Bitten by the Writing Bug:
Young Author of 7 Books is Creating a Buzz
By Sam Craig
of The Chronicle
Marcus has a secret he has sworn to protect, and it makes second graders incredibly jealous. But a little envy won’t hurt his standing with the students in second grade class that his grandmother teaches.. Marcus is a superstar in their eyes. Marcus has written a series of books that star Fly Boy, a fly whose taste for adventure is rivaled only by his taste for garbage.
Fly Boy is based on the main character in Tedd Arnold’s “Fly Guy” series of kids books, Marcus’ favorite series in fact. Recently, Marcus wrote to Arnold, telling him about the books he wrote. Arnold responded in kind, sending Marcus not only a hand-written, autographed letter, but two original drawings. The first of the drawings features Fly Guy buzzing past and saying, “Marcus is super!”
As exciting as it is to have a hand-drawn cartoon by your favorite artist, what was inside would turn Marcus into the envy of every Fly Guy fan. Arnold gave Marcus a sneak peek at a brand-new, never before seen character on one condition, it must remain a secret, but he could show it to friends.Marcus takes the secret very seriously. If someone wants to see it, he’ll quickly show them before covering it back up with his hand.
But Marcus’ books are no secret, in fact, they’re a hit with the second graders his grandmother, Diana, teaches. “Whenever we do D.E.A.R.,” Diana said, “Which is ’Drop Everything And Read,’ these guys are always fighting over the Fly Guy books.” Marcus isn’t a student in Dufur, he’s a third grader in home school, so he’s had to win over a group of kids he’s not that familiar with. The kids, already big Fly Guy fans, took to Marcus’ Fly Boy books like flies to a melted candy bar.
They’re hard cover books, like you’d find in a book store. Diana put them together, taking Marcus’ pages and putting them between sheets of cardboard before laminating the whole thing. Unlike most stories created by kids, these can stand up to the abuse a classroom full of second graders can dish out.
Fly Boy gets into a lot of scrapes and mishaps with his, once girlfriend, now wife, Fly Girl. Marcus has written and illustrated seven books so far. That’s one more than Tedd Arnold has put out. With two more books almost ready for production.
Marcus is taking Tae Kwon Do classes, so he decided in the new book, Fly Boy should be taking them too. “Marcus’ real Tae Kwon Do teacher’s name is Jeremy,” Diana said. “So the Fly Kwan Do teacher’s name is Germy.”
Whenever he walks in the doors of the classroom, kids cheer. All the attention could go to some kids heads, but Marcus still feels about the same. “It’s fun,” he said. “I feel like a movie star when I come in here.”