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'Weenies' Author Meets Mahwah Students

David Lubar made a return trip to township schools to foster reading, writing in students

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."

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Suzanne Curry December 03, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Thanks go out to the Mahwah Schools Foundation for funding this program.
Robin Canetti December 04, 2012 at 02:20 AM
You said it, Mrs. Curry! We never could do these wonderful programs without the generosity of the Mahwah Schools Foundation. The students and teachers are very lucky to have opportunities like this each year, courtesy of MSF grants.
Andy Schmidt December 04, 2012 at 03:28 AM
and thank you to media specialists like yourself who has done so much to bring authors to JK.
Elizabeth Surico December 09, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Thanks for all ur hard work MSF what a wonderful opportunity for all the kids.
stan "the mann" mann December 24, 2012 at 05:20 PM
- "Lubar said he grew up “wanting to be Rob Petrie,” Dick Van Dyke’s character on his classic 1960’s sitcom." I myself always idolized the great Morey Amersterdam.

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