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For Kennett Square writer Sue Levine, one of her great joys at this stage in her life is meeting her young, eager fans.
“It’s so hysterical,” said Levine, author of the popular “Susie’s Shoesies” series. “They say, ‘oh my god, there she is! Look at her! Isn’t she pretty?’ It’s darling, and it’s so motivating.”
That feedback is part of the reason Levine made what she called a “concerted effort” to get out and meet those fans in the past year.
To that end, Levine just finished up a coast-to-coast tour of schools and businesses to meet with and connect with fans, and to help remind her fellow educators on the right way to tech reading comprehension to their students.
During that 60-day tour, Levine said she spoke and read chapters of her books at 27 different schools where she met with thousands of children and teachers who were familiar with her works.
Now back home in Kennett, Levine is taking her show to local schools, including two in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District.
At those assemblies, Levine takes the kids through the creative process, discussing how ideas are developed and outlined and then showing then the path from idea to final product.
She also models for the teachers how to tackle the subject matter of her books, which range from bullying to discrimination to cheating, as outlined by a chapter-by-chapter question guide in each book.
“I’m a teacher of teachers, so it’s important to me that they know that they’re not only doing the right thing, they’re doing the right thing the right way,” Levine said.
Levine’s “Susie’s Shoesies” series follows the main characters as they travel back in time, visit a different foreign countries, and meet inspirational women who have changed the course of history. Each book also addresses pressing modern social issues that are explored by looking to the past, where the characters learn how to solve present-day dilemmas.
Levine said that all characters are inspired by real people in her life, including her late brother, Bennett and her grandmother Mary.
“It’s a cathartic process for me,” she said of her writing. “I have also met some amazing people in education that have inspired me, and as I continue to meet new and amazing people, they will inspoire characters in future books.”
During an appearance last week at Unionville Elementary School, Levine said she could see that the teachers there understood how best to address reading comprehension with their students.
“As I am speaking, they’re all nodding, because they know I am doing things the right way,” she said.
Levine will be appearing on Thursday, Nov. 29 at AIM Academy in Conshahocken, Levine will receive an Educator 500 award, sponsored by West Chester University, for her contributions to education. For more information, visit www.susiesshosies.com.
Proceeds from the fourth book in the series, “The Show Must Go On,” go to benefit TOTS Eat program, where middle and high school students Trick or Treat for canned goods for their local food cupboards.