The Adventures of Peter Lourie

Boom! Splash! Crash! On a hot summer day, a great canoeist, Peter Lourie, author and adventurer, navigated the rapids on the Hudson River, New York, USA, from its source to the New York Harbor. He is an amazing nonfiction writer, who came to our school to work with the fourth graders. His advice to the students is “Good writing is detailed writing.”

Peter Lourie speaking with students about his journey on the Hudson River.We had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Lourie. We wondered what are the pros and cons of his job. Sadly, he doesn’t have enough time to do the research he’d love to do. He wishes he had years to learn and know a subject to become an expert. The best part of his job is working with people who are “passionate” about a topic. Being in exotic environments such as the arctic and working with Inuit as they catch whales, or Africa with experts studying human evolution are favorite parts of his job.

Peter Lourie did not always want to be a writer. If you can imagine he had many interests in different jobs. Surprisingly, at age nine or ten Mr. Lourie wanted to be a pilot. A little later, he wanted to be an oceanographer. Next, an underwater archaeologist then, a physical anthropologist but he never ended up doing any of those jobs. As a writer he spends more time researching and locating experts then he does the actual subject.

We were curious if it was difficult to be away from his family for long periods of time. When his children were young it was hard for everyone. Now that his kids are older it is easer and his wife enjoys the break ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! He misses his family and appreciates coming home. Being away from his home is exhausting, but talking to people and gathering the research he needs to write a great book is helpful for him.

After listening to Peter Lourie, we received more strategies to use in our writing. We’ve learned how to incorporate interesting details in to our nonfiction writing. He not only inspired  our writing but encouraged a sense of adventure. So if Mr. Lourie motivated you to explore and have some fun, then go ahead and enjoy an adventure and don’t keep it to yourself …  write about it!

Reported by Caden, Beck, and Kris.