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’Michigan Chillers’ author visits Pine Island

Tells students reading is ‘somewhere you go’

Photography by Dianne Carroll Burdick

Comstock Park — As Johnathan Rand, aka Christopher Knight (both pseudonyms of Christopher Tod Wright) walked the halls of Pine Island Elementary, many students recognized him immediately because of his funky sunglasses. 

The author spoke to an assembly at the school for about an hour on March 23 and entertained students about the importance of reading. Known for the “American Chillers” and “Michigan Chillers” series with titles like “Mayhem on Mackinac Island” and “Terror Strikes Traverse City,” along with other children’s books and adult novels, Wright told the students that reading can lead them on so many adventures. 

“Reading isn’t something you do, it is somewhere you go,” Wright told the students.

Related: Imagining future careers, inspired to keep learning

Christopher Tod Wright and the students and teachers give their best interpretation of creepy creatures and strange monsters
Mrs. Altman’s third-grade class loves Christopher Tod Wright telling his stories

One student from each classroom, selected for his or her participation in the school-wide reading challenge, met with the author after the assembly. 

The assembly was part of Reading Month celebrations that included guest readers and teacher swaps for read-alouds. Classes also tallied their minutes to be counted in a March Madness bracket where classes competed against one another for total minutes read each week. 

Stephanie Whitmore’s fourth-grade class  won a mystery prize with Principal Brian Morrison for the most minutes read each week. Pine Island students reached their goal of more than 95,450 minutes of reading time.

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Karen Gentry
Karen Gentry covers Comstock Park. She moved to the Grand Rapids area in the mid-1980s and has been a resident of Comstock Park since 2002. She understands the complexity, rewards and challenges of the teaching profession as she has five years of experience as a high school teacher at River Valley High School in Three Oaks, Mich. and St. Stephen High School in Saginaw. As a reporter for the Advance Newspapers and Mlive she covered Sparta, Kent City and Northview schools. She is happy to be a part of the great team of journalists at School News Network and writing about Comstock Park Public Schools. She is a graduate of Lake Michigan Catholic High School in St Joseph, Michigan and Central Michigan University. Read Karen's full bio

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