We connect students

The Wire

We connect students

The Wire

We connect students

The Wire

Award-Winning Author A.S. King Speaks to Monroe-Woodbury Students

Hailey Lanari
A.S. King explaining the importance of journaling in her writing process.

Award-winning author, A.S. King, spoke at Monroe-Woodbury High School assembly on February 7 to share her writing career and outlook on emotional well-being with students.

Amy Sarig King, also known by her pseudonym A.S. King, is a Young Adult novelist known for her books Dig, Attack of the Black Rectangles, Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, Switch, and Ask the Passengers. She is also the two-time winner of the Printz Award, an award that recognizes young adult literature.

Although she has become successful and happy with her career, she discussed with students the difficult path she took to get there.

“I graduated in the bottom quarter of my class, and I’m living proof that you can do whatever you want to do with your life even if you graduate at the bottom,” said King, “High school doesn’t define you, but I didn’t know that then.”

Her presentation was titled “Who fills your suitcase?” in which she discusses the importance of taking inventory of the emotional baggage people carry with them.

“They say that you are the five people that you hang out with the most, so what’s really important is that when we look at our suitcase, we have to look at our friends and how they act and treat us,” said King.

She felt it was important to describe her own “suitcase” and the constant need to “clean it out.”

“I opened my suitcase up and there’s this guy, my ninth grade math teacher. He wouldn’t know my name; I was just some girl he didn’t call on, and yet I carried him with me until I graduated with that terrible grade-point average,” said King, “I had to remove him and all the bullies in my life, they shouldn’t be in there.”

King urged students to start journaling as a form of processing their feelings and experiences. She discussed how although she hadn’t expected it, journaling became an integral part of her emotional and writing journey.

A. S. King discussing the importance of understanding emotions to improve writing (Anh-Thu Nguyen)











“My journals helped me in my journey and learn that my feelings matter,” said King, “I didn’t care if others didn’t care, I cared, and I want you to care about your feelings.”

She also talked about her vast experiences outside of her literary work, such as her involvement in community service, starting her own nonprofit organization, living on a farm in Ireland, and owning a contracting business.

“Having all sorts of experiences, meeting all sorts of people teaches you more stuff and helps you understand more things,” said King, “It’s what allows me to write about so many things and so many types of people.”

A.S. King was invited to speak to the students by the Monroe-Woodbury High School librarians Ms. Sherman and Ms. Speer.

“We are so lucky to be able to have her here,” said librarian Ms. Speer, “she really gets teenagers.”

The assembly received mixed reviews from students and staff. Some could agree that the topics she discussed were important, but other students didn’t connect with King.

Which is your favorite A. S. King book?


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“It was alright, she said some good things.” said Clarissa Pagoada, a senior.

“She seemed nice and fairly interesting.” said Leila Margillo, a senior, “She was better than other speakers we’ve had.”

“I think it was a good presentation for [the students] to see, she made some nice points,” said English teacher Mr. Hyman.


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