The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA

Author Steve Sheinkin Visits Fay

On November 6, Fay welcomed author Steve Sheinkin to campus. Steve is the author of many historical nonfiction books for young adults and children including Bomb: The Race to Build - and Steal - The World’s Most Dangerous Weapon. Fay’s ninth-grade students are very familiar with Steve’s work as they read Bomb, his account of the race to build the atomic bomb, as their required summer reading. Steve met with grades 2 - 5, grades 6 - 8, and grade 9 in three separate author visits and he shared how he uses primary sources to research historical figures and events. Previously a writer of textbooks, Steve now tells the stories of people in history whom we do not hear a lot about in more traditional books - a Native American football team that is responsible for some of the rules in modern football, women pilots who raced by air across the United States, and immigrants who have added significantly to scientific discoveries in the United States. Some of Fay's younger students shared their ideas for stories Steve should write as part of his “Time Twister” series. Abraham Lincoln as a gymnast? Albert Einstein as a basketball player? Keep a look out at bookstores to see if any of these ideas come to fruition.
Ninth graders discuss Bomb in both their English and Topics in Modern America classes and their discussions with Steve involved the ethics of building the bomb, the challenges of the writing process, and little-known details about the daily lives of the historical figures in the book. Interestingly, the Grade Nine presentation was in the Root Meeting Room, the walls of which are covered with the primary sources of actual letters from all US presidents. Throughout his work with Grade Nine, Steve referred to these letters and used them as a teaching tool with the students.