MILLBURN, NJ - Award winning kids author Dan Gutman paid a visit to South Mountain School thrilling students from the very young audience to the sports lovers and the legions of  "My Weird School" series fans.

Gutman's philosophy on his books, "I want reading my books to feel effortless. I'm trying to write stories that are so captivating that kids will look up after an hour and feel like they'd been watching a movie in their head." 

The students got an important message from Gutman, Never give up! Persistence and talent are equally important. Gutman started out wanting to write humor and spent 15 years in various writing careers before finding his passion in writing children's books.   
 
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Gutman was a reluctant reader as a young boy, so he knows everything about the challenges he faces now being a kids’ author. The students at South Mountain were delighted to show their knowledge of his books, prepared to ask tricky questions and very excited to be the first ones to hear an extract from the new, yet to be published book.
 
Grades 3-5 took part in the contest to create a cover and synopsis based on Dan Gutman’s popular series “My Weird School”.  Ms. Morling, the school librarian, commented: “We did this contest to incorporate creative writing and the participation was overwhelming.” The randomly picked contest winners had lunch with Gutman and a chance to discuss his novels in a small group setting. 
 
The South Mountain School PTO sponsored this wonderful author visit, and Ms. Morling helped make the event memorable for all the students.