By: Ava Silvestri, Editorial staff (25’)
“Destiny is just the inevitable result of choice, from the choices that came before us to the choices we make. They are a river that can only flow in one direction.” -Alex London.
The award-winning author, Alex London, visited Indian Hills on December 15th, 2022. Ever since COVID hit in 2020, Alex London has remotely called into a few of the writing classes to discuss about his work. However, for the first time since quarantine, London has visited Indian Hills in person, giving Indian Hills Students a taste of the lifelong career, and daily life, of a successful author.
Alex London became a big hit for readers around the world after his first book, Proxy, was released in 2013, quickly gaining a loyal following. Since then, he has written various books for all age levels and has become more well-known among readers. From full-grown adults to small children, he has written it all. The Battle of Dragons or The Wild Ones sparks more interest from middle schoolers. While books novels such as Proxy and One Day the Soldiers Came tend to land in the hands of more mature audiences such as teenagers and adults.
One of Alex London’s most well-known books, Proxy, tells the story of a dystopian society. This society consists of the poor, also known as Proxy, taking on the punishments for the rich, known as Patrons, for their wrongdoings. Knox, known as the rich kid, commits a terrible crime that Syd, the Proxy and main character, is forced to take the punishment. Proxy connects to real-world experiences that may not be easily identified and can be interpreted in many ways. The adventure-filled book takes many twists and turns that keep the reader engaged as well as at the edge of their seats.
Alex London had a few different sessions throughout the day, meeting with English Department-led classes, such as Myth and Culture, Dystopian Literature, and grade-level English classes. During his first general session, he talked about his journey to becoming a writer and why he writes specifically for teenagers in particular. Alex London shared that his journey first started when he read a book called Enders Game and how it sparked the writer in him. He shared, “I can be a hero of my own story” and “It saved my life, this book.” When Alex London decided that he was going to be a writer, he shared that not many people thought he could actually be a writer. However, London’s achievements show that one can accomplish anything one set their mind to.
When he actually became a writer, he mentioned that his first career path was first a journalist, going to different places around the world to share the stories and experiences of others, such as refugee camps in Africa. When he progressed through his speeches, Alex London shared why he writes for teenagers, “I remember what it’s like to be a teenager,” and “I remember what books can do for me.”
Overall, Alex London’s visit was a huge success, enjoyed by students who came to watch. The impact London has on writers was shown through a personal story that was told when London gave a book to a boy in a refugee camp. That book changed his life and was and still is able to help children throughout his camp. It gave students a first-hand look at how a successful author, Alex London, became who he is today, and showed that not everyone’s paths are the same and the smallest experiences can spark the greatest changes. After Alex London’s visit, students were left with a powerful message that allowed students to gain a better understanding of themselves and their future goals. On behalf of the Indian Hill Community, thank you for reminding us that, “It is your job as young people to take your dreams seriously.”-Alex London.