It’s been a quiet morning here. As I work on grad school and lesson plans, my 13-year-old son is reading nearby.

Cole reading

A few weeks ago S.A. Bodeen spoke at the English Festival in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The students attending had read her book The Raft, but she spoke about quite a bit about one of her first books, The Compound at the event. She emphasized to the students how many times she had to write and re-write to get the book ready for publication. It was a huge challenge that she gave up on multiple times, but eventually successfully published.

I am go grateful for Bodeen’s powerful message. As a parent and teacher I am around 11-14 year-olds who are constantly struggling to preserver. It’s an age when they are discovering who they are as well as how others see them. Far too often coaches, administrators, teachers, music directors, and parents give up on them – emphasizing natural ability over hard work. When piano lessons get hard – it’s time to quit and try something new. This seems to be the mentality rather than, “head back to the piano bench and try it another 53 times – I bet you’ll get it right with a little hard work.”

My son has had his share of these negative messages sent him and after hearing the author, asked me to buy him a copy of The Compound to have signed. He is a chapter away from finishing up the book – then off to practice violin and later this week his English teacher / mother will have him writing a research paper. It’s part of a busy productive life that will challenge him to preserver if he is to be successful.

Thank you S.A. Bodeen for your wonderful books that help him to be a strong reader, but more important, your message that lets him know working hard a normal, expected part of accomplishing something great. It’s truly a message worth sharing.


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