MILLBURN, NJ — Yesterday afternoon, students at Wyoming Elementary School said "batter up," as they welcomed author David Kelly into the district for a virtual chat.
Kelly is known for writing the Ballpark Mysteries Series, as well as an offshoot known as the Ballpark Mysteries Super Specials. In addition, he also wrote the most valuable players series, and a pair of nonfiction books. Most of his work in children's literature focuses on baseball, although the MVP series dives into other sports.
Members of the second, third and fourth grade classes listened to a virtual presentation from Kelly, who spoke about his background in writing, as well the research he does for all the numerous books that he has written. He also spoke in-depth bout his process for writing and the steps it takes to bring a book from idea to finished copy.
Rachel Morling, the Media Specialist for South Mountain & Wyoming Elementary Schools said that the visit came about because Kelly, who she follows on Facebook, had posted that he was interested in doing a virtual visit with students. She also noted his books are a hit in the school libraries.
When the announcement was posted on his page, Morling quickly got in touch with him to set up a date and time for him to speak to the assembled group.
As she noted, hearing from authors like Kelly is always a constructive process for the students.
"Students really enjoy listening to how an author gets his ideas and how he became an author," Morling said. "Learning about David A. Kelly personally and his inspirations for writing his Ballpark Mysteries allows students to feel like they can be authors too."
As for what she felt the students got out of hearing him talk about his writing process, Morling said that seeing the process behind Kelly's work was constructive for the student body in attendance.
"Every student can relate to the writing process David Kelly spoke about," Morling said. "This is how they organize and write as well. To see an author doing what they do in school is fun for them to see."
Morling also noted that hearing from a children's book author like Kelly about his struggles as a writer in school can also be constructive, as it helps students to understand that they can also go on to do great work as writers, even if the task seems difficult now.