Fourth Grade Students Interview "The Lemonade War" Author Jacqueline Davies

On Thursday, May 28, the ICS fourth grade students enjoyed a Zoom Meeting with author, Jacqueline Davies. Ms. Davies has written a wide variety of books - from fiction chapter books for young readers all the way to nonfiction books! Mrs. Silk’s class is currently reading one of her books, The Lemonade War, as their virtual read-aloud.

Ms. Davies gave a presentation (and a sneak peak into her brand new, unreleased book!) that described the entire process of how a book gets made. She started with her job—the writing. The author writes a manuscript as the first draft of her story. Then, she sends it to her editor for revisions. The editor then writes all kinds of notes all over the page that will help make the story even better. Ms. Davies said, “Revision is hard, but revision is where the best writing comes from.” The next step in the process involves choosing an illustrator. Ms. Davies told the class that had to choose between hundreds and hundreds of illustrators! Once she finally chooses, the illustrator creates “character sketches.” These are just lots of sketches of characters in different positions, with different facial expressions, and just in different forms. The author and editor give their feedback and the illustrator makes rough sketches of the actual story. This step in the process can take quite a bit of time! Eventually, color is added to the pictures and then a physical soft cover copy of the book gets sent out to the author, librarians, and teachers to “test out”. Finally, the book gets made into a final hard back version!

This whole process can vary in length. Ms. Davies told the class that The Lemonade War only took 19 days to write the manuscript, and another book only took her one six-hour plane ride. However, sometimes books take a lot longer. One of her books took 10 years to write and then another 1-1.5 years to publish.

The students asked great questions about what inspired her to be an author (reading A LOT as a kid and having good teachers!) and how she got the idea for The Lemonade War (Her two sons were fighting about starting a lemonade stand one day and she thought, “this is going to be a lemonade war!”). The class had a great time and could have continued asking questions for hours! Thank you to Jacqueline Davies for providing the ICS fifth grade students with great, unique insight into what it’s like to be an author.