The Wickenburg Sun

Local author donates cognitive skills books to Hassayampa Elementary

by Kirk McKnight

Associate Editor

December 19, 2023

Wickenburg resident and author Lorraine Brodek has rubbed elbows with many known figures throughout her life, from “When Harry Met Sally” writer Nora Ephron to famed humor columnist Erma Bombeck. Last Monday, Brodek rubbed some likely dirtier elbows when she visited Hassayampa Elementary School.

Aside from her children’s book and quasi autobiography, Brodek has also produced two editions of Griddles, which is a combination of grids and riddles. “I started getting letters from teachers praising these books, as they help with many of their students’ cognitive skills,” said Brodek. “They stimulate both sides of the brain. The left side controls logic, accuracy and math, and the right side controls creativity, color and visual skills. The projects are fun, require focus and serve as learning tools as they decode the designs on blank grids and/or graphs. Plus, for all those stitchers and quilters out there, it serves as the basis for needlecraft designs.”

Brodek presented and donated 48 copies of Griddles book to Dakota Healy’s and Rebecca Webb’s third-grade students, an experience the author described as rewarding. “What a fun morning I spent with the third graders at Hassayampa Elementary School,” said Brodek. “Ms. Healy’s and Ms. Webb’s students were absolutely awesome. It makes you realize that your children are in good hands. Ms. Healy led the project and totally got her students motivated and eager to learn something new. I was so impressed with how respectful they were, attentive and asking all the smart questions. Plus, each one wrote me an individual thank-you note. That just doesn’t happen these days.”

Brodek first mentioned the idea of donating the Griddles books to fellow Del E. Webb Center Board Member and WUSD Supt. Barbara Remondini. Hassayampa Elementary School Instructional Coach Hether Klenk then set up Brodek’s visit to the school. “Our students are fortunate to have the support of community members like Mrs. Brodek,” said Remoindini. “It is not often that they get to meet a “real” author, and enjoy learning about her work. The Griddles activities provide opportunities for students to practice math skills while producing art.” Griddles, as well as Brodek’s other books and projects, are available on