Award-winning author Matthew Cody visited Hickory Creek Middle School on Feb. 20, where he spoke at a school assembly and joined several students for lunch.
Cody won the Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Book Award in 2012 for “Powerless,” a super hero novel written for children above the age of 10. The award-winning title is selected each year by student readers.
“It’s really about the kids voting on what they’ve read,” said Cody, who has also written comics for Marvel and DC. “They feel a sense of ownership.”
The Caudill Award is a state award named after author Rebecca Caudill. Each year, young readers in grades 4-8 nominate their favorite books for consideration. Those nominations are narrowed to a list of 20 finalist titles, from which a winner is determined by student votes.
Hickory Creek students participated in a voting party on Feb. 22. In order to attend, they were each required to read three nominated titles. 520 students qualified to attend and 32 read all the books on the nominee list.
“It’s an amazing sight to see that many kids celebrating reading,” said Marybeth Raynes, a library clerk at the Hickory Creek media center, and one of the event’s co-coordinators.
The Caudill Award voting party and author visit was funded primarily through a grant from the Frankfort School District 157-C Education Foundation. The grant provided $6,850 to cover the cost of Caudill-nominated books and audiobooks.
Supplementary funds were provided by local businesses, organizations and individuals.
Although Hickory Creek typically receives funding for the voting party, this is the first year that the school has also been granted funds for an author visit.
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