Local author inspires MCC fourth graders

May 8, 2023

Local author inspires MCC fourth graders

Spartan News is a presentation of Mason County Central School District in partnership with Mason County Press. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

SCOTTVILLE — Local author Carol Farley recently visited fourth grade students at Mason County Central Upper Elementary.  Teacher Sarah Matthews said she’s been inspired by Farley’s books since she was in elementary school. 

Farley, 86, has written 20 books and dozens of shorter tales that were all published. She lived in Ludington for the first eight years of her life and many of her books are based in Mason County. She married an army officer, Dennis Farley, and they lived in five different states and three different countries. After she moved 24 times and after her husband died, she returned to live in Ludington. 

Farley’s first book was published in 1958. 

One of the books that Matthews’ class recently read was “Mystery of the Fog Man. She explained to the students that she got the idea for the book while she had rheumatic fever and wasn’t allowed to leave her bed.

She told the students that she was lonely as a child and writing was an outlet for her to use her imagination and create her own characters. She said she had received a diary for Christmas when she was a child and realized that writing about her own life was boring. So, she made up stories. 

She told the students that they could do anything they would like for a living and they should pursue their dreams. 

Farley said her favorite book, that she wrote, is “The Garden is Doing Fine.” Published in 1977, and written in 1975, it is the story about her father, who died when she was 9-years-old. 

“Carol’s visit brought so much joy to my classroom,” Matthews said. “Listening to her stories about Ludington in the 50s, her travels, and her writing process sparked some creativity in my students.”

Another special visitor to Matthews’ class during Farley’s visit was Deanne Nordine, Matthews’ third grade teacher. Matthews first read Farley’s books when she was in Nordine’s class. 

“For me, it was especially joyful to get to share the experience with Mrs. Nordine. She inspired me to become a teacher. Having her stand in my classroom and share our own memories was a full circle moment that I will always treasure.”

Read more about Farley in a 2013 article posted on MCP. 

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