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Bedford science teacher takes literary turn

BEDFORD - The Books for Breakfast Cafe at the Ross A. Lurgio Middle School often features guest authors, but it isn't often that the guest turns out to be one of the school's faculty.

Science teacher Rob Dubreuil's successful attempt at getting a picture book published earned him a place in the school library Friday morning, meeting with students to read his book and talk about the process of writing it.

"Daniel and the Harmonica" is Dubreuil's first published book, about a young boy who receives a harmonica for his birthday from his grandfather and the magical things that happen with it.

The book includes tips on playing some traditional songs on the harmonica, and Dubreuil played a couple of tunes for the audience at the end of the story reading.

"The harmonica is a very forgiving instrument," he told the group of about 20. "Even if you play it a little sloppy, it can still sound good."

Several students came to support their teacher as he made the presentation.

"He's my science teacher and I wanted to be here when he read the book," said Lauren Labonte.

Reading specialist Kate Schoedinger said the Books for Breakfast Cafe, which meets each Friday, is popular among students, who come into school a half-hour early to attend the book club-like meeting.

"It's the only thing in school that doesn't have an obligation to it," she said. "This is the social celebration of literature."

Schoedinger said students can come as often as they like, sample some of the breakfast snacks provided by the Bedford PTG and talk about reading, listen to authors or learn about the writing process.

"It's completely social," she said. "There's nothing academic. You can come, be with friends, be with other kids and just talk about what you're reading."

Dubreuil told students about the process of being published, which included multiple rejection letters, the artistic process and the editing that resulted in the reduction of his story by more than half.

Dubreuil said he learned a lot about the book writing process, and was glad to be able to share his story with his school community.

"It's been great," he said. "It's been a pleasure to share this story, and I've got this great community of people cheering me on."

Dubreuil said the Books for Breakfast Cafe is an institution at the school and that the literacy staff works hard to promote all things reading.

"This is an honor, and I'm glad I can be a part of it," he said.

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