Buck Wilder author visits AES

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Children's author Tim Smith explained to students at Austintown Elementary why he loves paper, stemming from his drawings while in timeout as a child. He demonstrated a way paper could be used to make a cup in the wild. Pictured, he poured water into his cup he made from a sheet of paper and took a sip.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Tim Smith showed the Austintown Elementary students a drawing from one of his "Buck Wilder" books. He pointed out his odd style where he wrote sideways and upside-down on the page.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Author Tim Smith spoke to the elementary students about following their passions, trying hard and making mistakes. He joked with the students throughout he performance to keep them engaged and interested.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.All of Tim Smith's ten "Buck Wilder" books focus on nature, as did much of his presentation. Pictured, he told the students a survival tip to use in the wild: use honey to cover and heal wounds.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Tim Smith, author of the "Buck Wilder" series of children's books, visited Austintown Elementary School on March 16 for an assembly for each of the three grade levels. Pictured, he stood with first-grade students in front of his presentation display.

by ZACK SHIVELY

zshively@vindy.com

Writer Tim Smith visited Austintown Elementary School on March 16 to talk to the students about his book series and how he became a children’s author.

Smith, creator of the “Buck Wilder“ book series, met the students in the gym and had large displays of his book covers behind him. He spoke to inspire the young children to try and learn new things and to follow their passions.

“You don’t have to be the best,“ Smith told the students, “You have to be the one who tries the hardest.“ He explained that he had never been the best in school when it came to writing or drawing, but he became an author regardless.

Smith has 10 published books, all under the pen name Buck Wilder. He writes and draws each page of the story, though the publisher sends his artwork to an illustrator to be refined. Each of his books are about nature, such as “Buck Wilder’s Small Fry Fishing Guide“ and “The Bees Go On Strike.“

“I just wanted to see my name on the side of books,“ Smith joked. He continued to say he began writing the books because it is fun to do, but he mostly wants to help motivate young students to try what they are passionate about and to have fun while reading.

He showed the students a sample page from his book to show his style. He writes normally, but he places words upside-down and sideways so the reader must rotate the book while reading. He also draws a small inch worm on each of his pages.

He told the children some survival tips. He said that honey could be applied to wounds in the wild. He explained that the warriors in the Spartan army used to carry honey with them in battle to help heal them. He also showed the students how to make a cup out of a piece of paper in order to store water.

He wanted to leave the students with a strong belief in mistakes. He showed the children a pencil and said that while he likes pencils, his favorite part is the eraser because it gives him the freedom to make mistakes and try again.

“Pencils come with erasers because no one gets it right the first time,“ Smith said.

Smith has been writing children’s stories for 20 years and has toured nationally to speak to schools for 15 years. He enjoys finding new areas to fish at each of the places he visits. His “Buck Wilder” are available in stores and online.

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