Rarely do classes of Grade 4 and 5 students sit silently in rapt fascination.
“Do you like being told what to do?” Peacock asked his audience of 90 children. “That’s what happens when you watch TV or a movie.”
During his hour-long talk, Peacock explained the importance of reading, and how to make it more interesting.
“When you read the thing you’re into, you really get into it,” Peacock said.
He told the children about his journalism career. He covered sports for a paper but was bored by the routine and mundane stories that made it into the paper. He told the students that he began to read about something bizarre and interesting: sumo wrestling.
But just reading was not simply enough, Peacock said. He went to sumo wrestling events and met with the athletes. He learned about the traditions and the religious elements associated with the sport.
Watching the presentation, the students were engaged, intrigued and occasionally vocal. They laughed and at times expressed their opposition.
Linda Flavell, head librarian at the Highland Creek Public Library, organized the event.
She’d been surprised to get funding to host a guest author, she said. “I couldn’t believe it. I read the memo three times.”
Toronto Public Libraries often host guest authors, but smaller branches like Highland Creek rarely receive such opportunities.
Morrish and Cardinal Leger schools are both within walking distance of the library and were more than happy to participate in the event.
The students eagerly found any piece of paper available to mark the occasion with a signature and quick note from the author.