After buying one of "The Hardy Boys" books, he started reading a chapter a day, but it only lasted three days. So he stopped reading, but nobody noticed. No one really liked "The Hardy Boys," so Wallace jumped back in the truck and drove back to the bookstore where he bought "Swiss Family Robinson."
By the second chapter they had lost interest.
"'I'll get you a new book tomorrow,'" he said recalling the conversation with his class. "I don't even remember the title of that third book, but I do remember we didn't even get through chapter one."
Then Terri asked Wallace to tell the class a story about when he was a little boy. So, Wallace started telling them about his adventures with his friend Gary and the time they went night fishing with their fathers, and another time when they went hunting.
Another day turned into another story, until Wallace ran out of tales to tell and another of his students told him to try making some up. During one Christmas holiday break, Wallace added to a story his class really liked and spent time developing the characters.
His students enjoyed the story so much that they refused to leave the room for recess until Wallace finished chapters and then one day, as they were nearing the end, they were adamant to not leave for home in the afternoon until they had heard the very last word.
Eventually he had a complete manuscript, and his class, one by one borrowed the pages of his book and before he knew it, he was collecting his book back, one page at a time.
The first student to receive the manuscript on loan was a little girl named Rebecca. She promised not to lose any pages, though.
"I hadn't made a copy of it," Wallace said. "Rebecca had the only copy. She kept it in her desk, and I had seen Rebecca's desk."