Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Peter Lourie: Adventure Writer

The library was filled with enthusiastic students and parents last Wednesday evening when Peter Lourie arrived for our 5th and 6th grade Author Night. His 18 1/2 foot lightweight canoe was strapped to the top of his car; his gear bag was slung over his shoulder.

All of us in the library (well over seventy students, parents and teachers) then "traveled" with Mr. Lourie as he and his daughter swam with sharks in the Bahamas, as he stumbled through dense fog on the slopes of the Andes Mountains, as he recorded the chants of campfire singers in the Amazon forest. Mr. Lourie thoroughly captured our imaginations by weaving his true stories into textured, funny, insightful tales of adventure and discovery. Both our library and the public library have many of his books -- photo-essays set all over the North American continent and the world, highlighting the history and natural science of a region. There were many memorable moments: hearing snippets of his audio journal in far-away locales dominated by the roar of bullfrogs, visualizing his midnight fishing forays with his local guide, feeling turned topsy-turvy twice in the white water of the upper Hudson River. Mr. Lourie brought home the point: good writing is in good details! He is a terrific storyteller.