Feliz Cumpleaños, The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind! It’s the first time one of my hardcover books is becoming a paperback – and the first time a school is using one of my works as a school wide reading project. Thank you Sterling Middle School in Northern Virginia for this lovely way to celebrate a very special occasion! “Fluent and lovely…” School Library Journal
I spent a wonderful morning at Good Shepherd Episcopal School visiting with students from Pre-K through the eighth grade. It is so exciting to find schools like this where the students are so obviously honored and loved. Favorite comment: On hearing that my tía Isa was actually a terrible driver: “Your next book should be Tía Isa Goes to the Emergency Room.” Three best questions: Do you ever find that you accidentally put pieces of one story in another story? How do you know if your idea should be a book? (With a worried look.) Is your tía Isa still driving on the streets? Most touching event: Chef Sue (who cooks homemade from organic produce every day for these sweet kids) made me “lechon” (pulled Cuban pork), white rice and black beans, so that I could enjoy un buen almuerzo. We even had merengues for dessert. (A big hit. “Yum! You got this cookie right,” said one of the third graders.) Best slang I taught them: ¡Pin Pan Pun! (rollaway bed) Happiest coincidence: Señora Cardounel, the Spanish teacher, is from Cuba, too. We chatted in Spanish and swapped lots of stories. I hope she’ll visit me soon. Thank you, Ms. Dysart and all the lovely faculty and students at Good Shepherd! If I had to go to school again, I would want to go to a place just like Good Shepherd.
I visited Colonial Trail Elementary School last week. It’s nestled behind a behemoth mall, but don’t be fooled. This school is a gold nugget in western Henrico County, and fourth grade teacher Tiffany Graves goes out of her way to bring literature alive in her room. Looking forward to thinking of ways of working together next year! Look at this good looking bunch.