Last week, Mahwah students at Joyce Kilmer Elementary School got some reading and writing tips from one of the pros - David Lubar.
The author, who has had about 20 books for kids, tweens and teens published throughout his career, met with students last week for the school’s annual Author Day celebration.
Lubar, perhaps best known for his Weenies and Nathan Abercrombie Accidental Zombie book series, said his trip to Mahwah was one of about 30 or 40 school visits he made across the country this year. As a Jersey boy transplanted to Pennsylvania – Lubar grew up in Morristown and now lives in Nazareth, PA – he said it’s always exciting to come home to the Garden State for visits with students.
“I’ve been doing school visits for about 15 years…and I still like them,” he said. “I like meeting my readers, and I like seeing the creativity of the kids.”
During in-school seminars at JK, Lubar showed students how he comes up with ideas, and helped them work through writing prompts, like coming up with book titles, writing from opening lines and writing based on a series of ‘What if’ questions.
“They came up with some great ideas,” he said of the students in Mahwah. “After all these years, they still come up with things I've never heard of before.”
The Author’s Day visit affords students a unique opportunity Lubar said he did not have growing up.
“I didn’t have an opportunity like this as a kid, but I think it’s great. It’s a way to generate enthusiasm for reading, and it shows them authors are just normal people, which means that they can be authors, too.”
Lubar said he grew up “wanting to be Rob Petrie,” Dick Van Dyke’s character on his classic 1960’s sitcom. As an adult, he published a few short stories, then enjoyed a career as a video game designer before focusing on writing.
Since the mid-1990’s, the author has been busy. He has about 20 books published, and is expecting another four projects - including two new book series, a story collection and a sequel to his book Punished - to all come out in 2013.
His visit to Mahwah last week was his second to the district. His last was three years ago.
"I was very happy when [Mahwah] asked me to return," he said. "It's a great experience here."