Skip to main content

Hopedale - Local Town Pages

Hopedale Author Visit

By Chloe Zhang
Over the summer, junior high students of Hopedale read the books of Francisco Stork for their summer reading. Stork is a fictional writer for young adults, often writing stories derived from his own experiences. The students got to read his books that touched on real-life issues, such as mental illnesses and violence. Through his writing, Stork allows young adults to have a place in which they can escape reality. 
Francisco Xavier Arguelles was born in Monterey, Mexico to a single mother. It wasn’t until later in his life that his name would eventually be changed into Francisco Stork from his stepdad, Charles Stork. Charles supported Stork’s dream to become a writer and encouraged him by giving him a typewriter for his birthday. This typewriter would not only allow Stork to start writing, but it also helped him to break into the world of writing on his own. Eventually, when Stork turned 9, Charles wanted to bring the family to America to create a better life.his was not easy since Charles was 65 at the time. 
The family lived in a series of apartments and trailer homes before being evicted. It was when Stork was thirteen, that Charles died in an automobile accident. Even through this difficult time, Stork’s mom Ruth wanted to continue their life in the United States and eventually was able to obtain an apartment from a housing project in El Paso. It was around this time that Stork started to focus on his education, which would eventually lead him to receive a scholarship that allowed him to pursue school and his dream of writing. After college, Stork worked in law before publishing his first book “The Way of The Jaguar”. 
Stork’s books speak about different aspects of mental illness, which helps him connect to his young-adult audience. He chooses to write about these things because he recognizes the stigma with mental health and wants to show teens that it’s perfectly normal to…. Stork’s pursuit and love for writing are clearly shown through his writing and how he describes his favorite aspects of being a writer. 
“To me, there’s a lot of pleasure in writing, and the writing process. I think the reason why I enjoy writing so much is because I started writing at a fairly young age. I feel like journaling when I was younger allowed me to recognize that writing is a tool, a coping mechanism, and a way for people to escape reality. I write for the reason that I enjoy but also because it makes you forget the world around you and lose track of time.” 
Stork also shared his process of writing, and the steps that led him to become an author for the students who want to pursue a job in the creative writing field. 
“You just have to have patience, you know, a lot of kids want to start writing and want to publish a book right away, but it takes a while. You have to believe in the practice of reading and writing. I think that a lot of kids at this age also don’t know what they want to do with their life. Three things to keep in mind to know what to do with your life, do something you love, do something you’re good at, do something helpful to others.”
On Oct. 11, the junior high students of Hopedale welcomed Stork to their school to speak with Stork and learn about his experiences. Many of the students enjoyed his writing and the different ways he incorporated mental illnesses, such as depression, throughout his story. The students enjoyed Stork’s presentation and what he had to say. 
“It was interesting how he can come up with all those ideas!”- Yousef A.
“The author’s writing was creative, how he related it to his writing, and how his stories reflect his life” - Adaline B.
“I thought that the author was inspiring due to his connection to his stories. You can tell how interested he is in sharing his reading journey.”- Maggie F. 
“I really really enjoyed his visit and I thought that it was very intriguing!” - Abby K. 
Stork’s visit at Hopedale allowed the students to learn more about the career field of creative writing, as well as ways they can also enter the field. Through his presentation, he was able to engage the students and teach them about the process of writing.