Wilhelm is one of my favorite young adult writers. (I have taught his book The Revealers twice to 6th graders.) His talk at the FRA convention was all about how middle school students struggle to find their voice, asking “who am I? Is it okay to be me?”
Being a passionate middle school teacher, I appreciate his insight and focus on an often-overlooked and underestimated time in a young person’s life.
At one point he said “The most dangerous thing in middle schools is isolation,” adding that by helping students “cross the bridge to empathy” is one of the most important things we can do.
So, not only is he awesome, but he is so personable and friendly. He has now signed 4 books for me, including one that I plan to give away to one of my students. (I also told him about the I Am Not and I Am walls!)