Students and staff at Harvard Elementary School put together an energetic video to celebrate Katherine Applegate, author of the 2013 Newbery Medal winner The One and Only Ivan, visiting the school on Oct. 29. Applegate read from her award-winning book and discussed it with students. Her visit is the highlight of the school’s annual “One Book, One School” project, which strives to create a sense of community among all Harvard students through the shared experience of reading a work of literature.[vimeo https://vimeo.com/78169939 width=”600px” height=”330px”]
All students, parents, faculty, and staff received a copy of The One and Only Ivan a few weeks before the author’s visit, and students and families followed a nightly reading schedule and answered comprehension and discussion questions together. At school, students had the opportunity to answer daily trivia questions and post photos on the One Book, One School bulletin board of their family reading the book together.
This is the fifth time Harvard has organized the One Book, One School project, but the first time the project has included an author visit. All Harvard students had the opportunity to see Ms. Applegate in person, hear her read the final chapter of The One and Only Ivan, and listen to her talk about the book and the writing process. Ten children were also selected to have lunch with the author as part of an essay/art contest related to The One and Only Ivan.