Interview: Colleen Frerichs & The Odd Squad

Mrs. Colleen Frerichs, friend of the RRHS Library and teacher at Westwood High School, not only had the amazing opportunity to help edit Michael Fry’s The Odd Squad: Bully Bait, but she also shared her reflections on this experience with campus librarian Christina Taylor:

  • How did you become involved in this project? 

Michael Fry, the book’s author,  is also the author of the nationally syndicated comic strip Over the Hedge.   I am friends with Kim Fry, Michael's wife, to whom the book is dedicated.  Kim knew that I was teaching revising and editing skills with my English I students and invited me to read the preview copy.

  • Please describe your contribution.
I was able to preview the book and with students that are in the targeted reader population and relay their reviews to Mr. Fry.
  • What was your favorite part of this process?
Our favorite part of the process was reading the book and rewriting sentences whose writing conventions may have benefitted from "tweaking.”

  • What was your least favorite part of this process?
We were very sad when we finished the book and can't wait for the next installment of the Odd Squad series.  In the meantime, we are all ravenous fans of the daily comic Over the Hedge.

  • Is there anything else that you would like to tell the RRHS community about your experience?
This experience inspired me and my students to further follow the latest young adult books being published.  We have attended several book festivals where we were able to discuss the writing process and the latest trends in YA Fiction.

When asked about her favorite pastime, Mrs. Frerichs eagerly responds that it is reading because “the ability to read opens up a world of information on any topic one can imagine.  As a teacher my goal is to empower my students to question topics and successfully acquire answers to their questions independently.  The skill of responding to higher order thinking questions after successful topic research will serve them well throughout their life.  It is a skill that I must use daily, for my students continually present new and interesting challenges that I must read about and research in order to respond appropriately.... So if you happen to catch me in the library or out in one of the local bookstores, you have seen me in one of my favorite places.”  Being such an avid reader and library supporter, Mrs. Frerichs has donated two signed copies of The Odd Squad: Bully Bait to the RRHS and WHS libraries for checkout.