Today we celebrated Melbourne Jewish Book Week at Bialik with our Middle school students having the opportunity to participate workshops conducted by 3 different Jewish authors.
All Year 6 students engaged in a workshop with Ursula Dubosarsky. Ursula Dubosarsky is from Sydney and is a prize winning children’s writer who has been nominated for both the Astrid Lindgren and Hans Christian Anderson awards, the most prestigious children’s awards worldwide. Ursula ran a workshop based on her latest poetic novel ‘The Blue Cat’ which is set in Sydney 1942 and revolves around the arrival of refugees from Europe.  
Some of the Year 7 and 8 students spent an hour with Damon Young. Damon is an Honorary Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne and is a prize-winning philosopher and writer. He is the author of seven books, including How to Think About Exercise, Philosophy in the Garden, Distraction and The Art of Reading and is currently writing a novel for young adults. Damon’s works are published internationally in English and translation, and he has also written poetry and short fiction. In his one hour session at Bialik, Damon shared his thoughts on digital technologies and their role in distraction. He then turned the students’ attention to the real origins of distraction: our very human capacity to muddle what’s important in life, or clumsily let it go. He discussed freedom as an important existential goal, and some ways to enhance it, e.g. time off screens, exercise and communication. Read more about Damon here.
And finally, all of our Year 9 students heard from Nicki Greenberg. Nicki is an award winning writer and illustrator who has published picture books, middle grade fiction and the astonishing graphic novel versions of ‘Hamlet’ and ‘The Great Gatsby’. She spoke about how she came to interpret these major classics into the inventive works that ensued. She also focussed on what lead her to write these graphic novels and the techniques she used (eg making people into animals).  She then lead into workshopping her ideas with the students.
To see more of what is on offer during Melbourne Jewish Book Week for the wider community visit this link
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