Teacher pens kids’ novel

One Downtown resident and long-time supply teacher is turning his experience interacting with kids into an exciting piece of fiction targeted at the curious children and young adults.
Queen’s Quay and Spadina resident Randy Coates has taught students from kindergarten to grade 8 over the past 20 years at various schools around the city. His daily observations inspired him to write.
“I’ve written several short stories before, but never a children’s book,” explained Coates as he prepares for the forthcoming school year. “I see these kids and how they bond and stick up for each other, what they say and do, and I started getting ideas for a book.”
Published earlier this summer on iUniverse, his novel More Precious Than Rubies: The Return of the Norse Gods tells the tale of a group of students who are confronted with a new and very odd authority figure at their school.
Rooted in mythology as the title would suggest, the novel follows 12-year-old Paul and his best friend as their curiosity, and later alarm, is set off by the random actions of the principal, Mr. Theisen.
“It’s about students bonding, bringing various aspects of multiculture together and sticking up for one another,” said Coates, who attended the University of Western Ontario. “There is a teacher that is based upon me, and other teachers that I’ve known, but it’s more so about the students that I’ve taught.”
“I know how they talk, I see what they are for and against; I see the camaraderie.”
The book is currently for sale as an e-reader, but Coates hopes to see it published in other outlets this fall so students can access the book at school.