Children’s book author Elisa Camara visits Riverview Elementary School

Children’s book author Elisa Camara visited Riverview Elementary School Monday afternoon to read her book “Patriot Pup” to students. She explained the book teaches young readers the definition of patriotism, American traditions and the importance of respecting veterans. (Pioneer photos/Taylor Fussman)

BIG RAPIDS — Riverview Elementary School was filled with smiles and laughter Monday afternoon as children’s book author Elisa Camara stopped by to teach students about patriotism.

A group of second-, third- and fourth-graders had the opportunity to listen to Camara read her book, “Patriot Pup,” aloud. The book tells the story of a young boy named Hank, his uncle, the Marine, and a bulldog puppy they find in the woods.

“I had a great time at the elementary school here in Michigan. They were a great audience,” Camara said.

She explained previously through the adventures of Hank and Patriot Pup, young readers learn the definition of patriotism, American traditions and the importance of respecting veterans.

Camara was inspired to write “Patriot Pup,” after her brother, a U.S. Marine, Sergeant Mecot Camara, was killed in the Beirut Bombing in 1983.

She said this loss inspired her to share her brother’s story and teach people of all ages about American values. In particular, Camara said young children should learn the lessons of what patriotism means and why people should value veterans.

“If you start at a young age, they learn to value our country and freedom,” she said. “Then I know my brother didn’t die in vain.”

A copy of “Patriot Pup,” along with its sequel, “Patriot Pup Volume II: Baseballs and Hotdogs,” were donated to Riverview Elementary School for students to check out and read whenever they would like.

Second-, third- and fourth-graders from Riverview Elementary School helped act out different parts of “Patriot Pup,” by showing author Elisa Camara their best growl.

Camara will continue her tour through Michigan the rest of the week.

At 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5, at the Big Rapids Community Library, Camara will present “Patriot Pup.”

Following this, at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, she will stop by AmVets Post 1941 and American Legion Post 98 to meet with veterans.

Camara will speak to students, faculty and members of the community from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, in the Interdisciplinary Resource Center room 120 on Ferris State University’s campus.

The Michigan book tour will end with a stop at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing on Thursday, hosted by State Rep. Michele Hoitenga.

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Posted by Taylor Fussman

Taylor is the city/county reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review newspapers. She can be reached at (231) 592-8362 or by email at tfussman@pioneergroup.com.

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