Books For Lunch Features Author Sy Montgomery
The Seven Hills community welcomed author and naturalist Sy Montgomery for the annual Books for Lunch event on Thursday, Feb. 7, and Friday, Feb. 8. Montgomery started her visit with a dinner in her honor on Feb. 7. The dinner, held at Seven Hills parents Lisa Lee and Mike Nordlund, was attended by many Seven Hills parents and faculty. The next day, Montgomery spoke to Upper School students about her work and held a more personal discussion in the library following the assembly. Montgomery then spoke to members of the school community, including the Upper School journalism class, at a lecture and luncheon at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. Head of Upper School Matt Bolton introduced the Cincinnati Zoo’s director Thane Maynard, who in turn introduced Montgomery. Maynard has known Montgomery since she came to the zoo to promote her 1995 book, “Spell of the Tiger.” Maynard said like primatologist Jane Goodall and professor and animal behaviorist Temple Grandin, Montgomery truly knows how to think like an animal. Montgomery spoke about how, throughout her life, animals have been teachers. “Teachers, if they’re animals, may appear and we may not recognize them as teachers,” Montgomery said. Montgomery said her first teacher was a Scottish terrier named Molly. “Molly died when I was a teenager, but she showed me the way,” she said. “I knew what my destiny was.” Since Molly, the author has learned from emus, tigers, and octopuses. She shared an especially poignant story about her final, and very special, goodbye to Octavia, a dying octopus. “Once you realize the world loves you back…You treat this planet with the reverence it deserves.” Montgomery opened the floor to questions and the lecture was closed with remarks from Head of School Chris Garten. Books for Lunch, chaired this year by Shelly Smith and Teresa Weirch, celebrates its 33rd year. The 2019 Books For Lunch event was made possible by The Robert & Adele Schiff Family Foundation, Inc.