Four fifth-grade students at Westridge Elementary School have high hopes that their book will be published in Scholastic’s annual nationwide Kids Are Authors Contest.
The students – Meredith Neal, Lauren Gilbert, Chloe Edwards and Allie Melhorn – took on the project in the Extended Learning Program, according to a story on the West Des Moines Community School District’s web site.
“We spent some time looking through picture books to find what makes a good book,” Nancy Foley, the students’ ELP teacher said “They came up with the idea of using idioms and researched idioms to decide which ones we wanted to use.”
One example they used was “cat got your tongue.”
“The story is about a boy who goes to a new school and they’re using all this funny language,” Neal said. “It’s actually idioms and he doesn’t know that, so he’s taking it literally and thinking the literal meaning.”
Students sacrificed their recess time and got together on weekends to complete the project over four months.
“They were hard workers,” Foley said. “They just got so into it. We learned a lot about writing and great word choice and editing.”
The students continued the idiom theme in the dedication and their submission to Scholastic.
The book is dedicated to “teachers at Westridge who bend over backward to help inspire and challenge us every day.”
Their entry was wrapped in a purple satin ribbon with a note that encouraged the contest judges to “judge this book by its cover.”
Winners will be announced May 31. The grand prize winner gets $5,000 for the school library and 100 copies of the published book.