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Canyon High teacher/author finds success with novels depicting real life

Posted: March 23, 2009 6:23 p.m.
Updated: March 23, 2009 4:18 p.m.

Smith's first book "Ghost Medicine" was recently selected by the American Library Association as a "Best Book for Young Adults 2009."

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While many know Andy Smith as an AP Social Studies teacher and rugby coach at Canyon High School, what most people don't know is that he is also an award-winning author of many books.

His first book, "Ghost Medicine" (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan), was recently selected by the American Library Association as a "Best Book for Young Adults 2009." The book is receiving tremendous attention and praise from all over the country, and has actually been chosen by several schools in states as far away as Pennsylvania and Minnesota for use in the classroom.

Smith's second novel, "In the Path of Falling Objects," also from Macmillan, is just now being made available to libraries, booksellers, and reviewers as Advance Reader Copies, with a publication date set in October of this year. The novel tells the story of three brothers in New Mexico, during the Vietnam War, who struggle to hold their family together. Already, the novel is receiving widespread attention and praise.

Both books have also been acquired by Random House for audio versions, and "In the Path of Falling Objects" is set to begin production this June for a fall 2009 release. Smith also has three more novels currently under negotiation with Macmillan; the next, "Winger," most likely to be in bookstores in 2010.

Canyon High School is housing its own (soon to be) famous writer and he is an awesome resource for students and parents, according to English Department Chair Sarah Delawder. The notes that Smith's books are perfect novels for "non readers" as well as avid readers.

Delawder, says about Smith's second book, "Not only could it be a primer for a college-level creative writing class, but it could also be a casual read for someone who HATES READING! It's that good."

Smith started writing novels when he became frustrated that most books for boys involved fantasy and dragons and magicians. He wanted to write books for boys about reality and things real boys actually do. He knew that boys are notorious for not wanting to read and has produced two books which are extremely boy-friendly.

"These are two of the most phenomenal, readable, gripping and original books I've ever read. Every boy will love them," commented Casey Cuny, an English teacher at Canyon High who has done much research in the area of boys and reading.

Parents who want to encourage their kids to read are encouraged to check out resident author Andrew Smith's "Ghost Medicine" in bookstores now and "In the Path of Falling Objects," when it's made available in book stores this fall.

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