When author Marc Tyler Nobleman visited Greenwood Elementary School Sept. 15, his first words to the students elicited a cheer.
“I am here because you are my boss,” Nobleman, a children’s author, told the kids.
Nobleman is the author of more than 70 books for young people, including “Brave Like My Brother,” “The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra,” and “Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman,” which inspired the documentary “Batman & Bill.” Many of his books focus on superheroes.
Nobleman, who visited Greenwood as part of a tour of elementary schools throughout the region, told the students as an author, he would not succeed if he didn’t write what children liked to read.
Many students were dressed in superhero T-shirts showing Superman or Batman in anticipation of Nobleman’s visit.
“Our principal, Tom Wollpert, enjoyed Nobleman’s Superman book when it came out in 2008,” said Mary Jean Hoyt, Greenwood’s library media specialist. “He thought the author would be a great choice to share his story and inspire our students as readers, researchers and writers.”
Nobleman began the assembly by talking about his childhood love of superheroes. He showed several photos from a very young age through his teen years in which he was wearing Superman or Robin costumes.
Nobleman said he enjoyed writing even as a child. He won a poetry contest at age 9 for a poem about his mother, the same person who saved the many, many photos of him in superhero costumes he showed the students.
One photo showed him dressed in a Superman costume for Halloween. His mother made him wear a heavy jacket over the costume due to the weather.
“Doesn’t my mom know that superheroes never cover their costume?” he asked. “Why didn’t she let me wear the coat under my costume?”
The students seemed to agree.
Part of Nobleman’s presentation focused on “Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman” and “Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman.” Both books follow the real-life stories of people who encountered challenges as superhero creators — the former in getting a publisher to buy “Superman” and the latter in getting credit for authoring “Batman.”
“You are all creators, too,” Noblemen told the students, “inventions, recipes, drawings – whatever it is that you create, don’t forget to take credit for what you do.”
Hoyt said it is important for students to meet authors in person.
“It encourages reading for pleasure and increases enthusiasm for reading,” she said. “[Nobleman] gave an entertaining presentation that inspired the students to write their stories and draw their stories. Before he left the building, I was already getting requests for his books in the library.”