Author brings history and writing lessons

Photo by Joyce Ervin Claudia Whitsitt, author of “Between the Lines” is photographed addressing fourth-grade students at Heritage Elementary School.

Photo by Joyce Ervin
Claudia Whitsitt, author of “Between the Lines” is photographed addressing fourth-grade students at Heritage Elementary School.


By Joyce Ervin

Fourth-grade students at Heritage Elementary School were pleased to have the award-winning author of “Between the Lines”, Claudia Whitsitt, visit and share a brief history and writing lesson.
With her book set in the racially-charged aftermath of the 1967 Detroit riots, Whitsitt’s presentation included background information on the Civil Rights Movement and historical facts pertaining to the riots.  
She also provided the students with tips to spruce up their prose with a verb game in which students are challenged to use verbs with attitude.  An example would be rather than using the word ran, substitute dart.  For the word walk, one might chose, saunter.  
Whitsitt  was pleased that the students understood the writing strategy “show don’t tell”  describes how a character feels rather than just stating it.   She said, “They understood “show don’t tell” and were excited to share their writing process with me.”
In the book, three girls meet after the riots and as  self-proclaimed Dream Girls, they challenge bigotry and intolerance, willing to do whatever it takes to hold onto what’s most precious to them all, their friendship. 
 Whitsitt carries forward the importance of friendship  by encouraging the students to take the “Between the Lines” challenge whereby they agree to hand out five compliments each day to instill confidence in their fellow man and do their part to change the world.
The book has won an Honorable Mention in the 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards in the middle grades/young adult category.
A former school teacher, Whitsitt is comfortable in a classroom and has addressed 5,000 students this year. Teachers interested in having her visit their school can contact Whitsitt through her website atwww.claudiawhitsitt.com.
Joyce Ervin is a freelance writer reporting on Saline.  She can be contacted at:  jlervin42 [at] yahoo [dot] com.

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