Friday, 17 February 2012 00:00
An enthusiastic crowd of over 200 people gathered at the Book Revue in the village of Huntington on a cold January afternoon, to attend author Scott Starkey’s “book talk” of his debut novel, How to Beat the Bully Without Really Trying.
The Book Revue is one of the largest independent bookstores in the country and is considered a renowned cultural and social center. They regularly offer a schedule of distinguished author readings and celebrity appearances. Unfortunately, the first run of hard copies was sold out at the signing; however, digital copies are available via Nook and Kindle.
Starkey is currently a fifth-grade teacher at East Street School in Hicksville. He has worked in the district for the past 16 years, and as the Head Coach for the Varsity Boys Soccer team led his players to win the New York State Championship this year.Starkey explained that he always liked the idea of being a writer and set out to write a book that children and adults alike would love to read. His primary goal is to encourage reluctant readers by holding their attention throughout and by providing an exceptionally interesting time for them while they are reading. Characters in the story are based on “reluctant heroes” of Starkey’s, such as Bob Hope, Woody Allen and Abbott and Costello.
Rather than being a serious “how to” book dealing with bullying, Starkey’s book has a more comedic take on a cowardly character, put into a difficult situation in a school setting.
As a teacher, Starkey always insists that his students constantly edit and revise their writing in order to improve it. Starkey’s three children, Brooke (age 10), Jake (age 8) and Brent (age 6) enjoyed offering their input as their father worked on perfecting his novel. In the course of the two years that Starkey worked with his editors at Simon and Schuster, he revised his first chapter alone 17 times!
The publishers have been clamoring for a sequel, which Starkey has just completed. This second book in the series should be in print by the spring of 2013. Starkey’s colleagues at the Hicksville Congress of Teachers are proud of him and the engaging story that he has written – told with the warmth and heart that are so much a part of his personality.
The Hicksville Congress of Teachers has purchased copies of his new novel for each of the seven elementary schools in the district, as well as for the middle school in order to enable Hicksville’s student readers to enjoy Mr. Starkey’s first novel.