Famous Authors Inspire Young Writers At Polo Park

Kwame Alexander takes a selfie with students.

World-renowned writers connected with students and promoted literacy during this year’s Author’s Showcase at Polo Park Middle School in Wellington.

The event, sponsored by the Palm Beach Book Festival, featured writers like James Patterson, Kwame Alexander and Nancy Castaldo. The authors spoke to the entire student body on Friday, April 12, answering questions about writing and their connection to middle schoolers.

Patterson conducted a Q&A, while Alexander gave a unique performance, which included personal stories, poetry, rap and music that captivated the audience.

Alexander told students he became a writer because “teens look for a better world in between the pages of a book, and I wanted to be a part of that.”

In Alexander’s poetry pieces, he discusses parts of his life, like trying out for school sports, asking girls out and finding his eventual wife.

Patterson had a similar message. He answered questions about character development, his career and even some personal details. His latest venture is a collaboration book titled The President is Missing that he co-wrote with former President Bill Clinton.

At the end of the event, students were given the opportunity to have the authors sign copies of their books.

“I enjoyed the singing and the book signing because the authors were very friendly,” seventh-grader Mycaina Paul said.

The event came to Polo Park due in part to Palm Beach Book Festival Founder & Creative Director Lois Cahall’s passion for promoting and sustaining literacy in schools.

The nonprofit organization is dedicated to nurturing the written word for the adults and children of the community.