Local author Mary Gordon Kerr has written her third book for children, again with the help of second graders in Sue Hopkins’ second grade class at Mount Pleasant Academy. And yes, that’s the Dewees Island Submarine tower on the cover. Kerr, whose daughter was in the class, came regularly to meet with the students, allowing them to suggest plot and character developments. Over the course of the year, the students learned about crafting a story, making the details seem real, connecting events plausibly, and editing and rewriting. “The students kept me honest and nudged me into writing faster,” Kerr said. “When Frances told me it was getting boring, we added action. When the other kids asked me when I was coming back, I knew I had to get the next section done for class.” Veteran teacher Sue Hopkins has experienced this project three times in the past six years. “To have a parent come into the class, creating a love of literacy and helping students learn about the creative process is a really special thing,” Hopkins said at the book launch at Barnes and Noble on Saturday October 29th. “And they have experienced just what goes into writing a book and how long it takes!” Now in the fourth grade, the students were delighted to sign copies for patrons, friends, and family.
The Dewees submarine tower got into the book after the group decided that they wanted to set the book in Charleston and include both time travel and history. Kerr had just been to the International Spy Museum in Washington DC, and was fascinated by the things she learned there. Ted, who was in the class, suggested the Sub Tower as part of the setting, and all the pieces came together for a Charleston historical novel about World War II and Operation Drumbeat. The actual history of the tower is fascinating, and we will share more about that later. Kerr’s video trailer for the book uses footage of the submarine tower taken by Reggie and local photogenius Adam Boozer when they were shooting footage for DeweesRealEstate.com.
The class will probably have a book launching party on the island, perhaps in January, where they can get a first hand look at the tower. In the meanwhile, the book is available locally at Barnes and Noble, on Kindle, and at Amazon.com. Hopefully, we can get a few copies to place in our bookstore.
Behind the Grave of Robert J. McCloud opens with an unusual snow day in Charleston, where Alice and Henry Burton find themselves cooped up inside. Their grandfather gives them a deck of playing cards that turn out to hide a puzzle-like map of downtown Charleston. Alice and Henry embark on an incredible adventure while trying to solve this riddle, a quest that will lead them into danger and heroics, asking more of them than they can imagine.