Courtesy photoBrains: Students at a Belmont school put their heads together to write “Zombies Kidnapped Our Teacher.”

Courtesy photoBrains: Students at a Belmont school put their heads together to write “Zombies Kidnapped Our Teacher.”

‘Zombies’ adds life to school’s book fundraiser

Karen Ramorino’s second grade has had an interesting year. First, their teacher was kidnapped. Then, they stumbled across a hidden portal that led them into a magical land where tacos grow on trees.

“My favorite part was when the squirrels started attacking us,” said Skylar Yoshimura.

Skylar and her classmates at Benjamin Fox Elementary School, in Belmont, might be ordinary second-graders, but they also recently became characters in their own adventure novel, a 110-page book that they wrote and illustrated themselves.

“Zombies Kidnapped Our Teacher” started as an idea for the school’s annual fundraiser, said Becky Scott, a PTA volunteer whose daughter is in the class.

Scott led the students in a brainstorming session at the beginning of October. The children sketched out the bones of a plot, voted on ideas and then broke out into smaller groups to concentrate on each section of the story.

“I had no idea what they were going to say or where the story was going to go,” said Scott, who transcribed the children’s ideas.

“It was hilarious,” Ramorino said. “I’ve never been in a story before. At one point they had me riding an ostrich.”

After the manuscript was complete, Scott published it through the website Bookemon.com. When she brought the first professional-looking copies to school, the children were amazed.

“It was hard to believe we started out with just these little words and it turned into this big book,” said student Elle Horst. “It’s fun to think that we wrote it.”

The PTA has sold 60 copies of the book, raising more than $1,600 for the school. More copies are available by emailing the creators or at a book-signing today at 2 p.m. at the Belmont Public Library.

With some of the children already planning their next forays into fiction, their teacher was imagining their illustrious futures.

“We read lots of stories, and I love when the writers say, ‘I started writing when I was 7 years old,’” Ramorino said. “For them to realize they can become authors, too, I think that was the best part.”

acrawford@sfexaminer.com

Zombies Kidnapped Our Teacher

  • To obtain a copy of the book, email 2ndgradezombies@gmail.com

Bay Area NewseducationLocal

Just Posted

Cyclists and runners move along JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park near the de Young Museum and the Music Concourse on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Your chance to weigh in: Should JFK remain closed to cars?

City proposes a host of mobility improvements for Golden Gate Park

A man walks past the main entrance to the Hotel Whitcomb at Eighth and Market streets on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Closing hotels could disconnect hundreds from critical health care services

‘That baseline of humanity and dignity goes a long way’

Dreamforce returned to San Francisco in person this week – but with a tiny sliver of past attendance. (Courtesy Salesforce)
Dreamforce returns with hundreds on hand, down from 170,000 in the past

High hopes for a larger Salesforce conference shriveled during the summer

The remnants of trees burned by the Dixie Fire near Antelope Lake, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. (Christian Monterrosa/The New York Times)
California’s wildfires invisible effect: high carbon dioxide emissions

This summer California fires emitted twice as much CO2 as last year

Latinos are dying at a lower rate than white and Black people in California. However, Latinos have had the sharpest increase in the death rate in the last month, rising from 2.4 deaths per 100,000 people in August to 4 per 100,000 in September. (iStock)
Who’s dying in California from COVID-19?

In recent months, those who are dying are younger

Most Read