For a number of years, the Upper School history teachers have struggled to find quality historical fiction that supports their curriculum. Historical fiction is a terrific teaching tool to augment more traditional textbooks. So what does a GCDS teacher do when they just cannot find that right piece of material? The answer of course is to go out and help write one yourself.
El Gagnon (Upper School English and history teacher) recently connected with an aspiring author (Seth I. Friedman) who was working on a medieval fiction. Together they set out on a journey that lasted over two years and culminated with the self-published book—The Pilgrim. On his acknowledgements page, Mr. Friedman writes:
Finally I’d like to thank Eleanor Gagnon who was a staunch advocate and made contributions, including considerable encouragement, to the final edit that you are reading. She prompted me to clean up the original edit so that her students could read it to learn a bit more about the time period referenced in the story. In a way, that’s the highest compliment that an author can receive.
Our seventh graders just finished the novel and to a person…"they loved it!" What a great way to deepen their understanding and their love of history.
Adam C. Rohdie
Headmaster, The Greenwich Country Day School