Marcus and the Amazons @ Zelda Glazer Middle School

 Melba Brito (2nd from L.) and her staff with yours truly

Talk about making a writer feel special!

Yesterday, I had a great time at Zelda Glazer Middle. From the minute I entered the parking lot, I was greeted by the administration of the school and ushered to the library where approximately 60 students waited patiently at their tables for me to begin.

Of course, the students were prepared for my presentation. But then, again, they weren't. I began with a sing-a-long, "The Ants Go Marching," which had some of the boys, who were way too cool to sing anything, eventually joining in on the chorus: "Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!"

Then, I read from the first two chapters of Marcus and after the reading, the students asked several interesting questions. One question, in particular, floored me: "What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview?"

I had to pause for about three minutes. Finally, I had an answer; "Do you think readers will understand all of the references from Joseph Campbell through Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Bob Marley that you have in Marcus and the Amazons?"

And then came another, "If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?" Talk about thought provoking.

Immediately following the Q&A, I was treated to a delicious lunch with the principal, Melba Brito, who said words that were music to my ears. She'd ordered a class set of Marcus and the Amazons for the students. Now I was on top of the world!

No wonder Zelda Glazer Middle is an "A" school. The administration, teachers, and staff are committed to excellence and back up their words with actions that support local authors. I wish there were more schools like Zelda Glazer Middle in Miami!

Thank you Zelda Glazer Middle School for your enormous generosity and hospitality. Special thanks to Melba Brito, Principal; Jesus Gonzalez, Assistant Principal; Katia Lopez, Chair, Language Arts; Hans Gonzalez, Chair, Math Department; Armita Prakash, Assistant Principal; Lucas Delatorre, Assistant Principal, and Nick Garcia, Media Specialist, who helped me with the setup of my PowerPoint presentation.

I am also grateful to the Miami Book Fair International under the leadership of Alina Interian and her staff, Lissette Mendez, Nicole Swift, Lisa Palley of Palley Promotes, and Rebecca Calvert, MBFI/MDPS liaison, who made everything flow so easily.

Give thanks...


I will be reading from Marcus and the Amazons at the Miami Book Fair International on Sunday, November 20, 2011 in room 1164 at 11: 00 a.m.


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