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Bransford Before the Break

Today was a fun Friday at Bransford Elementary in Colleyville, TX! I was greeted with a cool sign, some energetic students, and the meeting of the junior principal and assistant principals for the day—Travis and Adam. They won the chance to spend the day with their adult counterparts (Mrs. Halliburton & Mrs. McEnery) and it looked as if one of their duties was to hobnob with visiting authors!
Before my final show, and after signing a bunch of books from the book fair, I was fortunate to have lunch with the KC club (which I found out stands for Kindness & Caring). They hadn’t seen the show yet so I had to answer many of the questions with “wait for the show,” but they came up with plenty of great writing questions anyway! Great meeting you: Brayden, Carly, Cort, Heather, Jackson, Lake, Lorna, Maddy, Natalie, Neha, and Travis.
Thanks to Mrs. Boyd for inviting me and the enjoyable scuba diving talk. Thanks to the KC kids for the fun lunch company. And thanks to all the BES students for being such a great audience. I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving break!


Talking at Timberline

Today was a first for me at Timberline Elementary in Grapevine, TX! Everything started great with my appearance on the school’s morning video announcements and then I began my three performances. However, during the end of my talk with the 4th and 5th graders, an uninvited guest appeared! The students scattered as a dreaded red wasp buzzed into the gym, hovering at eye-level! Since the kids were distracted anyway (and I was the only one wearing a hat), I ran over, scooped up the wasp in my hat, and ushered it safely outside as a brave teacher held the door. Like I told the kids, just one of the many reasons to wear a hat!
Thanks to Ms. Harms for inviting me, taking pictures, and the tasty snacks. And thanks to the brave teacher (sorry, I didn’t get your name) for helping with the wasp situation. And a big thanks to all the great kids at Timberline Elementary! Remember the four words and you’ll continue to be great leaders for all!
Remember, no wasps were harmed in the making of this author visit.


Big Day in Brenham

Today was a fun day in Brenham, TX (home of Blue Bell Ice Cream, don’t you know) where I spent the day with the wonderful students of Brenham Middle School! Their first author visit ever (way cool), I gave three performances and was happy to sign more than 90 copies of my book, Night of the Dragons. I might need a pint of cold ice cream to place on my sore hand. Actually, Blue Bell is best taken internally.
For lunch, I had the pleasure of dining with a few of the BMS students, most of which won a drawing after buying my book. It was fun getting to know them and they got to know me better with the chance to ask more questions! Great to meet you: Adamari, Adrienne, Arianah, Cameron, Haley, Hannah, Kade, Kaitlyn, Kayleigh, Riley, Rudy, and Tanna.
Thanks to Mrs. Ilif for inviting me and taking pictures. Thanks to Mrs. Perez for the delicious tamales (extremely thoughtful). Thanks to Mrs. Still, Mrs. Gold, and Mr. Kuhn for the technical assist. Thanks to all the students and teachers who purchased copies of my book (I hope you enjoy them!). And a big thanks to all the BMS students. I hope my talk inspires you to read a book, write your own story, or just simply head out on your own adventure!


Day 2 at All Saints

Today I ended my two day visit at All Saints Episcopal School with three sessions of writing workshops. I met a bunch of young writers and answered some insightful questions about my writing process (as well as some questions about my fez monkey collection). I hope everyone remembers some of my writing tips and begins impressing those teachers!
I also learned that before I arrived, the fourth graders all got together and created several book trailers for a few of my books.That’s a first for me! They creatively used computer programs, legos, and stop motion animation. You can check them out, too! Just click on the links below to pull them up.
Build This City
Catch That Crook
Fight That Fire
Fix That Truck
Look Out Below
Work This Farm
I enjoyed another lunch with some more students, this time the Middle School creative writing winners. Thanks for all the great questions: Brian, Cadien, Clay, Eliza, Elizabeth, Fiona, Jack, Jill, Lily, Rania, Serena, Serena, and Taylor.
Also between writing workshops, I zipped back to the Monster Book Fair to sign tons more copies of my books. In fact, I signed so many that if you read the third letter of every fourth book I signed, it spells out, “help, I’m trapped in a school signing books, please rescue me.”
Thanks again to Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Wilson for having me out and for being so accommodating and welcoming. Thanks to all the complimentary teachers I met during the past two days (so many that I can’t remember everyone’s names).Thanks again to all the Momsters for their help during my brief book fair stay. Thanks to all the 4th graders for the swanky book trailers. And another big thanks to all the students at All Saints. I hope you enjoy my books and I expect some of you to become fantastic writers!


