Author Hilary Reyl Visits Manville High School


Kayla Knape

It was an exciting moment when proclaimed author Hilary Reyl stepped into the MHS Media Center on Monday, March 2nd. Along with Reyl’s appearance, snacks and refreshments were provided for the attending students and staff, which consisted of Mrs. Gottfried, Ms. Levonaitis, Ms. Lopa, English 9 Honors students and Creative Writing students. 

Reyl’s presentation consisted of her explanation of her writing process; she enjoys writing in the morning when her house is quiet, she always has a notebook on hand, and she writes at least three drafts before creating her final masterpiece. Reyl also voiced that she always carries a book with her, whether it’s related to research for her next novel or just because! She believes that reading is knowledge, and knowledge gives her power for her next book. 

With her new book, Kids Like Us, revealing its face to the world, Reyl spoke on behalf of its contents. The novel emcompases the story of a teenager, Martin, who is a part of the Autism spectrum and explores the world differently than others. Reyl explained that she got most of the inspiration for this novel from her real-life situations, and incorporated ideas from the book “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime,”  which is in the current MHS Freshman curriculum. The English 9 Honors class prepared for this Q and A with the author by reading her new novel and creating authentic and deep questions. Some of which even surprised Reyl by her expressing how she has never been asked numerous of the prepared questions before. Additionally, the Creative Writing class prepared by reading excerpts of the novel and writing about a situation where they do something that is perceived different by others, this parallelling with the idea that the readers are looking into Martin’s world. 

Reyl expressed that her love for writing started at just eleven years old. She became fully immersed in French culture when her father had moved the family there for his work. She still has the same enthusiasm about writing now as she did then. The students at Manville High School really enjoyed her visit and were so grateful for this wonderful opportunity, and look forward to meeting more authors in the future.