Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


A Mountain Welcome!

While I haven't yet traveled to exotic, faraway places for school visits, I was fortunate this past spring to have my book, ROAD TO TATER HILL, used as part of a partnership between education students at Appalachian State University (Boone, NC) and 5th graders at Freedom Trail Elementary School in rural, mountainous Avery County. In April I visited the students in both sets of classes (5th graders and college students) to talk about my writing process and "turning truth to fiction." What a joy to know that my own childhood experiences in the mountains of NC are relevant to today's readers.

ROAD TO TATER HILL is on the NC middle school Battle of the Books list for 2011/2012, and I look forward to making more trips to NC schools in the next year!

School Visits!

This has been a crazy year for me and school visits. In addition to schools around my area of Oregon, my trips included Brazil, China, Florida, and Texas three times. I did ages Pre-K through 12, but this year was unique because of all the time I spent in middle schools because of my novel The Compound. And here is how one librarian in Texas went all out to welcome me:

I saw all kinds of schools. From a one room school house in French Glen, OR with 8 students k-8:

to an international school in Guandong, China:

I have traveled by car, bus, plane, ferry, train, and on foot: all together about 35,000 miles. Whew. Yesterday I got the terrific news that The Compound won the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award for Grades 6-9. And yep, a school visit trip to Maryland is on my docket for fall. I think I'd better unpack first...



I have fun at schools sharing my books with kids. I talk about my subject and process, show materials used, and invite students to do a related art workshop. Sometimes I participate in events which include all generations, like school literacy nights, and family programs offered through the community and museums. Here is a picture from last summer at the Norton-Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA, where I gave a 45 minute auditorium talk about Isamu Noguchi, followed by an outdoor art project (collage with recycled materials) and book signing. I design my talks and projects to appeal to all ages. Below some children at the Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA) in Oakland, CA hold mini-gardens they made, inspired by a reading of The East-West House: Noguchi's Childhood in Japan.

Currently there is a large Noguchi exhibit starting at the Laguna Beach Art Museum. Families, I hope you will join me on Sunday, July 17th, at 1 pm, for a talk about Noguchi followed by an art project and book signing.