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Some of my students and I had a cool experience today: we got to meet and hang with Jonny Sun, author and illustrator of everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too.
I’ve kicked off the past two semesters of my Graphic Novel course with this book. I love it, and it works superbly as not only an introduction to the medium because of its simple art style but also because it shows that simple does not mean not complex.
I’ve developed some fairly involved lesson plans around the book, and because of my passion for the book as well as the book’s natural cultural appeal, my students have loved it as well. So when I saw that Jonny Sun was coming to the Chicago area, I knew that I needed to bring some kids. And today, that’s what I did:
I took seven kids in a short, white bus, and we drove to Anderson’s Bookstore in beautiful downtown LaGrange, IL. We met Jonny for some coffee, and we chatted about his craft for an hour before the book event. He is such a cool guy. My kids were nervous around him, although I’m not sure why. Yes, he’s an amazing talent, but he’s super humble.
Before the signing, he did a bit of reading from aliebn:
It was very intimate and cozy. Then he chatted with, took pictures with, and signed for everyone in line, including giving out these beautiful prints:
When all was said and done, I also took my students to a comic book store in the area, and we went out to lunch after. It was a nice Sunday exploring the book culture of LaGrange! Yeah, I did give up almost seven hours of my Sunday, but it was totally worth it. Sometimes these enrichment activities do not happen during school hours, and we, as teachers, do what we can do to give our students experiences they might not have had without us.
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