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A Special Visit with Author Troy Cummings

With books about a town full of monsters and another about a man who’s mistaken for a horse, there’s no denying author Troy Cummings has a wild imagination. Over a two-week span in November, Cummings shared his imagination and love of writing and illustrating with Gahanna-Jefferson elementary school students.

Creator of Giddy-Up, Daddy! and The Notebook of Doom, Cummings visited every elementary school in the district. Three years ago, Cummings started visiting schools. Since then, his visits have evolved into interactive presentations, lunches with students and book signings.

“I’ve been writing since I was three. At a young age, I learned there were people responsible for writing the books I loved reading,” said Cummings. “I knew I wanted to be an author and write books too.”

During each school visit on his trip, Cummings read through his stories and encouraged Gahanna-Jefferson students to think creatively by leading them through an interactive brainstorming session of writing and doodling. He also took time to sign books during specially-arranged classroom lunches with the author.

Royal Manor Elementary

Cummings always keeps a sketchbook handy for moments of inspiration. Whether it’s a little bit of sketching or writing, Cummings is always prepared to jot down thoughts for potential book ideas. He chooses to focus on themes for his books rather than teaching specific lessons or morals.

“I’ve been writing since I was three. At a young age, I learned there were people responsible for writing the books I loved reading,” said Cummings. “I knew I wanted to be an author and write books too.”

Chapelfield Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, and Lincoln Elementary

When visiting schools, Cummings hope for the students is to come ready to learn. He enjoys discovering the way the students think and process information, which later helps him as he develops a new book concept.

The interaction with students continues to be Cummings’ favorite part about school visits and he appreciates their many questions and small mementoes. At the end of his books, he lists some of his favorite items from students, including tasty malted milk balls he recently received.

The interaction with students continues to be Cummings’ favorite part about school visits and he appreciates their many questions and small mementoes.

“The Gahanna-Jefferson Public School system has shown me so much respect and that has really stood out to me,” said Cummings. “The fifth-grade students gave me their full attention and the kindergarten students asked awesome questions.”

Blacklick Elementary and High Point Elementary
The mission of Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools is to inspire, nurture and empower all students to love learning. Meeting and interacting with talented authors such as Cummings encourages students to love reading, writing and illustrating.

“I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to have spoken with students from all the elementary schools,” said Cummings. “Gahanna has shown so much support for my books and made these visits special.”

Goshen Lane Elementary

For more information about Troy Cummings and his books, follow him on Twitter @troycummings or visit his website www.troycummings.net.

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