Middle school student, teacher each publish first novel

Carlisle/West Shore

ENOLA, Pa. (WHTM) — There is power in a name.

Those are the first words in Elisa Carr’s first book.

“I write under the pen name Val Cates,” said Elisa Carr, a seventh- and eighth-grade English and language arts teacher at West Perry Middle School.

Now a published author, it probably comes as no surprise, Carr has a way with words.

“A Gift of Name” is a young adult fantasy novel. 

“It focuses on a group of friends. They were enslaved by a sorcerer and robbed of their memories,” said Carr.

A book signing over the weekend was a surreal experience, but the cherry on top was the person sitting beside her at Cupboard Maker Books: her student.

Lizzie Boyer is going into ninth grade and published her first novel, “Wild,” under the pen name Rachel Myers, right about the same time as Carr.

“It’s mainly about a girl on a horse, and the horse gets injured, and they go to a state championship after rehabilitation,” said Boyer.

Just a teen, Boyer has always had a fascination with books.

“She started reading books before she could walk or crawl,” her dad said.

She even read part of her teacher’s book before it was published. Both plan to publish more novels. Carr plans to write a trilogy.

You can buy both books on Amazon and at Cupboard Maker Books. You can also buy “Wild” on barnesandnoble.com.

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