Thursday, 17 April 2014

A response from an author

Our Hurricanes reading group were learning about the author's purpose for writing a story. The story they read is called Needling an Elephant and it was written by John Parker found in School Journal 1995 Part 3 Number 1.

One of the response activities was to find out about the author's background and if he had a special interest in animals. During the research the Hurricanes group found a website which belongs to the NZ Book Council and it had information about John Parker including his e-mail address. The group decided to send him an e-mail to ask about his reasons for writing this story.

On 15/04/2014, at 9:34 AM, Dora Masua wrote:

Hello John Parker we are a group of students in Room 7 at Glenbrae School. This week we are reading Needling an Elephant. We just wanted to ask you if you have a special interest in animals. What inspired you to write a story about this elephant?

We would appreciate your response. 

Thank you
Hurricanes Reading Group Room 7
That was the e-mail the group sent from Dora's e-mail address. The following day we were all surprised to find a response from John Parker. 

From: John Parker <>
Date: 15 April 2014 08:13
Subject: Re: To understand the author's purpose for writing a story.
To: Dora Masua <>

Hi, Dora

Nice to get your email. 

I wrote this story for a number of reasons. Yes, I am interested in animals and feel we have a grave responsibility to treat them well. How we look after our flora and fauna defines us as human beings. I thought that Auckland Zoo was caring and compassionate in its treatment. 

Secondly, my daughter's a vet, so that made me interested as well. 

And, thirdly, I thought it would be good to read for school children such as yourselves. After all, here's this huge animal being treated by a a comparatively small needle. It seemed new and novel. It felt like someone trying to deflect a tank with a little finger - but it worked!

And, of course, I'm a professional writer, so I wanted to earn some money as well. Nothing wrong with that, is there! 

All the best

John Parker

It was really great to communicate with John Parker and find out why he wrote the story. Thank you John Parker for your response.


Mrs Tofa said...

I am so proud of you Hurricanes for your effort in researching the author of your story. Am very happy you also remembered that he wrote One fish flavoured ice block which another group studied a few weeks ago. Keep up the good work.

Post a Comment