Last Wednesday we had a great author visit with Ridley Pearson. Both the Peter and the Starcatchers and the Kingdom Keepers series are very popular in our library.
Much like when Frank Beddor visited, I now hear Ridley Pearson’s voice when I read his work. I’m on Kingdom Keepers III right now and many of the real-life stories Ridley shared made it into the book. The characters visit the abandoned carousel room, find the maintenance journal for Soarin’, and ride on a crazed Test Track.
If you ever get a chance to host Ridley, take it. He’s a very interesting individual. Last year he taught English at a university in China and was a substitute teacher in St. Louis. Ridley is very successful – he doesn’t need the extra money. He loves working with students. Every chance he gets he teaches To Kill a Mockingbird, one of my favorite books to read and teach.
He’s in a band with Matt Groening, Amy Tan, Stephen King, Mitch Albom, and Dave Barry. Those have got to be some fun rehearsals. It was during one of those band sessions that Dave Barry and he decided to write Peter and the Starcatchers.
As if that wasn’t interesting enough, he has a pass to get into any Disney location for free at any time. He just calls up, says he needs to do some research, and an Imagineer hooks him up. Ridley showed some spooky photos from It’s a Small World at 5 am. If you’ve read the first Kingdom Keepers book, you know what that’s about.
Ridley was a good mix of fun insider stories about Disney and an experienced perspective on the writing process. He also loved what we’re doing at our school, so I pass the applause on to the teachers for fostering an enjoyment of reading in our students.