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Gary Spack publishes children’s book inspired by pandemic

by Christine Wolkin

Local author and third grade teacher at Churchville Elementary School, Gary Spack, has published a new book for children inspired by the COVID-19 shelter in place.

This is his third book.

In “Maggie’s Marvelous Misadventures,” Maggie is a third grader who is bored being stuck at home during the COVID-19 shelter in place.

Her mom suggests that instead of just playing more video games, she should try to do all the things she’s always wanted to do, but never had the time.
Maggie takes her mom’s advice and gets started on her “things to do” list of adventures.

Unfortunately, things don’t always work out the way she expects, resulting in surprisingly humorous mishaps. Within the story’s humorous theme, there is a message of what it means to be responsible in the face of the pandemic.

“The message behind Maggie is actually several messages – personal responsibility, sacrifice, perseverance, creativity, and hope,” says Gary, who lives in Newtown with his wife, Michele, the director of elementary education for a neighboring school district.

“I got the idea for Maggie last April during the COVID-19 stay at home order. I felt badly for my students not being able to attend school in-person and being stuck at home. The kids learn about communities and citizenship in social studies and I wanted to write about what it means to be a responsible ‘kid’ citizen in the face of an emergency. I also wanted to try to spark kids’ creativity and spread some humor too as I felt everyone needed to find things to smile and laugh about. I think the book captures all those ideas.”

A teacher for 16 years, Gary was previously a marketing researcher.

His first book, “The Snack Machine,” was published in 2017, followed by “The Cat Burglars” in 2019.

“Although there is no more stay at home order and kids have returned to school, there are still a lot of restrictions and kids are spending a large amount of time on computers. I feel that kids can and should be creative and find fun ways to adapt to the current environment around them. It also teaches them coping skills,” says Gary.

“Maggie’s Marvelous Misadventures” is available online and at some local bookstores.

You can also get it direct from the publisher – Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency – www.sbprabooks.com/GaryJSpack.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, Gary does not have any upcoming events scheduled, “though I am hopeful that will change in the near future.”

Gary and his wife live with their two cats, Pebbles and Bam Bam. He enjoys sports, fitness, hiking, and the martial arts, where he is a third-degree black belt.

PHOTO CAP: Gary Spack with his new book.

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