Teachers and Students from Broken Bow, Oklahoma at Best of Books, Edmond, Oklahoma, book signing.
Read these great review from the teachers and libraians that use Richard Trout’s books. Click on a school name or scroll down to read them all.
- Walters Middle School, Walters, Oklahoma
- Lawton MacArthur Middle School, Lawton, Oklahoma
- Elk City Schools, Elk City, Oklahoma
- Hefner Middle School, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Broken Bow Schools, Broken Bow, Oklahoma
- Cordell Schools, Cordell, Oklahoma
- Yukon Schools, Yukon, Oklahoma
- Harker Heights Schools, Harker Heights, Texas
- Hefner Middle Schools, Oklahoma City
- Lawton MacArthur Middle School
- Piedmont Middle School, Piedmont, Oklahoma
- St. Bernadette’s, Northboro, Massachusetts
- Trintiy School, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Foster Middle School, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Several years ago, our small middle school invited Richard Trout to visit and present a book talk about his new novel, Cayman Gold. He arrived, dressed in a safari vest, with pictures of the beautiful Cayman islands and stories of his adventures there. We were soon hooked on the McGregors. I read the book to all my classes and they clamored for more. Since then we all anxiously await the next Richard Trout novel. Through the fictional family, we have experienced Africa, Egypt, China, Alaska and the Caribbean. Richard has returned two times since his first visit, the last visit being this winter. What was planned as a one hour assembly soon turned into nearly two hours because he answered question after question from the students. His books have a wonderful blend of the conventional family who travel from adventure to adventure. As a media specialist I preview books frequently and find that there are seldom any books written that have a “normal” family.
I also feel that Richard is a caring, wonderful teacher and person. There are two stories that I will share:
On his first visit, one of our students paid for her book with rolls of pennies. On his second visit, Richard told us that he kept those coins near his writing area as a reminder of why he writes. On his second visit, he told this story and asked if the student was in the audience. She was and we published their picture and story in the local paper.
Whenever his name is mentioned most of our more senior staff members recall that story and it always brings some tears!
But on his most recent visit during the book signing after the book talk, a line of students patiently awaited. Mr. Trout had a kind word to say to all of them. Towards the end of the line, a young 6th grader shyly asked Richard if he remembered having his mother as a student in one of his college classes at Oklahoma City Community College? When given the student’s last name, Richard then responded, “Of course I remember her. So you are still alive? You made it? ” As a small child our student had what was thought to be a terminal illness, but survived. Apparently, Richard helped this young mother who was struggling to go to college and care for a really ill child. To me both these stories show the worth of the man.
He is certainly worthy of any award and my students are eagerly looking forward to both his next book and next visit.
Sincerely, Janis Dwyer
Media Specialist, Walters Middle School
I am a special education teacher who had the privilege of witnessing first hand the impact that the MacGregor Family Adventure Series can have on special needs students. The regular education teacher, whom I was co-teaching with, is a great fan of your work. We read the Cayman Gold book to our students and had them write journal responses. One of our special needs students had not shown an interest in learning anything until we started your book. He was so enthralled that he began reading it on his own. Until that point we did not know that he could even begin to read and comprehend a book on or near his grade level. Not only did he read on his own, but his writing improved. At first he dictated what he wanted to write, but when it would take a while to get to him, he started writing on his own. It was obvious that he was comprehending what he was reading and hearing. I must admit that when we started the book I was concerned it would be too difficult for our special needs students because of the high vocabulary content, but I was proved wrong. All the students enjoyed your book, but this student’s life was changed forever. His new goal is to become a commercial scuba diver, and he is now willing to work hard to obtain that goal. Thank you for writing books that inspire our students!
Wilsa G. Geer, MacArthur Middle School, Lawton, OK
May 20, 2008
Dear Fellow Educators, Our school was fortunate to have Richard Trout visit our school during the 2007-2008 school year. Prior to Trout’s visit, students were introduced to the Macgregor family adventure series. Teachers throughout our building found the Macgregor series to be an excellent teaching tool that could be utilized in any classroom. Exciting adventure paired with amazing locales from around the globe, make Trout’s series a must read for all young adults. The author’s attention to detail leaves the reader with a crystal clear picture of each scene in every book, and readers get the unique opportunity to grow up with the Macgregor children as they discover themselves through the trials presented in each installment. Classroom projects are unlimited when reading from the Macgregor series. Art projects, geography assignments, and reading skills assessments can be developed easily from each book. The teachers in our building found that even reluctant readers could utilize Trout’s series to improve reading skills. Finding a smile on the face of the students in your class will prove the worth of this amazing series as your students too find a book that opens their eyes to the amazing world of reading!
