Author inspires minds around the world

By Max Lavie and Allia Wallace, Fourth Grade

On Oct. 18, poet and award-winning non-fiction children’s book author Carole Boston Weatherford visited Lakehill Lower School students. After speaking at two assemblies, Weatherford was interviewed by two fourth grade reporters, Allia Wallace and Max Lavie. Both Wallace and Lavie enjoyed the interactive presentation, from the first poem Weatherford wrote when she was a child to the rhythmic preview of “The Roots of Rap.”

Photo courtesy of Lakehill Preparatory School

A New York Times best-selling author, Weatherford (pictured with students) is one of the leading poets writing for young people today. She believes poetry makes music with words. Her work also includes nonfiction, biography and historical fiction. 

Through her books and performances, Weatherford’s words reach millions of young readers. She is currently a professor at Fayetteville State University, where she trains current and future teachers and mentors emerging writers. Weatherford also created a hip-hop course. Her more than 50 books include many award winners, including three Caldecott Honor Books.

During two separate assemblies, Weatherford spoke to students in kindergarten through fourth grade, sharing poetry, music and stories. The author says she was always a poet and a writer, composing her first poem in 1962, when she was in first grade. She enjoys reading and writes about the things she wants to learn more about. “Becoming Billie Holliday,” which received a Coretta Scott King Award Honor, is her favorite of the books she has written. “I write about people and events that are interesting to me and important enough to share,” she explained.

Weatherford read “Freedom in Congo Square” to kindergarten through second graders. She incorporated musical instruments and audience participation. 

Third and fourth graders participated in her reading of “Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom.” They also enjoyed a short reading from her latest book, “The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip Hop.”

Weatherford has visited hundreds of schools, including some in West Africa and the Middle East. “I think knowing that kids I will never meet are reading my books is what I love most about being a writer.”