If Debbie Marsh had the energy, she could write a daily column on her experiences in the classroom.
The Easterly Parkway Elementary kindergarten teacher instead decided to write a book, largely drafted during school breaks.
“I’ve not written a book before, but I always had people telling me they’d love to read my columns in a book,” Marsh said. “That kind of planted the seeds.”
Marsh authored “The Book of Frank,” the story of a kindergartener finding his way in his first year of school, encountering challenges and triumphs along the way. The book also explores the boy’s relationship with his teacher — Marsh — and what she has learned from him.
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“It is me,” Marsh said. “I’ve embraced who I am as a teacher and let that show in the book. I love my job, and I’m thrilled to have a job where I can be happy to come into work every day. I‘m ecstatic to get to share that with other people.”
She has gone through her own journey to write the book.
“It’s been a year or two process,” Marsh said. “The hardest part is once you’ve written something you want to move on to what you’re doing next, but I’ve had to read this over and over. You can rewrite something to death, but you need to eventually say it’s done.”
It’s done, but she didn’t do it alone.
A friend, Jeff Beck, designed the cover, which depicts a child who placed a box over his head.
“I love the colors he used and the kindergartner all bundled up,” Marsh said. “Jeff really captured something funny a kindergartner might do.”
Another friend, author Sara J. Henry, edited the book.
“When I first read her work I thought, ‘What a talented writer,’ ” Henry said. “I couldn’t speak for every book published and whether this is unique compared to the rest, but she has a natural voice about children. It’s both funny and endearing and gets across the point that this is the kindergarten experience.”
Marsh thinks readers will be reminded of what they were like in kindergarten.
“I think people will look back and think of ways they were like Frank or their best friends were like Frank,” Marsh said. “He goes through challenges, and you see how he grows over a year’s time.”