TAB Field Trips

The TAB field trip is a highly anticipated event by the TAB community and paid for by the Friends of the Arlington Public Library. TAB groups from each of the middle schools gather in one place for an author visit. In preparation, students are given a copy of one of the author’s more recent books to read before the visit and to have signed at the visit.


TAB Field Trip – May 8, 2018 – Skype visit with Stuart Gibbs

Stuart Gibbs is a fan favorite of WMS students. He is know for the Spy School Series, the Funjungle Series, and the Moon Base Alpha series. He Skyped with TAB students during 8th grade lunch. His advice to writers: write, read, be curious, be resilient.


TAB Field Trip – April 5, 2018 – Victoria Jamieson

Gunston Middle School hosted this All TAB field trip. TAB students received a copy of All’s Faire in Middle School prior to the author visit and brought it to the event to be personalized and signed by the author. Ms. Jamieson said that aspiring author/illustrators should think about something they love for inspiration and/or take real life experiences and fictionalize them.


TAB Field Trip – December 11, 2017 – Skype visit with Donna Freitas

Donna Freitas is the author of Unplugged (TAB 2016-2017) and The Body Market (TAB 2017-2018).  We had a Skype visit with her in the library nook during 8th grade lunch and invited all TAB member to come. Ms. Freitas spoke to our students for nearly an hour answering specific questions about her books as well as more general questions about writing. She said her friends recognize themselves in some of her book characters, and novels are a way of having a “do-over” for some life events.


TAB Field Trip – November 5, 2015 – Jason Reynolds

Students read The Boy in the Black Suit before this visit with Jason Reynolds. This trip had many memorable moments starting with Jason Reynolds saying he wanted to be Queen Latifah when he grew up – he read the words to her album “Black Rain” which inspired him to become a poet. He didn’t like to read and failed English 101 in college twice. His advice to students: “You cannot be a writer if you do not write.”


TAB Field Trip – December 18, 2014 – Ellen Oh

Students read Prophecy before this visit with Ellen Oh. Ellen Oh is the CEO and president of We Need Diverse Books. She shared important information about how book covers are “whitewashed” meaning a photograph on the cover depicting the main character is often of a white person regardless of whether or not the main character is, or artwork that doesn’t show people is used to gloss over ethnicity. She also talked about the inspiration for her books and the writing process.


TAB Field Trip – February 26, 2014 – Marissa Meyer

Students read Cinder before this visit with Marissa Meyer. Marissa Meyer told a good story about how she became a writer. She started out by writing Sailor Moon fan fiction. She talked about her love of fairytales. She so loved Disney’s The Little Mermaid that she said, “You couldn’t get me near a sink without me breaking into song.” Cinder has been optioned for a movie.


TAB Field Trip – December 7, 2012 – Michael Northrop

On Friday, December 7, 2012, TAB went to Jefferson Middle School for a visit w/ Michael Northrop, author of Trapped. We learned about his dyslexia, how he compensates for it, and his path to becoming an author. We also created a story with him. Here are the notes I was able to take on my iPhone:

“Kata from Poland is in the North Pole – a captive a Santa. A hobbit enters the room. The hobbit starts throwing toys at the elves. The hobbit is Wolverine in disguise. Santa rips off his outfit. He has a chiseled six pack. Wolverine prevails but out comes Rudolf with his laser nose. Rudolf is a bad dude. Blitzen has lightening powers. A tragic double cross takes place because Blitzen is jealous of Rudolf.”

I think there is a happy ending to all of this, but somehow it didn’t get recorded. I think I was laughing too hard.