In what is now an annual celebration of reading at the middle school, students enjoyed hearing from New York Times best-selling author James Ponti and participating in a full day of activities related to the first book in his Framed! mystery series. The entire middle school read the book in preparation for the fourth annual OBODOS (One Book, One Day, One School), which included question-and-answer sessions with the author, small-group writing workshops, escape rooms, puzzles, FBI training and more.
Ponti, who received an Edgar Award for juvenile mystery fiction for the Framed! series, is also as an Emmy-nominated television writer and producer who lives in Orlando. During a series of assemblies in Swenson Hall at the March 9 event, Ponti shared his journey from Pisa, Italy, where he was born, to Atlantic Beach, Fla., where he went to elementary and high school. He then headed off to the University of Southern California to major in screenwriting.
After years in television, he started writing books, and – unlike most authors – has never had a manuscript rejected. Besides Framed!, he has written two other mystery series for young people. He explained to RE middle schoolers how he crafts his characters and incorporates places and events that have inspired him. The central characters in his next book series, he told the students, will be a boy and girl who live in Coconut Grove.
Middle school librarian Meghan Kramer led the 16-member OBODOS committee that put together this year's event.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.