smiling kids holding books in library
Idaho Springs Mayor Chuck Harmon with young authors from Carlson Elementary third grade class Nov. 14. Credit: Chris Koeberl

The culmination of 10 weeks of writing and rewriting in Meghan Phillips’ third grade class was recognized Nov. 14 with a ceremony attended by more than 60 kids, parents and community leaders.

“You need these skills and will use them every day for the rest of your life,” Idaho Springs Mayor Chuck Harmon told the eager students and crowd of proud parents.

The pride in the smile of each young author was evident as each student walked to the front of the room to show off their finished book.

woman in library holding up poster with kids picures
Carlson Elementary third grade teacher Meghan Phillips hold poster of her class who became published authors at Idaho Springs Library Nov. 14. Credit: Chris Koeberl

“To be part of that joy for them and see that pride within them … it’s great,” Phillips said.  

The 10-week project began with each student coming up with an idea and then writing, editing and illustrating their own book, Phillips said.

Published author president of Idaho Springs Friends of the Library, Lisa Manifold, was on hand to encourage the young authors to follow their passion of writing.

“I truly believe everyone has a story to tell, and so if I can help kiddos learn they have a story to tell early on, it makes it easier as they get older,” Manifold said.

Students received a new pen as a symbol of the transition from writer to published author, library Outreach Coordinator Chris Crouse said.

Each book has been cataloged into the library system and is available for checkout to anyone with a library card.

Third grader Edward Ball’s tale of a robot who stands up to help defeat invading monsters only to be challenged by an evil queen who keeps making more and more monsters is available to check out now.

child smiling holding a book in his hands library setting
Third grade Carlson Elementary student Edward Ball holds his newly published book at Idaho Springs Library Nov. 14. Credit: Chris Koeberl

“It’s very fun to write the books and to use your imagination to do different things in your mind,” Ball said. “It’s complicated but also fun.” 

To find out what happens in the end of Ball’s “Mech-Chedets” you’ll have to go to the Idaho Springs library.

“I’m just excited for him that he has something tangible that he created and I know he worked really, really hard on it and we’re just excited for him,” Edward’s mom, Charlie, said.

“Race Cars” is unique in that it’s a bilingual book written in English and Spanish, by Joaquin Utia Carreno. Phillips said he came up with the idea and wrote the dual language story himself.

Other titles on the shelves of the Idaho Springs library include “Ant-Man,” “Ultima Werewolves,” “Spider Man” and “The Fun Begins.”

children's books on a shelf
Young authors from Meghan Phillips’ third grade class at Carlson Elementary in Idaho Springs become published authors though local library Nov. 14. Credit: Chris Koeberl

Each story is unique, the characters, born of a child’s imagination, take life in the carefully written plots of 15 vastly different books, Phillips said.

However, they all conclude with the same words: “The End.”

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