"Lucy Hall? She kind of represents all of us because we all work together to become her," said Hayley Marr, 6th grader.
Marr is one of 29 students in a class who have been working on a novel since last March. "We kind of thought our teacher was crazy," she said.
While they were in 5th grade, teacher Kim Lindbloom had an idea. She invited her friend, L. Katherine Dailey, a historical fiction author, to speak to the class. Instead, Lindbloom and Dailey came up with a plan to have Dailey work with the students to write their own novel.
"I just came up with the idea," said Alex Atwood, 6th Grader.
Atwood conceived the outline of a 10-year-old girl, Lucy Hall, and her travels from England to colonial America to find her father.
"We didn't think it would take two years to complete an entire novel," said Atwood.
They thought they could finish the whole thing during the last nine weeks of 5th grade last year.
However, it took all the way up through their sixth grade year before all the revisions and edits were complete. Each student was assigned to write a different chapter. Lindbloom says the students did not realize how much research they had to do.
"They had to go through and find authentic language. What did they talk like then? Little details," said Lindbloom. "The person writing chapter one, couldn't let the people (writing) chapter two, down. They had to put it together and they had to come up with one voice."
Students say writing as if it came from the same author was tough.
"At the beginning, it was very challenging 'cause we all had different styles of writing," said Atwood.
"We just kind of had to write like we were Lucy," said Marr. "When I was writing, I imagined myself in Lucy's position and it just kind of came."
May 25th, the finished books arrived at Meadow View elementary from the publisher.
"Friday, we got the actual book and it was just, 'Ahhh! Look, this is it,'" said Lindbloom.
The students say they were lucky to be a part of a project which may never happen again.
"Pretty amazing, that just a class of sixth grade students can go out and write a novel," Atwood said.
"I mean not many kids get to go to 7th grade and be published authors, you know," said Marr. "And, it's just cool that like there was 29 of us and we completed it."
Meadow View Elementary in Castle Rock is currently selling copies of the book listed at $9.95. Soon, it will be available through amazon.com.
"I can't imagine being that age and having that opportunity," said Lindbloom. "To have that opportunity will impact their life. They'll never view writing as the same. They'll never read a book the same, because they know what goes into it."
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