Courage to Express Their Fears

Scary Fables by Class 1-157 at C.S. 21

Author Susanna Pitzer was greeted with shrieks and hugs from the first-graders at CS 21. Looks like it’s time for a book release party!


A couple weeks ago, the students read Not Afraid of Dogs by Susanna Pitzer, which depicts a young boy who overcomes his fear of dogs. Then, the class created a collaborative story about a friendly, dessert-eating vampire. But soon it was time to pen their own narratives, all paired with crayon and watercolor illustrations, about characters facing their fears.  Scary Fables is the final outcome of their courageous tales.

At the book release party, Pitzer scrolled through the pages of Scary Fables on the classroom’s Smart Board. The students’ eyes lit up with excitement as they recognized their names.


Each student stood up and read the title of his or her story to the class. Some were shy, some more verbose, but all were very enthusiastic about their published pieces.


Executive Director Jo Umans supports one shy student as she reads her work.

In “Not Afraid of the Dark,” Brianna voices her fears about not wearing glasses in her room at night.


A student named Cassius recalled an illustration from the story “Not Afraid of Frogs,” which demonstrates the power of realistic pictures.


Book release parties allow students to witness their mastery of reading and writing. Clearly, celebrations are effective, because the students were overcome with an enormous amount of self-confidence and pride in the classroom-turned-stage. Whatever initial fears they had about reading aloud were certainly crushed by the end of the day!

Read the whole book on our website!


One thought on “Courage to Express Their Fears

  1. Pingback: Behind the Book Staff Take a Field Trip | Behind the Book

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s