BPL Presents: Bianca Turetsky Visit at P.S. 225


Bianca TuretskyTwice a school year, our Programs and Exhibitions department partners with the branches to offer Author/Illustrator Visits to schools across Brooklyn. This year, I had the pleasure of partnering with P.S. 225 The Eileen Zaglin School, with Bianca Turetsky, author of The Time Traveling Fashionista series. Bianca had the opportunity to discuss her work with the 7th and 8th graders at P.S. 225. 

What I enjoyed the most about Bianca’s presentation was her interaction with the students. Instead of giving a lecture on her novels and writing process, she made it an interactive writing session. Bianca is also the Associate Director of Writopia Lab, a non-profit that offers writing workshops to kids and teens, so her style made a lot of sense. 

Bianca used the acronym C.O.W. to explain the core of stories to the students. Each story must have a Character who encounters Obstacle and have a Want. To demonstrate this to the students, Bianca called for five volunteers. One student was the character, and the other four were her obstacles. Our character was Ashley, a human teenager from Earth. Ashley’s want was that she wanted to be a princess.  

Bianca Turetsky with studentsThe first obstacle that Ashley encountered was that she was kidnapped and taken to Jupiter. To overcome this obstacle, she learned Kung Fu and escaped her kidnapper. 

The second obstacle that Ashley encountered was a fighter jet. To overcome this obstacle, she found a friend on Jupiter who would help her fly a fighter jet into a black hole. 

The third obstacle was an army, which she defeated with the help of an army of girls who also wanted to be princesses. 

The final obstacle was usually the characters standing in their own way, so the kids decided that Ashley was afraid of public speaking but also that Ebenezer Scrouge came to visit and made her grumpy. So, with the help of an alien with a ray gun, she overcame her fear of public speaking and learned to become a princess.  

Bianca spent the last part of the presentation discussing the writing process of her books. She walked the kids through “What if’ scenarios and had them explain why they’d rather go to the future or the past. A few kids were eager to continue coming up with wild stories. 

Author/Illustrator programs are a great way to show different creative processes to students. The visits aren’t formulaic; they are genuinely and authentically very different each time. It’s another great opportunity that we can share with our local schools and hopefully spark inspiration in the students. 


This blog post reflects the opinions of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of Brooklyn Public Library.


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