Hey! This is Justin. It’s our 25th blog, but the first I’ve written.
Over the last 18 years, my dad and I have visited many schools to talk about the importance of reading and writing. One of the several topics we discuss is research. Researching is one of our favorite parts about writing The Adirondack Kids®.
Whenever we ask the children at the school what they think of when they hear the word, ‘research,’ lots of hands always go up. Now its 2018, so almost every time the first answer is “Google!” And that is typically followed up by answers like “library” and “newspapers” and even “encyclopedias” - all great and true answers. But…
...Our favorite type of research is live research. Live research is when we go and actually do the things and visit the places our next story will be about. As a result of our live research, we’ve visited more of the Adirondacks than we ever thought possible. We’ve gone on train rides, sat in sea planes, explored light houses, climbed mountains, ridden on carousels, and much more. This allows us to write more accurately and vividly the content for each adventure.
More recently, for book number 17, SPIES ON CASTLE ROCK & THE SECRETS OF THE SECRET CODE, we had to learn about Scuba Diving. To this day, my dad still can’t swim. Yes, you read that correctly. And so the task was up to me. The idea for book #17 came from my now Scuba instructor, Andy Beach, who told us about a unique object seated on the bottom of Blue Mountain Lake.
The first step was an introductory class called Discover Scuba. I met with Andy at the local YMCA of Rome, NY for the class where we had some classroom time to learn about diving, and then spent some time with the gear, learning what did what and how. Finally we got in the pool and got to experience some real diving. I was immediately hooked.
Fast forward a few months to warmer weather, and it was time for the real dive in Blue Mountain Lake. I was able to meet up with Andy early in the morning, and we dove into the great...green lake. Although we were unable to find the coal car this time where Andy actually manages a geocache, we did still have an adventure. We also met some kayakers who were surprised to see our heads pop up in the middle of the lake. We hope to dive it again sometime soon.
So the next time one of the young people in your life is working on a story, whether it’s for a book or a school project, consider enabling him or her to take the research to new depths by doing it live!
So, we stop at our post office and one of the postal workers shows us an illustrated book report based on The Adirondack Kids® 2: Rescue on Bald Mountain. The report was written some 16 years ago by her son who is now 24 years old! She found it while pouring through some old papers. According to a note attached by the teacher, the young student received an A- on the report. We especially liked the illustration of the fire tower which is reminiscent of a scene from H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds!
© 2018 Adirondack Kid Press, Ltd.