By MADOLINE MARKHAM
In elementary school Robert Krauss would write whole newspapers for fun after he got home from school. So perhaps it’s not surprising that the MBJH seventh grader published a novel this fall.
The Knight’s Lance, a story of good and evil set in two realms of future medieval times, is now in circulation at the Emmet O’Neal Library and Crestline Elementary library.
“Robert has created an imaginative world with funny, consistent characters and wrangled all that into an organized plot that keeps the reader turning pages,” said Emmet O’Neal children’s librarian Rachel Hebert. “The story has comedy, tragedy and catharsis. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with as he gets older and continues to refine his natural talent.”
The book was set in a special display along with Robert’s artwork at the Emmet O’Neal in the fall.
The story originated in what Robert calls “writing mania” in fourth grade. He had also been reading the Harry Potter books and others about medieval life at the time.
“This was my first story that was all my imagination,” he said. Most of his other stories had been spinoffs of books he had read.
Two years later, he was charged to come up with a yearlong project for his PAGE class, a program for gifted students, at Crestline taught by Susan Dulin. He had always liked to write and draw, so a book project seemed like a natural fit.
Starting with the introduction and two main characters he had already written, Robert followed a story plan to fill in details of the plot and add a new character.
After writing and editing with the help of editor Nancy Glaub throughout sixth grade, last summer he drew illustrations and prepared it for publication. With the help of his parents, Bill and Erin, he even got the book copyrighted.
Robert dedicated the book to Geoffrey Glaub, a friend who passed away from cancer a few years ago, and Karen Scott, his fifth grade English teacher.
After Robert had reworked a five-paragraph essay for Scott, she said he should dedicate his first book to her. Little did she know that time would come less than two years later.
“When I gave the book to Mrs. Scott, she got excited and said she would go home and read it to her 6-year-old daughter,” Robert said.
Robert hasn’t been writing quite as much lately because he stays busy with school work and playing baritone in the band, but his writing career is far from over.
“The Knight’s Lance certainly seems like sequel material,” he said.