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Children's author visits Franklin Co. schools

Students react to having author in their classroom

(CEDAR GROVE, Ind.) -- A popular children's book illustrator and author is visiting with elementary students in Franklin County this week.

Will Hillenbrand grew up in Cincinnati and found a passion for illustration and storytelling as a child listening to stories at his father's barbershop.

He has published more than 75 books and has received numerous accolades including Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators, ALA Notable Book Award, IRA Children’s Choice Awards and Best Children’s Books of the Year.

Hillenbrand visited Laurel Elementary and Brookville Elementary before stopping by Mt. Carmel School on Wednesday.

He presented some of his books and illustrations that range from the Declaration of Independence to Dracula. Hillenbrand uses his time with the children to inspire them to pursue their passions in life.

"I want to allow them to see the story that is inside themselves. Nobody has seen the world the way they have," said Hillenbrand. "And to be able to allow them to see that they are a story, to connect with other stories, and to be able to find the richness and detail within stories that can lighten and enliven their life."

The 812 spoke with three Mt. Carmel fifth graders who were very impressed by Hillenbrand's visit.

"It's awesome and its cool to have him here. And also because he's an artist makes me like him even more. Because I'm a landscape artist and a lot of times when I'm at home I'll get a piece of paper and think of what kind of landscape I want to do," said Alex Norman.

Fifth grader Bailey Cochran said, "I really like author visits. It's probably my favorite day of the school year. And I always look forward to seeing new authors every year. So it felt pretty good to finally meet a new author again."

Another student, Bentley Barrett, loves drawing animals and is inspired by Hillenbrand's books.

"It's amazing to see how hard it is to draw the type of stuff he draws and crazy he has that kind of talent," Barrett said. "I read a lot of his books. And I just love reading his books and it's a blessing to see him come to our school."

Hillenbrand speaks with Alex and Bentley


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