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National Author Reads to Students

Award-winning children's author Haley Rose visited Del Obispo and offered interactive lessons on writing.

Students at Del Obispo Elementary School Monday got to hear a book exactly how the author intended it to be read.

That's because it was the author who was reading it to them.

Haley Rose, a native Southern California and author of Fifo When I Grow Up, her first book, and follow-up Fifo 50 Statestold the students she is working on a third book now with a “musical Fifo.”

Fifo is a 6-year-old bear. In the first grade.

Fifo 50 States has won 15 awards, including Mom’s Choice Award and 2012 International Book Awards. 

“We really wanted [Rose] to come,” said Danielle Chapman, secretary of Del Obispo's PTA. “It’s neat to have local authors read to the kids.”

Fifo 50 States is a factual and entertaining read for older elementary kids, while Fifo When I Grow Up is morally instructive and encourages the younger ones to follow their dreams.

“I had the idea [for the book] for a while, and it eventually just all flowed out,” said Rose. “The last thing to do was research the facts.”

Rose told students the most important thing about writing is writing for yourself.

“I always write for me, everything along the way is just a bonus,” said Rose, commenting about her books’ commercial successes.

All of the Del Obispo students took to her humorous books, interjecting questions and comments during her readings. Kindergarten-fifth grade kids heard her read and each set of classes was given different activities corresponding to their age groups. 

The higher grades were taught about the authoring process and participated in a reflective activities.

Rose asked them to write down words relating to Valentine’s Day, then to use those words in a sentence. In the following steps, she instructed them to improve their sentences and improve their grammar as a part of the rewriting process.  

They were also asked where the best places to market and sell the book in this era, and hands in the air indicated everyone had an answer.  

“Social media,” some said. “Amazon, eBay, Barnes & Noble,” said media-savvy fourth- and fifth-graders. 

The younger kids were read Fifo When I Grow Up and then were asked about their career aspirations. Responses included fireman, designer, basketball player, surfer and princess. 

Jenn Buckman, chairperson of Read Across America, organized the reading at Del Obispo and its twin event that will be held at Ambuehl Elementary Tuesday.

concerned parent February 26, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Sorry, but how does self-publishing a book (which millions of people do and says nothing whatsoever about quality) make one a "nationally-recognized author"? If Patch is going to do a story like this, how about figuring out the facts first? The Penny Saver isn't the same as the New York Times, and Fifo the Bear isn't the same as something written by Kathryn Fitzmaurice, a true local author of merit (and someone I don't know personally, by the way.) It's bad enough that individuals schools aren't discriminating when they select authors for appearances,and fall for someone's marketing efforts. But the media shouldn't fall for it too.
Patricia Rawl February 27, 2013 at 12:51 AM
Really? Children's book publishing elitism? Only published authors from top publishing houses that control the creativity write books of substance? You did get one thing right. It's all about marketing whether you're with Harper Collins or Joe Schmo. My son had a great time and learned a lot, but then again, he's not wrapped up into thinking his britches are better than others.
concerned parent February 27, 2013 at 01:10 AM
Of course your son had a great time. If a speaker is nice and has a good presentation, any child would. But the thing is, it's not just about marketing, though that's what many self-published authors want you to believe. It's about quality and standards. The vetting process of traditional publishing houses is extremely rigorous. There really is a difference between a picture book published by Harper Collins and Fifo the Bear, regardless of how defensive you might want to be. But my issue isn't with the particular author, who's just doing her job of trying to sell books, or the school. It's with the Patch for giving something like this coverage, without discerning that this isn't truly a "national author." I mean, come on. There are some great children's authors in this area who do school visits all the time and don't get any coverage, ever, including when they have a major book debut. That's really skewed, and I'm sorry that the media aren't more savvy. Maybe next time Patch will look a little deeper before it prints a feature article like this about a "national," "award winning" author.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) February 27, 2013 at 01:36 AM
This is what Amazon says: Fifo 50 States is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, Ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times Best-Selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, Motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; and Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach, and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families. This book/product has been honored by this distinguished award. --Mom's Choice Awards The National Indie Excellence Awards has selected Fifo "50 States" as a finalist in Children's Picture Books. Excellence is not easy to achieve and the book industry needs it more than ever...the NIEA salutes authors and publishers who make excellence a priority. --National Indie Excellence Awards I apologize if that did not impress. We were just covering an event a local school. Thanks for your opinion!
Patricia Rawl February 27, 2013 at 02:32 AM
That's why Harper Collins published a book on Justin Bieber and One Direction. It has nothing to do with marketing.
concerned parent February 27, 2013 at 02:48 AM
I understand you were just covering a school event--but these are trumped up awards that tons of self-published authors claim. I guess I'm just fed up that the media doesn't get there's a huge difference between paying to get a book published and then marketing it and traditional publishing where someone has to have the talent and dedication to make it. I mean, would Patch cover any amateur artist who did some drawings and came to talk to kids at a school, and then act like the person is a professional? I doubt it. I'd love to see Patch cover authors who have worked at their craft and persevered and made it through to publish great books. There are those authors right here in Orange County, and yeah, again, quality really does matter. Or it should at least.
Hayley Rose February 27, 2013 at 07:43 AM
Dear Concerned Parent, First let me say that I do appreciate your comments and concerns, however, I thought I would just chime in and set the record straight. First of all, I believe your facts are wrong. Fifo the Bear books are not self published. Although they are not published by one of the “big six” publishing houses they are published though Inkwell, a small press. I did not “pay” to have my books published, and therefore they were traditionally published. I am not sure if you have seen or read my books but they are of top quality and rival those put out by mainstream houses. I am also sorry that you feel only talented authors come from major publishing houses. I have been very fortunate to come across some fabulous self published authors that offer high quality books.
Hayley Rose February 27, 2013 at 07:45 AM
Dear Concerened Parent: (Continued.) Contrary to what you may believe, I am a professional. I speak across the country at schools, festivals and other various book events. I have been doing this for over ten years and I take my work very seriously. The Events at Del Obispo and Ambuehl were planned out months in advance though the PTA. I am sure they would have listened to any objections you might have had. The teachers, students and even the school district superintendent seemed to have enjoyed the presentation. You say you have no issue with me as an author, but then you have no problem discrediting me. As far as the awards go, again, you may believe they are “trumped up”, however, the big publishing houses would probably disagree as their authors have also placed in many of these award programs. Here are just a few: Readers Favorite Awards: “Readers' Favorite is the fastest growing book review and award contest site on the Internet. We have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Penguin and Harper Collins.”
Hayley Rose February 27, 2013 at 07:47 AM
(Continued.) Readers Favorite: "We receive submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants like HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times best-selling authors like J.A. Jance, James Rollins, and #1 best-selling author Daniel Silva. We also receive entries from celebrity authors like actor Paul Michael Glaser from "Starsky & Hutch," actor Eriq La Salle from "E.R.," three-time Emmy award-winner Michael Brown, and actress Mary McDonough from "Will and Grace," "ER," "Boston Legal," and the "West Wing." International Book Awards: Best New Business Book Making Yourself Indispensable: The Power of Personal Accountability by Mark Samuel Portfolio/Penguin 978-1591844693 Fiction: Mystery/Suspense & Thriller/Adventure Darkroom by Joshua Graham Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster 978-1-451654691 The purpose of Read Across America is to get excited and motivated to read. I truly believe the events in San Juan Capistrano this week accomplished that.

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