This May 23rd Living Bookshelf and Elkins Park School will welcome Rita Garcia-Williams author of “One Crazy Summer”  to the performance day of 8 songs written by the 6th graders of EP School.  All 8 songs are inspired by her book “One Crazy Summer”.

OCS-1-197x300The performance day is a full day including a talk with the author, writing workshops with the author, student coaching of professional singers who will perform the songs, rehearsal of singers with the school orchestra and the performance.  As with past projects, four professional singers will perform the songs that the students have created.

The Living Bookshelf songwriting project is a year long special event at Elkins Park that includes the whole 6th grade.   Beginning in the fall, assisted by their reading teachers, students read and study a chosen book. Once the book is read, teaching artists Connie Koppe and Bunni Feingold guide the students through writing lyrics for the book and teaching artist/composer John Krumm assists them to create music for their lyrics.  Students also create invitations, a program and painted backdrops, involving several teachers from the school.


We are all excited to meet Rita Garcia-Williams and hear her talk about her writing and “One Crazy Summer”.

rita1Author of several  award winning novels, Rita Williams-Garcia continues to break new ground in young people’s literature. Known for their realistic portrayal of teens of color, Williams-Garcia’s works have been recognized by the Coretta Scott King Award Committee, PEN Norma Klein, American Library Association, and Parents’ Choice, among others. She recently served on the National Book Award Committee for Young People’s Literature and is on faculty at Vermont College MFA Writing for Children and Young People.

“I was born in Queens, N.Y, on April 13, 1957. My mother, Miss Essie, named me ‘NoMo’ immediately after my birth. Although I was her last child, I took my time making my appearance. I like to believe I was dreaming up a good story and wouldn’t budge until I was finished. Even now, my daughters call me ‘Pokey Mom’, because I slow poke around when they want to go-go-go.

“I learned to read early, and was aware of events going on as I grew up in the 60s. In the midst of real events, I daydreamed and wrote stories. Writing stories for young people is my passion and my mission. Teens will read. They hunger for stories that engage them and reflect their images and experiences.”

For more information about this performance email Living Bookshelf at

More information about our teaching artists and singers coming soon.

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