To share their Lilliputian literary feats, more than 200 children in the Summer Academic Program for Elementary School Students at Cal State Northridge gathered for an outdoor writers convention to read from the books, reports and articles they had written.
The young writers composed their works in the creative writing, report writing and journalism classes at CSUN, and read and discussed them at the Young Authors Fair on Thursday as a culmination to the summer program.
The goal of the fair is to get youngsters in grades one through six to take pride in their accomplishments, said Arlinda Eaton, director of the summer program, who has found that the children involved come to consider themselves published authors.
"Some of the books have their picture on the back with a blurb that says, 'This is Matthew's third book. . . ,' " Eaton said with a chuckle. She has found that the students are very enthusiastic about sharing their work.
"They read to the group, show them the illustrations and the group talks about the book, asking questions like 'What made you think of that?' "
The fictional pieces range from that of 7-year-old Colette Yee of Northridge, whose pop-up book "Susan's Walk" shows a little girl's walk over mountains and under bridges, to Granada Hills resident Denny Wu's gruesome action-adventure novella "The Ninjas," in which the bad guys have their noses sliced off, get chopped up into little pieces and have their houses blown up.
"I like karate because I like blood," said Denny, looking forward to a career as a kung fu novelist.
Future journalist Nicole Diamond, 10, of Northridge said she enjoys writing profiles such as the one she did about one of the summer program's teachers, Cindy Bean. Nicole reported: "It's a lot of fun to get to interview people and find out more about them."
Journalism instructor Linda Marsh, who led one of the discussion groups at the fair, said: "They are all very good writers and they learn to develop their language arts skills."