Wayne Center Elementary School Enhances Students’ Interests with Visit from Medusa!

Reading excerpt from my book to Wayne Center Elem students during author visit.

Reading excerpt from my book to Wayne Center Elem students during author visit.

I love visiting schools to talk with students about the importance of reading for success in life. I may not look successful in my Medusa costume, complete with a wig of rubber snakes, but I’ll swallow my pride to get kids excited about books!
Wayne Center Elem students enjoy hearing Greek mythology stories.

Wayne Center Elem students enjoy hearing Greek mythology stories.

Recently I spoke to all 400 students in Grades 1-6 at Wayne Center Elementary School in Kendallville, IN. It is a beautiful building that was constructed just a few years ago. Our sessions were conducted in the spacious and sunny library! Thanks to the Wayne Center Elementary School librarian for allowing us use of the space for the morning.

It was great fun addressing all 6 grades at intervals. I tailor my talk to their maturity levels. Here are comments from one Third/Fourth Grade teacher:

Our school was treated to a visit from Medusa dressed Kayleen during our end-of-year reading celebration. Kayleen was wonderful to engage each group of students, no matter the age group, and talk about her books and what it is like to be an author. The students had a great time asking questions and learning more about her too. What a great visit!

I heard many good things from the staff after her visit and they all said Kayleen engaged the students at each grade level. Thank you to Kayleen for taking time out of her day to come join us. It was wonderful meeting her.

Dawn Jackson
The school also purchased copies of my books for their school library.
My thanks to Wayne Center Elementary Principal Karen Gandy, and teachers Patrice Abbee and Dawn Jackson for arranging my visit.

Patrice Abbee (L) and Dawn Jackson (R) helped arrange my visit to Wayne Center Elementary School.

Patrice Abbee (L) and Dawn Jackson (R) helped arrange my visit to Wayne Center Elementary School.

What is your school doing to promote students’ interests in reading? An author visit might do that!

If you are an educator or know of a school that would be interested in an author visit from me, I’d appreciate your letting me know. I want to connect with as many students as possible to let them know the value of reading and writing.

Medusa Visits Bluffton Elementary School!

Speaking to 2nd graders @ Bluffton Elementary School.

Speaking to 2nd graders @ Bluffton Elementary School.

When a principal at a school asks you to attend because she believes in you and your books, it’s really an honor. Julie Meitzler, principal of Bluffton Elementary School sent me a request earlier this year, saying that she had contacted teachers in her school with the recommendation that they invite me to visit their classrooms for an author visit.
2nd graders at Bluffton Elementary School loved their visit from Medusa!

2nd graders at Bluffton Elementary School loved their visit from Medusa!

The 2nd grade teachers followed up and the result was a successful and exciting visit! The second graders at BES are great! They were good listeners as I, dressed as Medusa, introduced them to my ‘friends’ – Hades, Hephaestus, Hermes. These are of course, books that I’ve written.

Keep in mind, I’m wearing a long flowing peach-colored gown and a wig of rubber snakes, very Medusa-like! I also speak in a gravelly, creepy voice as only Medusa would do.

Medusa de-wigged, student teacher Stephany Derengowski, teacher Lindsay Schroeder.

Medusa de-wigged, student teacher Stephany Derengowski, teacher Lindsay Schroeder.

At one point I take off my wig (yay! It’s hot and heavy!) and then tell the students about the rest of my books. At the end we had a Question and Answer time.
2nd grade teacher Kim Bitner & me.

2nd grade teacher Kim Bitner & me.

They were attentive and the teachers were helpful and supportive.

2nd grade teacher Allison  Krinn's class sent me thank you notes that were precious!

2nd grade teacher Allison Krinn’s class sent me thank you notes that were precious!

A few days later I was delighted to get a packet of thank you notes from Allison Krinn’s class. They were delightful and made it all worthwhile.

If you’d like ‘Medusa’ or Kayleen Reusser to visit your class, please contact me at xxxkjreusser@adamswells.comxxx (Remove the x’s).

Southern Wells Elementary School Hosts Medusa!

Great kids, beautiful building, friendly staff—Southern Wells Elementary School has it all! After receiving an invite from Laura McKinney to speak to her second graders, I gladly accepted (Thanks Tricia Tucker for the recommendation!)! I walked into their group with my Medusa costume which you can see here. By the time this photo was taken, I had removed my snake wig but you can see it below w/ another class.

I always ask the young students if they’re afraid of me. If they say, “Yes!”, Then I say, “Good! Then you had better sit near the back.”

Some of them actually move to the back! I thought they were kidding!

Anyway they were all sweet students and great listeners. Ms. McKinney was there with her class and 2 other classes—I’m sorry, I didn’t get the other teachers’ names. We had a great time talking together about books – they had questions about how long it takes to make a book and do I get to choose the photos inside the biographies.

