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A group of Carver Middle School students wrote essays that are compiled in a new book called "Voices from the Middle." The idea for the book came from a conversation between teacher Barbara Kraft and Lee Fredrickson, the parent of a Carver student. Fredrickson published the book, which is now available to the public. KSMU's Missy Shelton recently spoke with Barbara Kraft about the book.
Missy: What topics are covered in this book?
Barabra: There's a sports section, a section on pets and then a general section for general stories from life. I would say the students wrote a little about everything: relationships, bad experiences they've had. One was written about the tornados we had a couple of years ago. Others were written about friendships. Somethings they don't understand about life, betrayals in friendships, things they like to do.
Missy: Sounds like it covers a wide-range of topics.
Barbara: Exactly. It covers the emotions that are typical of the middle school age.
Missy: Does this book appeal to adults?
Barbara: Yes. Anybody in the adult world could understand better how kids are navigating these years. Maybe things are happening in tandem with adult decisions and often we don't think about what kids are going through.
Missy: Was it difficult to guide these young writers?
Barbara: I just said, "Write from the heart." What are you passionate about? What do you care about? I think in that context, they saw that they could write about. They could write about things they don't understand in life like divorce or addiciton on the part of an adult.
Missy: I understand a second edition is planned?
Barbara: Yes. And we're in the early stages. We hope to involve students from other middle schools in town. This would be a nice collaboration.
Missy: Thank you.
Barbara: Thank you.
I've been speaking with Carver Middle School Communication Arts teacher Barbara Kraft. She helped put together the book "Voices from the Middle."