—Newcomer Talitha Bateman Shines in “So B. It” Movie — a Heartbreaking Story that Will Leave You Smiling – 24 May
I had the pleasure of visiting LIBERTY MIDDLE SCHOOL in Liberty, New York this spring. The local paper was there to report on the event.
So B. It
Liberty Middle School hosts Author Day
May 27, 2016
By Autumn Schanil – staff writer
Students from grades 7 and 8 attended the 60-minute presentation by author Sarah Weeks, excitingly interacting with Weeks and asking questions about her books and the upcoming movie based on her novel “So B. It.”
LIBERTY — Everyone has held a book between their hands or pages between their fingers in school, browsing through the local book store, perusing your grandmother’s bookshelves or laying under the sun.
Without authors and writers who spend much of their time lost in thought, churning ideas, rewriting and editing their own words, those books you’ve touched wouldn’t exist.
And so, in celebration of those who create and entice us to read, the Liberty Middle School Parent Teacher Association (PTA), sponsored Author Day on May 19.
Jill Parks, the School Media Specialist, worked her magic and invited author Sarah Weeks to give two separate presentations, the first to grades 5 and 6, followed by grades 7 and 8.
“When I read Sarah Weeks’ book ‘So B. It,’ I absolutely loved it,” said Parks to the students seated inside the gymnasium, “and I told everyone that they had to read it.
Then when I found out they were making a movie based on it, I thought this year would be the perfect opportunity for her to come and speak to all of you.”
Originally born in Michigan, Weeks now resides in Nyack with her husband. She also has a house near Callicoon Center, where she lives part-time.
“I was always the odd duck in my family,” said Weeks to the young students seated around her. “I was never very good at math or history or geography. I just loved to write stories and songs and poems and plays.
“Luckily I had parents who really appreciated that and encouraged me to follow my creative side.”
Weeks has written nearly 50 books, ranging from novels to chapter books, and from children’s picture books to early readers and lift-the-flap books.
On her website she says “I’m one of those writers who believes in the idea that it’s best to write what you know.”
And for Weeks, that’s animals, kids, and parts of Sullivan County.
Much of her book “So B. It,” which was released in 2004, takes place in the Town of Liberty and, as Parks said, has recently been made into a major motion picture.
The novel follows a young girl named Heidi, who has a mentally disabled mother. Heidi goes on an adventure in search of the meaning of the word “soof,” a word that only her mother seems to say.
“The release date of the film is unknown still,” said Weeks, “but the filming is finished.”
The Liberty Middle School students listened intently to Weeks as she explained her processes of writing, talked about her books and the experience of being on set during filming.
When it was time for a Q & A, students eagerly raised their hands.
“How do you choose the names of the characters in your books?” asked one student.
“When did you write your first story?” asked another.
After answering as many questions as she could, Weeks concluded by saying, “If you enjoy writing and being creative, then just do it. Write, tell stories, eavesdrop and notice everything. Pick out details about things that you find interesting.”
As the hour came to an end, the students could be heard chatting excitingly as they filed out of the gymnasium, down the hallways and back to their classrooms.