Two Days in Beaumont

Today I enjoyed day one of two at All Saints Episcopal School in Beaumont, TX! I was fortunate to be the first visiting author in their newly renovated library AND attend part of the week-long book fair. It was a monster of a fair, literally, with a monster theme throughout. The attending parents (or MOMsters) excelled in their spooky theme. I know because between presentations, I spent a lot of time in there signing dozens of copies of my books!
For lunch, I was one of many writers as I had a pizza party with all the creative writing winners! I answered tons more questions and got to hear about many fiction, non-fiction, and poetry entries. Thanks for the great lunch: Aayan, Alexander, Ariana, Brook, Cara, Carlisle, Ciara, Clara, Hadlee, Hailey, Jadyn, Maddie, Mamie, Matthew, Matthew, Meris, Molly, Sarah, Tristen, and Zeenia.
I received another treat from Mrs. Harrison’s 2nd graders in the form of fall-themed rhymes they created after reading one of my rhyming books. Here are three:
I see the colorful leaves of fall.
They rain down from trees so tall.
In a pile of leaves I rake.
Suddenly I see an angry snake.
I have a good Fall time.
It is fun to create a rhyme.
Thanks to Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Wilson for having me out. Thanks to all the Momsters for their help during the book fair. Thanks again to Mrs. Harrington’s 2nd graders for the rhymes. And a big thanks to all the students at All Saints. See you tomorrow for writing workshops!



Succeed at Read!

Today I was fortunate to visit the 2nd and 3rd graders at Read-Turrentine Elementary in Silsbee, TX! I had a great time during my stay and everyone was very welcoming. I especially enjoyed seeing everyone dressed in their favorite college colors (it was College Day, after all).
I performed two shows and all the students and teachers seemed to have a good time. However, I had an extra special treat for the day—my third cousin, Wyatt was hidden among the 3rd graders! I enjoyed visiting with him and even (just barely) talked him into posing for a picture.
Thanks to Mr. Kilcrease and Mr. Camron for helping me set up and the expert tech troubleshooting. Thanks to Mr. Barton for the intro. Thanks to Elissa for being such a big Wishbone fan. Thanks to Mrs. Langley for inviting me and to her and Mrs. Sandifer for the pleasant lunch conversation. And a big thanks to all the great kids at Read-Turrentine! You were the perfect ending for my two-day jaunt to your area!


In Front of the Big Screen!

Today I visited two schools in one awesome venue! I spent the day at the Lumberton ISD Performing Arts Center in Lumberton, TX, where students from Lumberton Primary and Lumberton Intermediate were bussed in for the show. Other than the fact that my arrival was on Lumberton Primary’s “hat day” (which was perfect timing), I learned that I was the very first author to perform in their new venue and it spoiled me. The screen behind me was a couple stories tall and was totally worth me having to keep moving as I spoke to students on all sides!
I performed a morning show for the 1st and 2nd graders and an afternoon show for the 3rd and 4th grades. After each show several students won copies of my books—signed, of course. Happy reading, everyone (the books … nobody can read my signature)!
Thanks to Mr. Caruth for helping me set up and the technical assist. Thanks to Mrs. Cleveland and her 4th graders for the cool welcome banner. Thanks to Mrs. Scoggins (with an S) for all the help and the use of her office for lunch. Thanks to Mrs. Scoggin (without an S) and Mrs. LaRue for inviting me and being such great hosts. Thanks to the Lumberton Intermediate students who took the time to write me (I just received your thank you letters–very cool!). And the biggest thanks to ALL the Lumberton ISD students for being such a wonderful audience. I hope you keep reading and enjoy many future author visits in your amazing arts center!


Going Back to College

Today, my first author visit of the school year was at NSU Elementary Lab School in Natchitoches, LA! Part of Northwestern State University, this was my first visit to a university lab school and everyone was very welcoming and energetic. I gave three performances and even posed for a class photo with every class in school. I even got a sneak peek at the school’s holiday program. It’s superhero themed this year because all the NSU E-lab kids are superheroes!
Thanks to Mrs. Wiggins for inviting me and for lunch from the world-famous Lasyone’s. Thanks to Mrs. Jordan for the kind email afterwards (I’m glad your boys had a great time during my show). And a big thanks to all the students and teachers at NSU E-Lab! What a great way to begin the new school year!


Back in Ennis!

Today I was welcomed back to the Ennis Public Library in Ennis, TX! I was part of their exciting, super hero-themed summer reading program—where every hero has a story! I was even joined by the latest guest in the program’s hometown heroes theme, Ennis city manager, Chuck Ewings.
I performed two shows, met bunches of great readers, and enjoyed the library’s stupendous super hero decorations, including … the Bookcave. That’s right, the kids’ section of the library was decorated to be a real cave, complete with stalactites and bats!
Thanks so much to Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Wittee for having me back. Thanks to Mr. Ewings for the great opening act. And a big thanks to the tons of kids who came out to see me. You’re so close to your reading goal, keep after it and I know you’ll make it. Reading is your superpower!


Superhero Reading!

Today I had a great time visiting the Round Rock Public Library in Round Rock, TX! I performed one show for ages 6 – 10 and then a second show for ages 10 and up. It was a great turnout on a Thursday afternoon, thanks to their superhero-themed summer reading program, with the motto: “every hero has a story!” How cool is that, two of my favorite things—superheroes and reading!
After my first show, local bookstore, The Book Spot, was on hand to sell some of my books. They sold out after the first show and I was happy to sign every one!
Thanks to Theresa Faris for inviting me. Thanks to the Friends of the Round Rock Library for having me out. Thanks to Said for all the tech support. Thanks to Lizzy and The Book Spot for selling my books. And a big thanks to all the parents and kids who came out to meet me. I hope everyone keeps coming back to the library and keeps up with their wonderful summer reading program! Don’t forget, every hero has a story!