Carolyn Bankston’s seventh-grade gifted students at North Corbin Junior High School in Walker are writing Buddy books after completing a nonfiction reading unit. Each student selected a buddy person to interview about their lifestyle two generations ago.

Most of the students chose a grandparent. The students then put the interviews into books, which they are writing and illustrating. Students creating books are Madeleine Adams, Julia Aucoin, Dylan DeLee, Aiden Griffis, Kennedy Halphen, Tyler Harwell, Austin LeBlanc, Marian Luzier, Cameron Palmer, Megan Rush and Jonah Thomason.

Marita Gentry, a children’s book illustrator, visited the class and gave a presentation on the who, what, when, where, and how of book publishing. She drew illustrations from some of her published works and also had the students draw a picture. She also told them the difficulties she encountered when a publisher wanted her drawings changed. This occurred when she illustrated “The Cajun Cornbread Boy.” The publisher thought that the cornbread boy should have butter on his cheeks, so she put a lighter shade of yellow on his cheeks.

The students now have a better understanding of what it takes to make a book marketable, Carolyn Bankston said.