Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Above: Secret of Grim Hill Interpretations by: the students of Hillcrest School in Moncton, New Brunswick

Some of their comments …it reminds me of a haunted house……this scene reminded me of the time I went to Citadel hill it kind of looks like Grimiore but with big walls around it…this reminded me of a day I was dreaming about being in a big room…part of the book reminded me of my Halloween party…when I was little I got stuck in a room and there was a little key hole and there was a book shelf…this reminded me about one day when I was in grade 3 I was late for school so I raced across the grass…

Pictures of my rollicking great time at a pizza night with Moncton Public Library’s mother and daughter book club. (Can I say that I thought they had excellent tastes in restaurants and books??)

TD Canadian Children’s Book Week Touri’ve just returned from my travels from New Brunswick to Port Alberni, British Columbia

Throughout April and May I’ve been visiting schools and libraries in British Columbia and New Brunswick – talk about coast to coast…
And have I mentioned this before – middle grade audiences are the best audiences in the world!!!
Where do I begin? There were so many kind teachers and principals and librarians who invited me into their schools, classrooms and libraries. Students were so interesting and attentive and creative during our discussions. Every moment was a treasure.

Clayburn Middle School in Abbotsford was the first stop where I presented in a most beautiful library decorated with murals of scenes from all my own favourite books. Then on to New Brunswick with my first stop in Dalhousie at Reinsborough School where I staged the presentation in a wonderful school theater with student and teacher tech support while 120 grade fours and fives streamed in – Then onto Campbellton where I met with 80 enthusiastic students in Lord Beaverbrook Gym.

Next was Campbellton Middle School where 110 students who were familiar with the books greeted me. In Edmunston I presented at the Mgr. W.J. Conway Public Library – such a beautiful building. The librarian gave me a colourful poster advertising the event for my scrapbook. In Perth-Andover the librarian watched in surprise as more and more teachers and students piled into the cozy library where there were comfortable spots for everyone.
Wednesday I arrived at the wrong school to start things off. I remember thinking, Gosh; those students look awfully tall for middle school. So, a late start could have been a disaster but the vice-principal in Glen Falls School greeted me warmly and helped me set up, as did the librarian at Kennebacasis, where I also arrived behind schedule.

By the afternoon I was back on track and had time to enjoy a wonderful tour of Saint Martins School where the principal had arranged for two girls who’d presented my book at the Hackmatack Awards last year to introduce me. It was an awesome experience.
Thursday in Edith Cavell/Queen Elizabeth consolidated, again the coordinator and I watched in amazement as class after class filled the entire cafeteria where I was presenting.

In Moncton I had the opportunity to thank the coordinating librarian, Nancy Cohen in person for the support and comfortable accommodations throughout the tour.
To my delight Yvonne Young had the wonderful reading room set up for an audience of over 60. One School presented me with a booklet where each student had written a paragraph on their favourite part of the book (see above). What a treasure. Then my tour finished with Dorchester Consolidated where I hooked my lap top up to my first smart board – I could get used to that.

Back to Vancouver with just a short break before I went to Port Alberni where I presented to A. W. Neill School and Eric Dunn. You’d think by that time it would all be a blur, but not so – those were some of my most memorable presentations.

My sister was part of the audience and when we talked about things we didn’t like, one student said sometimes little brothers and sisters who get you in trouble. I looked across the audience at my sister and said, I can relate!
When it came time to talk about things that scared us, my sister muttered, “Older sisters…”

By the end of the tour I’d visited over 1200 children. Like I said – best audiences in the world…