Today, author, blogger, writer Cory Doctorow visited our school to talk about his new book, Homeland – a follow-up to Little Brother, which some students read for literature circles and some for fun. We gathered in the library after lunch and listened to him read an excerpt from Homeland, talk about the book, and answer questions about his writing process, his life under constant surveillance in London, and his work habits.


There was utter silence in the library as the kids listened to this writer read – silence almost unparalleled by this many kids gathered in the same space at Brightworks. Cory is used to talking to high schoolers and used language that may have gone above the heads of many of the kids, but they followed along with ease. They asked thoughtful questions and listened with great attentiveness – particularly to the excerpt, which described a method of tricking a polygraph that appeals to the kid mind: squeezing your butt cheeks together.


He described his steady work routine, which was extremely helpful during this intense project phase at school as the kids start learning to set their own schedules and routines to get their projects done. Write every day, he told us. Even if you’re having a bad day, the words you write won’t show it. Which translates at Brightworks to, “Work every day, even if your day is bad, because at the end of Expression, the work will have made an amazing project.”

Thanks to Cory for being here, the Booksmith bookstore for arranging the visit, and Paul, one of our parents, for making the initial contact!