Medusa sans her snakes talks to students at Southern Wells Ele.

Medusa sans her snakes talks to 2nd graders at Southern Wells Ele.

I explained that it took me longer to write the first book because I had so much to learn. The other books went faster. And no, I don’t get to choose the photos – the publisher emails them to me and I write captions for them that appear in the book.

Then I spoke to the school’s 4th graders, thanks to the invite from teacher Brittany Atkins. They were a great group also with more great questions. I love talking to kids about books!

Speaking to students at Southern Wells Elementary School.

Speaking to students at Southern Wells Elementary School.

Do you know of a school that could use an author visit? I’m still scheduling several visits for the end of the year and into next year. Please contact me at xxxkjreusser@adamswells.comxxx (remove the x’s to prevent spam). I’d love to hear from you regarding an author visit. My goal is to encourage as many children as possible to read! Their success in life depends on it!

Austin Is Fan of Hephaestus, Greek of Forge


Austin loved reading my book about Hephaestus, Greek god of forge.

Austin loved reading my book about Hephaestus, Greek god of forge.

I love it when students review my books. Here is a review of my book on the Greek god Hephaestus by my friend

It was a great book about a Greek God that was rejected by his mother. And then he started crafting things from pins to tables. Then his mother wanted him to make something that trapped her but for the rest of the book you read it to belive it.

Great review, Austin! I’m glad you were intrigued by the story the Greeks made up about Hephaestus, the god of the forge.

If you are a student or librarian, would you consider writing a review about one of my books? You may email your photos and reviews to me xxxkjreusser@adamswells.comxxx (remove the X’s that are there to prevent Spam).

Please recommend that your local library order these books from Mitchell Lane. I also have 2 new books published by Purple Toad Publishing Www.purpletoadpublishing.net.
[/caption]Big Time Rush published by Purple Toad. Big Time Rush published by Purple Toad.
Big Time Rush biography
(ISBN 9781624690105 Ebook ISBN 9781624690297
Big Time Rush is a Beacon Biography and is offered as part of a seven-book series.).
Now You're Cooking: Cuba published by Purple Toad. Now You’re Cooking: Cuba published by Purple Toad.
and Now You’re Cooking: Cuba.
(ISBN 9781624690402 Ebook ISBN 9781624690419
This title is offered as part of a five-book series.)

They are all library-bound, full-color and beautiful!
If you have an Amazon account, you may post reviews there, on http://www.Goodreads.com and Barnes & Noble’s website.


Want to get students to read? Invite Medusa!

OES Meyer Em 04-14DSCN2981OES Meyer Em 04-14 Hades

I’m not too proud to pull out all of the stops to inspire kids to read. That includes wearing a head full of snakes—rubber snakes, that is!

As the author of 3 books on Greek gods – Hades, Hephaestus, Hermes, I’ve decided to create one of the creepiest characters in Greek mythology to tell kids about them—Medusa!

Her story of having a passel of snakes instead of hair always made me cringe. That’s just the reaction I’m hoping for from kids because I know they’re listening and they love creepy things!

It took 2 hours to sew 12 or so rubber snakes to a black skull cap but worth every minute as I talked with fourth graders last week at Ossian Elementary School for Young Author Day. Wearing a peach-colored flowing gown my beloved mother-in-law wore at our wedding, I talked in a what-else-but-creepy voice to the classes of Emilie Meyer and Beth Mallery.

Their kids were attentive and interested and it was a joy to speak to them.

I felt right at home with my snake hair as the teachers had also dressed up as book characters. Ms. Meyer was Pinkalicious which also looked pretty.

I’m available to introduce my 11 books to students at schools, libraries, groups, even Skype visits would work!

Please contact me xxxkjreusser@adamswells.comxxx (remove the X’s which are put there to evade Spammers)

What are you doing to inspire your child/student to read? Nothing is more important to their success in life than the ability to read!

Middle Schooler Loves Reading about Greek God Hades!

Frank Ava 02-14
When I spotted Ava, a 7th grader at my school, reading my book on the Greek god Hades, I asked her
a) if she liked the book (Yes!)

b) if she would take a form to her parent to sign which would give me permission to take a photo of her reading my book and post it on my blog.

She agreed, her parent signed the form and here is a photo of Ava reading the book! I appreciated Ava’s and her family’s support for allowing us to work together to tell more people about my book on Hades, published by Mitchell Lane.

Hades, as most of you will know, was ruler of the Underworld in Greek mythology. He was not well-liked by the other gods, but Hades generally did well in ruling the land of the Dead.