Randy Turney, 6th Grade Instructor, Grandview Center, Elk City Public Schools
As a media specialist I’m always looking for books that will interest students and teachers alike. The MacGregor Family Adventure books definitely fit into that category. They are great for teachers to read aloud to classes, and students love to read them independently as well. Each book has an intriguing plot along with enough action and adventure to keep students interested. I love the fact that students are also learning something about history, science, and environmental issues in each book.
The MacGregor Family books are popular throughout the year, and they’re all checked out for months after one of your author visits. We are all looking forward to the next book in the series!
Carol Hulett, Media Specialist, Hefner Middle School, Oklahoma City
May 19, 2008
Wow! What a ride!
The MacGregor Family Adventure Series has a little of everything my students look for in a novel: adventure, suspense, romance, and humor. My eighth graders especially love the books because, as one student put it, “The books don’t talk down to us; they assume we have a clue about the things that go on.”
From a teacher’s perspective, the books have everything we are looking for, too: a wholesome, intelligent, nuclear family; children who show respect for adults; a plethora of information about science, history, and geography; and an insight to environmental issues without the push to be “tree huggers.” While Trout certainly has an opinion about caring for our environment, he is careful to present all sides of the issues at hand.
And, as a mom, the books speak positively as well. While the MacGregor children are clearly not your average children in average situations, they maintain silly sibling rivalry and behaviors common to kids their own ages.
I bought the entire set of six and am waiting anxiously for seven through fifteen. Our librarian can’t keep them on the shelves and my students (and children) are lining up to borrow my personal copies!
Cindy Bryant, NBCT, Language Arts Teacher, Mother of 4, Rector Johnson Middle School
Broken Bow, Oklahoma
We have utilized The MacGregor Family Adventure Series in many different ways. These adventures help enhance the curriculum while enticing students to continue to read. For instance, in the book Cayman Gold we created a unit regarding mapping hurricanes, a visitor’s guide to the Cayman Islands, and understanding the significance of coral reefs. With the MacGregor Family Adventure Series, we are able to enhance the science, social science and language arts curricula. A visit from the author upon reading theseries creates even more student interest. The student interest leads to further reading thus promoting education.
Sherri Pankhurst, NBCT, Cordell Secondary Librarian, Cordell, Oklahoma
The MacGregor Family Adventure Series has been a great addition to our middle school library. The books have an incredible amount of adventure which keep the kids involved in the story. Richard Trout somehow manages to teach students about ecology, history, and geography without them realizing they’re learning! The first time I read Cayman Gold to a class they immediately wanted to find the Cayman Islands on the globe and learn more about them from the internet. There are few authors who incite that kind of excitement about learning. Every year the students anticipate a new tale from Mr. Trout and are never disappointed with his new adventure. The books are always enjoyed by teachers, parents, and students alike. It’s a relief to know that his books are going to be easily enjoyed and there is no fear of adult situations or questionable language. Mr. Trout is definitely one of our students’ favorite authors and he never fails to take them on thrilling adventures around the globe.
Ginna Bloom, Library Media Specialist, Independence Middle School, Yukon OK
I would like to commend Richard Trout for his incredible contributions to young adult literature and the encouragement of reading among children and young adults. Children, teens and their families thoroughly enjoy your Macgregor Family adventure series. The bring a combination of critical thinking, adventure, and fun that is lacking in so much of children’s and young adult literature today. These are often “breakthrough books” that grad even reluctant readers’ attentions and keep them “hooked” on reading.
I would also like to express my pleasure in Richard Trout’s speaking abilities. Mr. Trout was a featured author at a recent Young Authors and Illustrators Conference in Central Texas. Mr. Trout was able to interest attendees in writing and exploring their creative abilities. He encouraged the use of the imagination and the need to read, read, read!
The Harker Heights Public Library appreciates Richard Trout, his books, and his commitment to excellence in children’s and young adult literature. Authors like Mr. Trout who so willingly share their craft with children and teenagers are certainly rare, and we are thankful to have had the opportunity to meet and speak with him.
Lisa Youngblood, Library Director, Harker Heights Public Library
I personally became interested in Mr. Trout’s book series after he did an author visit to Hefner Middle School a few years ago. He is such a fantastic presenter and really kept my seventh grade student’s attention, which is not always easy to do. At that point, I began to read the series and fell in love with the MacGregor family. Even as a science teacher, I always encourage my students to read and earn Accelerated Reader points. When I encounter those students that don’t like to read, I always ask, “Have you read any of Richard Trout’s books like Cayman Gold?” I know there is enough adventure, excitement, and mystery to keep their attention through the whole book and they are great for boys or girls to read. My student’s also fall in love with his books and become more adamant readers. Mr. Trout’s books help students to find a passion for reading that the didn’t know they had. I appreciate his series and I enjoy recommending it to my students.
