Rye Neck Middle School students welcomed award-winning author Nora Raleigh Baskin to their school on Sept. 26. Her visit culminated a study of her book “Anything but Typical,” which all incoming middle school students read over the summer.

During assemblies with each grade level, Baskin talked about the inspirations behind her books and shared how she’s overcome obstacles in her life. She also discussed the writing and research process and encouraged students to ask questions and make discoveries on their own. 

“Meeting an author who reveals her flaws and humanity and talks about the hurdles she has had to overcome can empower our students to work toward their dreams,” said Library Media Specialist Linda Costelloe, who organized the PTSA-sponsored event along with parent Alana Sanko. 

Prior to Baskin’s visit, the students participated in a number of activities around “Anything but Typical.” They discussed the book’s characters and story elements, and teachers ensured that students had a thorough understanding of the book. Guidance counselors Meegan Lawlor and Christopher Spillane used the book as a springboard for discussions on empathy and acceptance. 

“Hearing an author’s story firsthand can add so much to our students’ understanding or appreciation of the work,” Costelloe said. “It allows them to enjoy a dialog about the work that can't be gained through a website or Wikipedia page.”

Following her meeting with each grade level, Baskin was treated to a special lunch session with representatives from each class.

For more information about the author, visit her website at www.norabaskin.com