If you would like to read an in-depth review of Chapter Two:The Magic in Baseball by Home School Book Review please click on the link.

Here is what writer Jamie Lee wrote in the Staten Island Advance newspaper about us:

http://blog.silive.com/southshore/2009/09/small_9-02-09-book.JPG"All it took was a trip to the supermarket for Eltingville couple Susan and Bruce Wigden to realize that the children's book they had been collaborating on was meant to be.

Over the past several months, the husband and wife had worked together to turn an idea into a reality and put the finishing touches on their first combined literary release -- a mid-grade novel entitled "Chapter Two: The Magic in Baseball."

All that was left to do was to complete the book jacket, which Bruce had been designing.

'"We decided we wanted a Staten Island boy to be on the cover of the book,"' said Mrs. Wigden. '"Oddly enough, I met a boy with his mother at a Pathmark food store and immediately felt that he would be the perfect boy for the cover."'
When she approached the mother and asked if the woman would be interested in having her child pose for the cover photos, she learned of a curious, perhaps even "magical" twist.

The book is centered around the experiences of a 10-year-old South Shore boy named Jake.

The youngster in the supermarket?

His name is Jake Milo. And he's 10 years old as well. And he's from the South Shore. "'It was all so perfect,"' said Mrs. Wigden.

The story is a fitting microcosm for the Wigdens' new tale.

The plot of Chapter Two centers around the relationship of Jake and an elderly neighbor, Mr. Flynn, but also abstractly focuses on the "implausible connection between baseball and magic," according to Mrs. Wigden.
That connection is the reason for the intriguing title because at one point in the story, Mr. Flynn tells Jake to re-read chapter two of the magic book he has given to him and to look for a lesson that goes deeper than just magic.

"It is our belief that young people are missing out by not having a connection to our senior population," she said. "And that both have much to share and learn from each other."

The Wigdens have been married for 37 years, but the novel marks the first literary collaboration for the two former school teachers.

Mrs. Wigden, who worked in the Staten Island Montessori School pre-k program for almost 20 years, has released two rhyming picture books (one with a soon-to-be-released sequel). Wigden, who taught intermediate and high school mathematics from 1970 until his 2003 retirement, has published several online math lessons and curricula.

Chapter Two leans heavily on the personal experiences of the co-authors as it is set in Staten Island and features several scenes at the Great Kills Little League, where Mr. Wigden coached and managed teams in the 1980s and 1990s.

'"[The book] is a feel good story that children will easily relate to,"' said Mrs. Wigden. "Although the publisher has deemed this appropriate for ages 9-13, the authors feel this warm, sensitive story reaches out to all ages."

Because of that belief, the couple is already set to visit several Island schools for author process discussions regarding the new release.

The first school will be Bernstein Intermediate School, where Milo is a student."

'"It would be nice to take a break from demons and aliens and read a tender story of true friendship,"' said Mrs. Wigden.

Here is what sixth grade assistant principal, Dina Testa, said about our visit to IS 7 on 9/23/09.

"What a great day you gave the students of IS 7.  There is nothing like meeting the author of a book.  We appreciate what you have done for us.  We cannot wait to see you in May."
Here is what sixth grade assistant principal, Dina Testa, said about our visit to IS 7 on 9/23/09.

"What a great day you gave the students of IS 7.  There is nothing like meeting the author of a book.  We appreciate what you have done for us.  We cannot wait to see you in May."
Here is what principal Janet Scheiper said of our visit to her school:
"I just want to thank you on behalf of the students and teachers of Eltingville Lutheran School for your visit today.  Your presentation was so very interesting.
 
The students were totally absorbed in what you shared with them and, as you could tell from the questions they asked, listened to your every word!  You inspired us all to write, and gave us the important steps it takes to be published.  I'm sure some future authors were listening to you today.

Once again, we thank you and look forward to your return to our school in the spring when you will meet with our youngest grades.

Here is what 5th grade teacher, Rosemarie Leto, wrote to Diane, of the Staten Island Advance.Jake 14

Dear Diane,
The wife-husband writing team, Susan and Bruce Wigden, came to OLQP, earlier this month and spoke to the 4th, 5th and 6th graders at an assembly.  Bruce introduced Susan and she talked about writing a story and getting it published.  

The students were mesmerized during the assembly, then asked a million questions and they are now printing out stories they have composed and asking me to edit them.  Alfonse wrote about a dinosaur, Kristina wrote a realistic fiction story about a family she dreamed up. Photos are of those who purchased the book.  (The boy with Susan is a former student of hers. )  Let me know if you want names of the students in the photos.  I have permission all around to have the story and photos in the newspaper and on the Wigdens website.

Thanks, Rosemarie Leto -

PS:  I just finished the book. Great story.  Let me know if you want to borrow it. Quotes from the Principal and me: "With the emphasis on writing this year, this was the perfect assembly for our students.  The children were engaged from beginning to end.  We envision 'budding authors' in our midst!"  Theresa Signorile, Principal, OLQP School "Susan has really inspired my students.  When they see a book, it's no longer just something to READ, now they think: I can WRITE a book!  Some of them have actually started to compose and save their work on their computer."  Rosemarie Leto, 5th Grade teacher, OLQP School

Video of Bruce and Susan Wigden on NY1

Susan at PS 6 giving an author-process talk.

Book Club at Bessed Sacrament School in May of 2012 presenting "Chapter Two:The Magic in Baseball."

 

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Camera Shy!

 

Below are the the letters from students of Serrania Avenue Elementary in California who participated in our skype visit in February 2011. Click on each thumbnail to see the student's letter.
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