Alan Sitomer – Author Strand session from Friday

Usually, I like to organize all things nice and neat, in a NEAT little package, ta da! BUT life is not that way,  Uh -huh.  So I am posting something out of order (GASP), that started out as a task for my one student who needs fiction authors that have published, and Alan Sitomer is a PERFECT example of someone to contact, ask further questions using social media, and examine closely.  I will eventually get the items here from my first days of the conference, but every once in a while, there will be an impressive injection of items that are way too cool to wait on.  So on my Author Strand session, one of three authors – Alan Sitomer,

talked about his books, below is his awesome info –





Alan Lawrence Sitomer –

Mr. Sitcomer is on the far right!

Another interview here online:

Frequently Asked Questions: 


The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez

Hip Hop School


The Hoopster

Nerd Girls                          

The Down Side of Being Up

Daddies Do it Different



Videos on UTube:

Comments he made about his novels and reading in general:

“Kids will want to take ownership.” regarding what they read.

“Their worlds will explode.”

“The power of books to shape people is undeniable!”

“Reader text 1 on 1 has the ability to move the human soul.”

“If I do not nourish myself with books I feel myself becoming empty.”

“We are on the frontlines of fighting that fight.”  – Speaking of teachers having to defend fiction over non-fiction reading due to, the increasing pressure for more non fiction books required for standards.

“The Magic Triangle”  – He needs to explain this…I missed this explanation in his presentation..

“Hemmingway lexiles out about 610 on a lexile reading scale.”

“Reader and task is the most significant aspect of common core.”

“The Landscape of America’s common core is shifting.”

“Common core is reshaping the landscape of classroom curricular content.”

Feels there is a war coming, war regarding  Digital versus print.

This war is like Goldilock titles versus rigorous text.

“Kids will read and need to read.”

“As a kid I liked school. I liked books.  I liked homework, I was a latch key kid, I liked work that spoke to me.”

Books are, “An escape from chaos.”

“Bibliotherapy kept me sane.”

“As an author, I often see how the magic of reading is shaping others lives.”

“I am an underdog author.” – meaning he is the type of author that sees the underdog through every time, he likes to see the character save the day.

“They (his main characters) retain a sense of dignity, that  is who I am as an author.”

Talks about his Book – Homeboyz (addressing gang violence).

“I see students  all the time that never read a whole book.”

He wrote The secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez – latina integrated theme into classroom, he listened to the stories from illegal parent backgrounds, they are first generation individuals, they write about 7 people in their family – for their familia.  Their situations speak to him as a writer.

Culture and stereotypes – from his approach to books he began to receive letters which he shared.

Tapping into the power of Hip Hop , he created a book on this music genre.

His website is very accessible (see at the top of this post).

 “I am a dad , 2 children writing to write for his own children, Daddies do it Different”

He never met his illustrator – the editor dictated the illustrations for his books.

Wrote Nerd Girls, – wrote books about what he saw his girls would be in a positive light.

“Mean, nasty girls as role models trouble me.”

His facebook is very accessible and very active to his audience.

“Books can be amazing tools to help students deal with issues.”

We are already seeing an assault on YA lit as if it’s not “credible enough” or “deserving enough.”

“I fear we’re going to see an assault on fiction from those who don’t realize or understand.”

“Book didn’t just save me, they’ve saved many many others.”

“Own your professionalism and Fight the good fight.” – regarding promoting YA literature and reading among children.

Alan Sitomer site


The AlanSitomer Book Jam


About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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