Warwood Teacher’s Aide Writes Book for Young Adults
WHEELING – Warwood Middle School teacher’s aide Christa Davis sits and listens with glee to the conversations she hears among students, but she notices she isn’t hearing much ‘pig Latin’ — or, more appropriately, “ig-pay Atin-lay” — spoken among them these days.
Davis also loves to write, and her students’ words have inspired her to pen her first book, “Pig Latin Is Not Dead,” which is now available in book stores.
Davis has worked as a paraprofessional for 15 years at Warwood. She said when she was a middle school student, she and her friends often communicated by speaking or writing in pig Latin.
“I’m always the kind of person who listens to conversations, and picks up funny things and thinks this could be cute,” she said. “I used to talk pig Latin when I was in middle school, and I thought this is a topic people need to remember.
“A lot of older people I have talked to about the book have said, ‘I remember talking ‘pig Latin.” Now it’s … about reintroducing it to the next generation so they can learn ‘pig Latin.'”
In Davis’ book, the main character experiences the typical life of a sixth grader, and “offers the readers an entertaining peek into the ways of modern-day teenagers and how they act in society.” The young teenager’s life is said to be made more magical and interesting by communicating with her friends using pig Latin.
For the uninitiated, pig Latin is defined as a made-up language formed from English by transferring the initial consonant or consonant cluster of each word to the end of the word and adding a vocalic syllable. It is typically spoken playfully, as if to convey secrecy, according to the Oxford Dictionary.
“It is still English, you just turn the letters around,” Davis said. “The words have to start with a vowel, and then end with ‘ay.'”
Today’s students just don’t know what to think yet about Davis’ book and the topic of pig Latin.
“They haven’t read it a lot because it is just brand new,” she said. “The kids who have read it like it, and they think it’s funny. Some of the kids are trying to learn pig Latin. Then there were some kids who just skipped over it, and said they don’t know it.
“It goes both ways. Some want to understand pig Latin. Others skipped over it, and that is where the funny parts were.”
While it is a different language for young students, some told Davis they had heard about it from their parents.
She said if today’s students pick up on pig Latin, there could be “a cute little club.”
The book took Davis eight months to write, and another eight months to publish. She also drew the photo that is on the front of the book.
“It was a hoot — a lot of fun,” she said.
Davis plans to write and publish additional books that continue to follow the characters through their teen years.