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Renowned author brings real world experience to students

By RHMS eighth grade student Rin Wallace; courtesy photo

The 22nd of September seemed like a normal day for your run-of-the-mill students, but not for the Nighthawks of Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS).  In the eighth grade Explorers wing, Ms. Holmstad’s language arts classes had the opportunity to hear Tanya Lee Stone speak to them.  Stone is the groundbreaking author of children’s books, youth fiction, and nonfiction alike, and the winner of several prestigious awards.  Stone charmed her audience with unique and relatable stories, telling the classes about her experiences with writing.
Last fall, Stone celebrated her 100th book and she still plans to write many more.  Currently she’s working on a book called “Girl Rising” that powerfully speaks about the lack of girls being educated in third world countries.  Her books are powerful and meaningful and Stone credits part of this unique aspect to her childhood.  Stone grew up in Vermont, where she discovered new things and went on exciting adventures.  Stone’s mother worked as a librarian and her father as a professor and a writer, so she practically grew up around books.

Stone told the classes about the way that she writes her nonfiction stories, or as she likes to call them, true stories.  “I felt that she had some great quotes to give us and some ideas on how she perceived the field of writing,” stated Castle Pines student Carter Brand.  “One of them was how she preferred to call a nonfiction story a true story instead because it made sense to her and helped her understand her writing better.”

The amount of research she puts into every word was mind-blowing.  “I feel like she taught us some great techniques on how to write,” remarked Castle Pines student Ethan Mead.  “For example, many kids want a rough draft to be perfect, but a rough draft is just putting your ideas on to paper.”

The inspiration for her books is real, and Stone said that she has never written about anything she didn’t feel passionate about.  Stone left real ideas in the hearts of RHMS students that day, and it surely is not an experience they will be forgetting any time soon.  “I think that her visit was really cool.  She taught us a lot about how to write a book, and gave us some great pointers on writing,” stated Ian Fleming.  With every student on the edge of their seat, it was clear to everyone that her visit really put the ‘present’ in presentation!  To learn more about Tanya Lee Stone please visit



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