moon” is told from the perspective of a 14-year-old autistic girl. She was put into foster care at the age of 9 and has struggled to find a “forever family.” Once she finds a family, the book reveals her endeavors and reasons for trying to get back to her birth mother. Mr. Ludwig stressed the only common thread between his daughter and his main character is the fact they are both autistic. “Ginny Moon” has been published in 18 countries and has been named one of Amazon’s 20 Best Books of 2017.
Mr. Ludwig also shared that he started reading in the third grade to impress a girl. Instead, he ended up falling in love with reading which then led to writing. In the beginning, it was mostly about pirates and raccoons. However, it eventually evolved to different fictional characters. Mr. Ludwig concluded the presentation by answering many questions from the students, revealing his secret to combating writer’s block and letting the students know that the important thing in literature is the voice of the narrator.
Mr. Ludwig’s visit was sponsored by Hicklebee’s Children’s Books in Willow Glen. Saint Clare Elementary School and Hicklebee’s continue to collaborate in improving reading, writing, and illustrating skills in the elementary school level.