By ED WATERS JR.
The Frederick News-Post
NEW MARKET, Md. (AP) — David Newhouse believes middle school students can create a book.
A New Market Middle School language arts teacher for the past five of his 24 years in education, Newhouse recently published “Stars That Turn,” his first novel.
As he wrote the book, Newhouse said, he brought chapters to school to get feedback from students. The book is designed for readers in the middle school age range.
“This age group is creative, focused,” Newhouse said in his classroom Thursday. When they have an interest in something, they really home in on it, he said.
Newhouse is working on a second novel, “First.” He said he has written two versions of the second chapter.
“I can’t get objective enough,” he said. “I wrote one that is funny, another version less humorous. I’ll see what the students think.”
“Stars That Turn” is set in a fantasy world, whose civilization has progressed to about the level of the 1400s on Earth.
“A girl and her mother are warriors, but the mother is missing,” Newhouse said. “Cathryn, the girl, gets images of her mother, and a guide shows up to take her to her mother. It could be a trap.”
Readers will have to get the book to see what happens. It is available for about $10 on Amazon.com.
Newhouse said he has always read science fiction and fantasy.
He has had some poems published. To publish this book, he worked with Createspace, a subsidiary of Amazon.com. A team at Createspace coordinated the book for both print and electronic editions.
“I have to do all the marketing,” Newhouse said.
“I’ve become the big man on campus,” he said, smiling. “I’ve gotten the greatest support from the school, staff, parents, students, everyone.”
Newhouse would like to see a program that would bring students together to write a book, or collection of stories, supported by the PTA or parents.
The writer and teacher is also a musician. He plays keyboards and saxophone in The Muffins, a jazz and progressive rock band.
“We are from Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Arizona,” Newhouse said. “We only meet once a year to record and do a
festival, usually in France or Italy. They like us there.”
He writes some of the music.
“We started years ago making our own records, started our own label, then CDs,” he said. “We still press our own CDs.”
Newhouse and his wife, Anne Hage, both grew up in Montgomery County.
“We lived in New Mexico for five years when I first started teaching,” he said. “Then we moved back here.”
They have two sons, Sam and George.
“I taught fifth grade before for many years,” Newhouse said. “I wish I would have done middle school years ago. These kids are so creative. They are just great.”
Information from: The Frederick (Md.) News-Post, http://www.fredericknewspost.com
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)