After reading the book, Ava made this observation about the stories of Hades: “It was interesting to learn that since Hades was the third child that he got the Underworld to rule.”

The stories created by the Greek people are interesting, complex and sometimes outlandish! They have kept people intrigued for thousands of years.

If you’ve never read a book of Greek mythology, please check out this book on Hades and my other Greek gods titles: Hephaestus (god of the forge) + Hermes (god of thieves).

If you are a Greek mythology fan, which Greek god is your favorite? Why?

I hope you have fun!
Take care,

Greek God Hephaestus Knows What It’s Like to be Different

Hephaestus by Kayleen Reusser (Mitchell Lane Pub) Hephaestus by Kayleen Reusser (Mitchell Lane Pub)[/caption]

Did you ever feel different from everyone else?
The Greek god Hephaestus felt different because he was different! In Greek mythology he was made the god of the forge.

More importantly, he was the only Greek god who had to deal with a deformity. All of the Greek gods and goddesses were perfect and beautiful. Only Hephaestus had a disability.

It was interesting to me while doing research on Hephaestus to discover the Greeks created a god with a deformity. Of course, as you’ll see in the story below, he did not come by it naturally. Some people in modern day may be able to relate to his situation.

Even though Hephaestus had problems relating to people due to a bad temper, I felt sorry for him. Hephaestus was a complex chap. I’ve written two other books on Greek gods for Grades 4-8: Hades, Hermes.

Hermes by Kayleen Reusser

Hermes by Kayleen Reusser


Hades by Kayleen Reusser

Hades by Kayleen Reusser

Shh! Don’t tell Hades and Hermes because they might get mad at me, but my book on Hephaestus may have been my favorite book about Greek mythology.

This excerpt of Chapter 1 from my book called Hephaestus (Mitchell Lane Publishing) lays the groundwork for his problems. What do you think about Hephaestus? Should we feel sorry for him? If your library does not carry this title, please ask a librarian to order it.
ISBN: 9781584157496



Chapter 1 – The First Fall

The heavy hammer slammed against the fiery-hot anvil, creating sparks in the blackened cave. Bent low over his work, Hephaestus (hi-fes-tuhs) barely noticed the raucous noise. Day after day, he stood in front of the forge, heating metal in the flames until it glowed red, orange, yellow, and finally white. At that stage Hephaestus knew the metal had softened and could be molded.

After years of swinging a heavy hammer at his anvil, Hephaestus’ huge muscles glistened from sweat. Bending, twisting, he held the hot piece with a pair of tongs, pounding gold and bronze sections into a variety of resplendent and useful items.

The metal might become a nail, sword, or even a goddess’ canopy bed. The Greek god of the forge could create them all.

Usually Hephaestus worked on assignment, making items others had requested. A long list awaited his attention, but Hephaestus’ current project took priority.

He was making a throne for his mother Hera (her-uh). 1 The royal seat he had designed would delight the queen of the gods, Hephaestus knew, as it was like no other in Olympus. Golden cuckoos and willow leaves decorated the back, a full moon hung above it, and a white fur adorned the seat. 2

Hephaestus smiled grimly as he pictured Hera’s pleased expression upon seeing the graceful throne. He had made it fancier than any of the other gods’ thrones on Mount Olympus. “When my mother sits on it,’ he chortled, “she will know how much I love her.”

Hephaestus’ reputation as the best blacksmith on Mount Olympus was well known. He had become skilled after spending years at his forge. Everyone knew Hephaestus preferred working at his forge than being with people.

Hephaestus’ problems with people had started at birth.

Unlike the other gods and goddesses who were born beautiful and perfectly formed, Hephaestus had entered the world with a humped back and skinny legs that stuck out from his torso like toothpicks. Black hair covered his body and Hephaestus’ swarthy face looked pinched as a raisin. 3

Hera was mortified at her baby’s appearance. How could she, queen of the gods, have produced something so ugly? Hephaestus fussed constantly, annoying Hera further. Greatly aggravated, she put Hephaestus and his crib in a closet in the back of her palace to keep from hearing his pitiful cries.

Hera couldn’t escape the guffaws of ridicule from the other gods. “Hera has birthed the ugliest child in all Olympus!” they cried until Hera wanted to plug her ears.

Hera strode furiously back and forth in her chambers. “First a babe that cries like a banshee and now a passel of gods who laugh at me!” she shrieked. Hera’s face burned with shame. “That ugly son has brought nothing but trouble to me,” she told herself. Hera’s anger towards Baby Hephaestus grew daily, even as she ignored him in the room where he stayed.

One day, Hephaestus cried so much Hera’s ears hurt. Hera’s temper erupted. She stormed into Hephaestus’ closet, picked him up, and threw him out the window. “Never again will the other gods laugh at me!” she cried.