Label: Kids Write

December 14, 2010

I received a wonderful (electronic) packet of letters today from an elementary school teacher in Casablanca, Morocco. It began with the salutation "Salam Aleikum (peace be upon you - our greeting here)," which I thought was a very nice way to begin my day!

Stars book coverShe sent me some letters written by students in her fifth grade ESL class, who have been studying my book STARS. They asked some great questions, which I thought I would answer here.


Q: (from M’hamed M.) I want to tell you that I loved Stars.  I wonder: why did you change from a teacher to writer?

A: I had been writing science articles and books for many years while I was a teacher, and I finally had so many contracts for new books that I decided to focus full-time on writing. However, I don’t think I’ve ever really stopped being a teacher. As long as I am writing books and visiting schools to speak to kids, I’m still teaching, and that makes me very happy.


Q: (from Ahmed A.) I would love to read the book Cats.  I hope the book Cats is your favorite. 

A: Well, Ahmed, I do love cats very much. You might like to read this story about my two cats, Newty Frewty and Mittens, and how they got their names. Asking an author which is my favorite book is like asking a parent which is their favorite child! I love all my books the same, and if I have a "favorite," it is the one that I am writing at any given moment.


Q: (from Nadia C.) Do you write about dolphins? Do you have children?

A: Yes, Nadia, I have written a book called DOLPHINS. They are wonderful animals, and very intelligent. You might like to read this story about experiments that you and your class can do to learn about dolphins.

Yes, I do have children. My oldest son, Robert, is a professor of Computer Science at George Mason University, outside of Washington, DC. My youngest son, Michael, lives in Los Angeles and is a television director. And I have a step-daughter, Jules, who is studying Literature at American University in Washington, DC.

And finally, Alia Z. shared some wonderful information about STARS in her letter.

(Alia) I am going to tell you wonderful and splendid fact. Stars are red balls of gas. There are millions of stars in one galaxy.  Galileo saw stars that nobody on earth ever saw before.

I am always happy to hear from my readers, and especially pleased when the letters come from overseas. Thanks to all the kids at the George Washington Academy in Casablanca for reading my STARS book and taking the time to write!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Kids Write, Teachers and Librarians, Stars   •  Permalink (link to this article)

June 8, 2010

I read a lot of science fiction when I was a kid. It was reading science fiction that made me so interested in science. In fact, I began writing because of science fiction. I wrote my first book when I was in 2nd grade. It was a book called SPACE MONSTERS. It was about taking a trip to a distant planet, far out in space, and having adventures with the living things on that imaginary planet. I even drew the pictures for my book. Most of the pictures were of what we science fiction fans called BEM’s. Bug Eyed Monsters. I remember that my teacher stapled the pages of my hand-written and illustrated book together and made me read it to the class. That was my first book. Ball players don’t pick up a ball or kick up for the first time in their lives when they’re adults. They begin playing ball when they’re young. The same thing is true of artists, musicians and writers. They begin when they’re young.

Many years after I wrote SPACE MONSTERS in 2nd grade, I wrote it again (a bit differently) and it was published. It’s a kind of history of my reading Science Fiction stories in books and magazines and also watching SciFi on television and in films. Are you becoming an author? What are you writing about? Write a note to me on my site and tell me. Best story I get from an elementary school student by the end of the summer gets a free copy of a book of mine (your choice) and gets his/her story published on my blog! 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Becoming a writer, Contests, Kids Write, Space Monsters, Science Fiction   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 26, 2010

Hi my name is Spencer G. and I am doing a research project for school. I told my mom I wanted to interview you for my ‘Origins of the Sun’ project. I could not believe it when she told me she had gotten in touch with you and to leve my questions here for you!
1. What role did the sun play in the formation of the Milkyway?
2. What role did the planets play in the formation of the sun?
3. What role diddid the sun play in the formation of the planets?
4. What role did the stars, (other then the sun,) play in the formation of the sun?
Thanks so much for answering!

Hi Spencer! Good for you to be doing research on a project like this!

Briefly, our sun is only one tiny star in the billions of stars that make up the Milky Way Galaxy. So the question might really be the reverse: How was the sun (and all the other stars) born in the Milky Way Galaxy? Stars (like the sun) are constantly being born in spots called "star nurseries" in galaxies.

The planets were formed in a somewhat different manner and that is also rather complex. Again briefly, the planets formed from hot gases similar to the sun, but the gases cooled, other elements formed from the gases that were cooling and the planets were born. Finally, the other stars really had no role in the formation of our own sun. All the stars (including the sun) were formed in the same manner.

Hope this helps starting your research Spencer! Good luck on your project. You will be able to find more information in my books: THE SUN and OUR SOLAR SYSTEM. You should be able to find these books in your school library, or your local public library.

Good luck with your report!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Kids Write, space books, Solar System, planets   •  Permalink (link to this article)

November 11, 2009

Dear Seymour,

Thank you for the spider book!!! I like the cover. I think the book is molting, look at the picture. I love tarantulas. What do black widow’s fangs look like?




Posted by: Liz Nealon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Kids Write, Seymour Simon, Spiders   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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