Young Author Shares Story With Children

Addie Schneid, a 2012 Wheeling Central Catholic High School graduate, returned home Tuesday to share a story she wrote about a seashell who makes friends all over the world but finally finds a home.

At 15, her dream to write a children’s book germinated. When she was 16, the dream took root when she thought of a story about a traveling seashell named Shelly. Last fall as a freshman at West Virginia University studying elementary education, she found a way for her dream to sprout and grow. She wrote “Shelly on the Seashore” and had it published by Authorhouse. The soft-cover book was illustrated by Susan Shorter, an Authorhouse illustrator.

Schneid, daughter of Craig and Renee Schneid of Wheeling, visited several schools this week to read her book, including her alma mater Our Lady of Peace Parish School, where her mother is the eighth grade and religion teacher. She also read at Hilltop Elementary School, Corpus Christi Parish School, St. Michael Parish School, McNinch Elementary, Center McMechen Elementary, New Martinsville Elementary and Bridgeport Elementary.

In the book, Shelly the seashell travels throughout the world on the ocean’s currents. She visits and makes friends in Madagascar, New Zealand, the Great Barrier Reef, Singapore, Egypt, Venice and Greece. She realizes, though, that she longs to have a home of her own. One day, she washes ashore at Myrtle Beach, S.C. – a destination Schneid said she has visited every year of her life – where a little girl named Sarah picks her up and gives her a place to call home.

Schneid said it was important to her to teach kids about world geography, a subject she knew little about until her senior year of high school.

“A lot of kids said they really liked the characters and the places she goes,” Schneid said. She was impressed with some of the intelligent questions and comments the students had about the places Shelly visited and the ocean creatures. “It’s just been really interesting to see what they think and what they say.”

Some students also asked if she’s going to write more books, and she said she will.

“One kid came up to me when I was there reading and said, ‘You’re going to be as famous as Captain Underpants except you spell everything right,'” Schneid said. The second-grader at Bridgeport was referring to the popular underpants-clad, caped adventurer created by Dav Pilkey.

C’Ann Reilly, Our Lady of Peace principal, said it’s always exciting to have alumni such as Addie return and share their successes with the students.

“She was always a very strong student, a leader, very involved, very engaged. She sets goals for herself and sees them through,” Reilly said.