Jana Holcomb, 7th grade English/Science, Hefner Middle School
I am a 7th grade English teacher at MacArthur Middle School in Lawton, Oklahoma, and I have been using Richard Trout’s MacGregor Family series for several years in my classroom. Mr. Trout also comes to visit with our students every year and this adds to the student’s interest in reading Mr. Trout’s series – they make a connection with the author that is invaluable when it comes to peaking a young teen’s interest in reading any book. I have the students create daily journals which are written from one of the main character’s point of view. The students tell how their character feels and what he/she is thinking during each chapter. This really gives the students a personal involvement in the book because they have to relate to the character they have chosen.
Mr. Trout’s series is fast paced and really grabs the reader’s attention and holds it all the way through the book. He is also very attentive to detail and makes a connection to history in each prologue. It is wonderful to watch the students make the connections as they read. Our school library cannot keep Mr. Trout’s books on the shelves once we have read the first book in class!
I have had the pleasure of getting to know Richard Trout the past two years and would recommend him for any school assembly. My students have read several of his books and they absolutely love them. Each year I have Richard come and visit with our sixth graders to share with them how he began writing novels and about the many adventures he has encountered over the years. He is always very informative and captivating. This year our Art teacher created an art project to go along with the research project I assign while reading Elephant Tears. The students used various materials to create mask of the different animals associated with Africa and the book. We displayed the mask and research books in our foyer for all to enjoy and of course we had wonderful comments about this display.
I would highly recommend Richard to any school as I feel he has much to offer our teens today.
I had the opportunity to meet Professor Trout at the Jason Action Summit in Washington DC during the summer of 2006. His novel, Cayman Gold, had been chosen as one of the literature selections for the Jason Project’s Monster Storms curriculum. After previewing the novel in the days after mytime spent in Washington, I found that I could not put the book down. Further, I found myself wanting to learn more about the author himself. As a teacher at a Catholic elementary school, I was drawn to his style of writing. It is difficult to find quality literature for the middle school audience. I found that not only was the novel clearly well-researched but had an engaging plot and traditional family as the main characters. This winning combination is an answer to a teacher’s prayer!
In the past month, I have convinced my school librarian to purchase the MacGregor Family series to add to our collection. She has created a special display in our school library to highlight these new additions.
We are hoping to host Professor Trout during the next academic year at a school assembly for students in grades 4-8. As our school is the largest in the Diocese of Worcester, he will have quite an audience approx. 260 students). Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to share my thoughts about Richard Trout and his novels for young adults.
Danielle Colvert, St. Bernadette School, Northboro, Massachusetts
Not only are Richard Trout’s adventure novels great for kids,parents willalsoenjoy reading the historical and geographic details that are the setting of every MacGregor Family book. As a parent, I find it refreshingthat Mr. Trout blends high adventure and family values in all of his books. Although my son is an independent reader, we have enjoyed reading these novels together in the evening. Thank you, Mr. Trout, for sharing your love of theenvironment, history and adventure in a fun to read book series. Sincerely, Kelly Feroli
Richard Trout is a wonderful writer & guest speaker. For the last several years he has visited us at Foster Middle School in Tulsa, OK. During the weeks before he arrives, our teachers read parts of his MacGregor Family Adventure Series books to our students to get them interested in the story lines. I myself have then become so involved in them, that I have to finish reading the entire book on my own to see how it is going to end. His books are entertaining for all ages, not just children. They are very exciting and action packed, but they also include a lot of facts and historical information so you are learning something new while you are being entertained. When Mr.Trout does a presentation for our entire sixth grade class (approximately 240 students), he talks about how he decided to become a writer & how he starts writing a book. He explains how he created his characters and how he got a lot of his ideas from his own wife and children. He also goes in to great detail about how he researches his locations & their history to make sure he is including correct information. He not only tells the students about all his travels and adventures, but he also brings a slide show with pictures to go along with it, this keeps the students even more enthralled with his presentation. He even explains how he collaborates with the artist that does his book covers and illustrations for his books. I have personally purchased all of Mr. Trout’s books in his MacGregor Family Series and he was so kind as to autograph each one personally to my son. They will always be a special keepsake on his bookshelf. As a teacher, mother & avid reader, I highly recommend Mr. Richard Trout’s books and his prowess as a guest speaker. Gina Goralczyk, 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher, at Foster Middle School (for the last 20 years) in Tulsa,OK. Mother of a teenage girl & boy