Pets inspire children’s author

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Michele Worley’s dog Buster was the inspiration for her book

By Special to the Monitor

Michele Worley found inspiration close to home for her children’s book, “Buster Goes to the White House.” Her dog Buster was the model for the fictional Buster and the two have a lot in common. Both dogs were adopted from the animal shelter and both are feisty, if small.

“Buster does all the same things as Buster in the book,” Worley said.

Both Busters had a lot to learn before they became ideal pets. Like his namesake, the fictional Buster loved to chew on pant legs and steal shoes. Training Buster is a challenge, but his devotion to his family makes it worth the effort.

Years of experience as a teacher helped Worley create this fun chapter book for beginning readers. Currently, Worley directs the Adult Learning Services at UNM-Los Alamos. The program includes ESL classes for those learning English as well as classes geared to those who wish to qualify for high school equivalency through the GED examination.

For her next children’s book Worley is once again featuring a family pet. This time, “Billy, the cat who thinks he’s a dog,” will be the star, Worley said. She also wants to complete a book for adults.

Worley enjoys visiting elementary school classrooms to share her book and inspire young writers to create their own works. On a visit to a second grade classroom this year, students enjoyed the book so much that it was added to the curriculum for the following year, as well. One student called the book “the best story ever.” To schedule a classroom visit, contact Worley at mworley@unm.edu.  

“Buster Goes to the White House” is available at Otowi Station bookstore in Los Alamos and from the author.