On May 2, 2016, celebrated children’s author and illustrator Andy Myer gave a group fourth grade students in the library at Morton McMichael School in West Philadelphia a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a professional writer today. Myer, who read from his newest book, Henry Hubble’s Book of Troubles, mesmerized the students with humorous tales about the inspiration for his stories.
“I had such a rewarding experience meeting with McMichael’s students last year, and am so pleased to be able to return again,” said Myer. “I love telling children about the joys of writing and illustrating, describing how the books they enjoy come into being, and letting them know that creative experiences are possible for each and every one of them.”
WePAC (West Philadelphia Alliance for Children), a small but mighty non-profit that re-opens, staffs, and operates volunteer-run libraries in Philadelphia public elementary schools, arranged Myer’s visit with the students.
“Our library students found it magical to meet a real life author and illustrator today,” said WePAC Interim Executive Director, Heather Farber. “Experiences like this open children’s minds to new possibilities. I bet Andy Myer planted the seed of inspiration today for a few future author/illustrators!”
WePAC runs 13 school libraries across some of the most economically disadvantaged parts of the city, areas where 80% of students are behind grade level in math or reading, with the majority behind in both. Without WePAC these schools would have no libraries.
While it is a requirement for every Pennsylvania state prison to have a library and a librarian with a Master’s degree, there’s no such requirement for our schools. Long standing budget challenges in the School District of Philadelphia have resulted in 95% of schools lacking a functioning library. As the only organization systematically re-opening school libraries in Philadelphia, WePAC seeks to close the literacy gap and help children achieve their potential.
About Andy Myer
Andy Myer has been in the business of creating humorous words and images his entire career. His most recent and joyful endeavor is as a children’s book author/illustrator. Humorous illustration has been his longest pursuit, and over the years he’s brought his engaging visual style and wry humor to just about every topic imaginable: science, technology, medicine, finance, government, pharmaceuticals, hospitality, sports and fitness, trade and industry, and educational publishing. Myer’s also become an adept corporate communications consultant, with a decade of experience designing and writing exemplary internal communications publications for four divisions of Johnson & Johnson. He published his first picture book, Pickle’s Please!, in 2011, followed in 2012 by Delia’s Dull Day which received critical raves from Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, and was a top pick for children K-3 according to Kirkus Reviews. Henry Hubble’s Book of Troubles is Myer’s first book targeted at middle grades. Myer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.