Read Along the River author talks about her ‘teachers’
September 18, 2010
Author Sy Montgomery knows a little about teachers.
She has had many teachers including a shaman, a gorilla and even a pit of 18,000 snakes.
Montgomery, author of the 2010 Read Along the River book “The Good Good Pig”, talked about all those teachers and her journey to becoming a international best-selling writer at Struthers Library Theatre on Friday with two presentations for Warren County students.
In the afternoon session for seventh and eighth graders, Montgomery began with a Buddhist proverb and said, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
She talked about how words like “pollution” and “deforestation” became more prevalent in the 1960s. The budding writer started to consider how human action affected other creatures in the world.
“Human beings are destroying the world,” she said of her epiphany. “That’s what made me want to be a writer.”
Through writing about subjects like the pink dolphins of the Amazon River, tarantulas, the golden moon bear and the tigers of the Bay of Bengal in India and Bangladesh, Montgomery aimed to teach her readers about the creatures of the world and how they have a role in the balance of the earth.
Each of her subjects served as a teacher.
“A tiger is a tough teacher, too, because they can eat you,” she said.
The tigers of the Sundarbans, a mangrove forest stretching along the Bay of Bengal, actually hunt and eat humans. However, she said the natives are not annoyed by their carnivorous neighbors. Montgomery researched the subject for her book entitled “The Man-Eating Tigers of Sundarbans.”
“They don’t want to eradicate them.” she said. “They know we need predators to keep the world whole.”
She added, “The book was like solving a mystery.”
Montgomery encourage the student audience to explore the world and find their own mysteries to solve.
“The world is in your hands, so hold it carefully,” she said. “There’s teachers out there to help you and guide you and you will never be alone.”
Montgomery also spoke at an evening session at the theatre that was open to the public.