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Young Authors Celebrate With Tea

Fifth graders at Westbriar Elementary wrote and illustrated their own books for class.

In the epic "Narley Man," video game enthusiast Narley Man lives in Florida, only to find his video game held hostage by the villain Rotten Egg. Author Max Bress, a fifth grader at Westbriar Elementary in Vienna, hoped readers would enjoy learning how Narley Man gets his game back.

"I just made it up one day in school," Max said. "I thought it was really cool, to draw the pictures and everything."

Meeting once every other week, fifth graders at Westbriar Elementary authored and illustrated their own books. Fifteen authors each created their final project, a story about anything that struck their fancy.

Four English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students also created books, on nonfiction topics related to coursework and their families.

At the end of the project, parents were invited to an Author Tea, held last Friday, where students were able to show them their creations.

"For me, it’s what teaching is all about. Giving kids the opportunity to be creative," said special education teacher Deborah Alsado, who with instructional assistant Mary Jane Burke taught the creative writing class. ESOL teacher Katie Munive taught the nonfiction class.

Author Somers Ashton Lewis wrote his book, "Three Little Pigs, The Good Wolf and Two Boys" as a twist to the old-time story. The three bad pigs try to capture the juicy wolf that two boys were taking of.

"I got sucked into it. I liked drawing the pictures, doing the illustrations," Somers said.

Max’s mom, Debbie Bress, said her son enjoyed creating his first novel.

"He just had such a good time writing it," Bress said.

As for Max, there is a moral to his story.

"Don’t play too much video games, or your brain will turn into Swiss cheese," Max said.