Barrett Starting Her Second Children's Book


Thursday, November 5, 2009                                                                                           Buy Now

Virginia Burroughs - Staff Writer, Dayton Daily NewsMarcella Barrett may be a math and science teacher, but she’s always loved reading and writing, too. And now, she’s published her first children’s book and is working on a second.

Barrett and her husband, Dan, New York natives, moved to Harrison Twp. 20 years ago. “I’d worked with kids forever, starting at our church with neighborhood kids and the youth group,” she said. “I always wanted to help children, so thought I could do more in a classroom.”

She returned to school, and for the past seven years has taught sixth grade students at Valerie Elementary School. Last year, she took her love of reading, writing and children to another venue.

“My husband and I were walking in Centennial Park in Englewood over summer break last year and came on this tree covered with paper and nails, probably old signs.
Trees have feelings too, although science would disagree with me. But, they’re alive.
Click image to enlarge
Valerie Elementary School student Joquan Thomas reads “And the Tree Cried Out” to teacher-author Marcella Barrett and fellow students Joey Byrd and Michael Mathews. Contributed photo  We haven’t broken even yet, but I’m sure we will.”

Before the book was even published by the couple, Barrett had already started on a second one, with the same characters – Rodney and Alex. “I didn’t put ‘the end’ on the first book, because I knew it would continue,” she said.

In her second book, The Detour, the characters start out on an adventure, taking several detours that give them problems, "but in the end, everything’s OK," said Barrett. "The message is that things don’t always go right, but there can still be a positive ending."

Her students are pleased to have a published author as a teacher, and last year’s class even got a sneak review of And The Tree Cried Out before it was published.

“The kids at Valerie have been very positive, and have posted lots of comments on the Web site.”

Although she says her books “are targeted for grades 4-6, there are lessons to be learned by all ages.”
(above) Valerie Elementary School student Joquan Thomas reads "And the Tree Cried Out" to teacher-author Marcella Barrett and fellow students Joey Byrd and Michael Mathews.
Contributed photo
 “I thought about how we abuse trees, then about how we  abuse the elderly and each other – unintentionally."

Barrett went home and wrote down her ideas. “I started writing the story about a week later, and worked on it for four or five months. Then, I put it aside.”

But, this past March, she went back to the story for revisions and editing.

Her husband did the illustrations and in September, her first book, And the Tree Cried Out, was published.
The message is to respect each other and the environment,” she said.

In addition to being the illustrator, Dan is also helping Marcella promote the book. “He’s very involved,” she said.

She was asked to do a book signing at the Children’s Book Fest at The Greene last month. “We had a lot of interaction with kids, and there was lots of interest from adults,” she said. “We sold a lot of books, and have gotten  orders from our Web site,

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