Hot off the press

LEWISTOWN – Local teacher and author Dave Webb recently published his eighth and ninth children’s books.

These new books, “The Challenge,” and “The House on Eerie Street and Other Spooky Stories,” are appropriate for the fifth graders he teaches on a daily basis at Sacret Heart of Jesus School in Lewistown. He has been teaching fifth grade there for three years.

“The Challenge” is about a young boy who placed a bet with his best friend to give a compliment to a different person every day for two weeks. He begins to think the task is pretty easy until he starts running out of people, and compliments, within the first week. Will young Tanner Martin complete the task at hand or will he have to choose an unknown dare from the frightening Box of Doom?

“The House on Eerie Street and Other Spooky Stories” is about two curious young boys who decided to lurk around an old, abandoned house on Eerie Street. They find the courage to make it to the front steps, but what is behind the old cracked doors? There are also two more suspenseful stories in this book for any adventurous reader, if they dare.

Earlier in his teaching career Webb learned that writing children’s books was a great way to combine his two passions: writing and teaching. He even uses some of his experiences in the classroom as material for some of his books, such as when a former student of his tied himself to a chair with his book bag straps. When a fire drill went off moments later, the other students had to carry him outside in his chair. If you’ve read Webb’s book that was published in 1996, “Slinky Inkermann and the Crazy Contest,” this scene may seem familiar.

“It’s always important to write about what you know first,” Webb said.

Because of Webb’s love for reading and writing, his students have a large literary influence in their lives. He enjoys reading some of his books, as well as other favorites, such as “Maniac Magee,” by Jerry Spinelle, to his class. He also publishes his students’ writings in small books and gives copies to each student at the end of the year as a keepsake of what they were able to create.

“My aim is to inspire students who love reading and to want to write their own stories,” Webb said.

Webb recommends that any young student who hopes to some day become a writer, “Never be satisfied with your final draft. Read it over and over, thinking you are someone else reading it for the first time. Don’t give up if you are rejected. If you stick with it, eventually someone will read something you wrote and enjoy it.”

With the help of several print-on-demand companies, he has been able to publish his nine books and sell thousands of copies, especially his two most popular books, “Slinky Inkermann and the Crazy Contest,” and “Amber.”

He has also contributed to other books that have been published by Mailbox Magazine, a publication specifically for teachers.

Webb hopes to one day write a nonfiction book about his almost 30-year career as a teacher.

Anyone interested in purchasing Webb’s books can find them online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, and his website at davewebbtheauthor.weebly.com.