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Archive for December, 2011

Fri
Dec
16

Young Authors in Arlington!



 

 
Just like last year, I had the privilege of performing for Young Authors Day at The Montessori Academy of Arlington! I even came up with a new show all about reading where I read a couple of passages from one of my latest books Night of the Dragons. One student brought his own copy of the book for me to sign so he knows how the book ends (I kinda left everyone hanging at the end of my reading). Glad you like the book, Evan!
 
After lunch (just like last year), I joined Mrs. Proctor’s E5 class for ice cream! I enjoyed meeting everyone and talking about their favorite books and authors. I even showed some of the students the books I’d signed for Mrs. Proctor the year before!
 
Thanks again to Mrs. Hryekewicz for inviting me back. Thanks to Mrs. Proctor for inviting me to ice cream again (and the killer doughnut). And a big thanks to all the young authors I met today! Keep writing and keep reading!
 

Tue
Dec
13

Two Days at Walnut Grove



 

 
I just spent two lovely days at Walnut Grove Elementary in Southlake, Texas — home of the Dragons! This was my second year presenting to the Dragons even though they were in a different building last year and under a different name — Durham Elementary.
 
I had a little scare on the way there when I began warming up my voice and quickly realized that I was loosing part of it! I had been talking to schools the week before in Kansas City and now my voice didn’t make any noise in higher registers. Luckily, I was very careful how I spoke the first day and Cheryl from the front office fixed me up with some hot tea that really helped. Thanks, Cheryl! I made it through both days just fine.
 
I enjoyed meeting all the 3rd graders and seeing all the 4th graders again (I met them last year when they were in 3rd grade). We had a great two days and I even showed a couple of 4th graders how they could teach themselves to juggle. It’s easy, really. Ask me at my next show and I’ll show you, too!
 
Thanks to Stacy Kristynik and the Walnut Grove PTO for inviting me back. Thanks to Mrs. Fangue for the use of her classroom. Thanks to Mrs. Cooper and Mrs. Cobb for helping me set up. And an extra-special thanks to the 3rd & 4th grade students at Walnut Grove Elementary! Keep roaring, Dragons!
 

 

Fri
Dec
9

Great Day at Gracemor!



 

 
The last day of my Fall Kansas City tour found me at Gracemor Elementary — home of the Crusaders! I was greeted with the cool banner above and after my first show, assistant principal Julie Badders was kind enough to take me on a quarter mile tour of their huge school. And with a mascot like the Crusaders, how cool is it that they have suits of armor in the hallways?!!
 

 
I was lucky enough to have lunch with a second grader named Robert who traded in his good behavior tickets to have lunch with the principal. The principal wasn’t available but he had lunch with me, Mrs. Badders and Mrs. Ziehm the library media specialist instead! We had a nice time and talked about my fun trip to Kansas City (my fourth so far).
 
For the rest of my shows, all of the students were very energetic and ready to learn about new things. Mrs. Boehmer’s fourth grade class even had questions written out before they got to the show. I tried to answer as many as I could while they were there!
 
Thanks to all the Gracemor Elementary Crusaders for being such a wonderful audience and thanks to Mrs. Badders for the fun tour. I’d also like to thank Mrs. Ziehm for inviting me and making my last stop in Kansas City such an enjoyable one. And an extra special thanks to all of Second Grade who made me a nice thank you card and wrote me the huge letter below. Click it so you can see how all the students even signed it. Very cool!
 

 

Thu
Dec
8

Chiming in at Chouteau



 

 
I had a fun day at Miss Outly’s other school, Chouteau Elementary — home of the Dragons! Once again, I performed in the library and signed more of my books Miss Outly ordered. She said that all the ones I signed yesterday were checked out already and I hope the dragons enjoy theirs, as well.
 
Even though Thursday is chicken nugget day at Chouteau, Miss Outly took me out for some authentic Kansas City BBQ! One of my favorite meals! Unfortunately, we enjoyed our lunch so much that we got back just a little late for my last show. I really appreciate the patience of Kindergarten and 1st grade as they waited quietly for our arrival. And guess what? The Chouteau Strings (who had to leave early from my first show) came back to catch the final part of my last show. I hoped they liked my own string instrument — my Washburn Rover travel guitar!
 
Thanks to all the Chouteau Dragons for being such a great audience (who were especially good at making dragon roars). And a super-big thanks to Laraine Outly for being such a great host for not one but two days at TWO separate Kansas City schools. I had a wonderful time all around!
 

Wed
Dec
7

Winning Day at Winnwood!



 

 
Wednesday found me at Winnwood Elementary–home of the Wildcats! I performed three shows in the library for three wonderful sets of kids. Everyone seemed to have a great time and enjoyed one of my favorite shirts–my red flame shirt.
 
I had a special treat when I had lunch with eight Winnwood students who won the chance to have lunch with me by writing short essays about … me! Although sometimes the facts strayed a bit, I must say they were all creative and entertaining. After lunch, some of the kids brought out an origami book and some paper and they showed me some of their favorite creations. I simply made a couple of paper airplanes (something I excelled at in elementary school). Soon, everyone made a plane and we ended up flying them around the library!
 
Thanks to Laraine Outly for inviting me and being such a great host. Thanks to all the Winnwood Wildcats for being full of energy and great questions. And a special thanks to all of my Winnwood lunch buddies: Ahmari, Alex, Brandy, Hailey, Sarah, Selma, Tyson, and Vivian.
 

Tue
Dec
6

Big Bash at Gashland!



 

 
I spent the first half of my day at Gashland Elementary in Kansas City. I was greeted by a wonderful banner that the students made and spoke with the principal, Mrs. Lakin. She told me all about how the students strive to read at least 100 books! In fact, if you look at the sign in the picture below, you’ll see how the students have already read 41,140 books this year! Wow! Pretty cool for a school with just Kindergarteners and 1st Graders!
 
For lunch, I enjoyed pizza in the library with 20 students who won a raffle to have lunch with the author (that’s me!). We had a fun time and I got to answer some questions that the kids didn’t get to ask during the show. I also heard about how many of the lucky winners want to be writers themselves.
 
Thanks to Mr. Duane for all the help setting up and for the fun conversations about Boy Scouts. Thanks to Mrs. Boekhout for inviting me and organizing such a great event. And thanks to all the wonderful readers at Gashland Elementary. You keep reading those 100 books and I’ll keep writing more. I’ve written more than 80 right now but I hope to be at 100 very soon!
 

 

Tue
Dec
6

Roving Over to Ravenwood!



 

 
After lunch on Tuesday, I followed Mrs. Boekhout over to her other school, Ravenwood Elementary, also in Kansas City. Although Ravenwood is K-5th grade, I still just presented to Kinder and 1st. The Ravenwood students were equally as enthusiastic and I enjoyed giving my performance in a quiet corner of the library (although it wasn’t so quite after I was through with them).
 
During both shows, there were hearing impaired students in the audience so I had interpreters signing my shows. I should have warned them that I talk fast because I have so much cool stuff to talk about in just a short amount of time. In fact, during my last show, I think I went through a few interpreters. I don’t know if they got tired or just had someplace else to be but I saw a few of them trade places by the time I was finished.
 
Thanks again to Mrs. Boekhout for being such a great host and setting up two schools for successful author visits. And thanks to all the interpreters, Cheryl, Mary, and the other two I didn’t get a chance to meet. I hope your hands aren’t too tired after signing my show!
 

Mon
Dec
5

Leading With Linden West!



 

 
My fourth trip to Kansas City began with a great day at Linden West Elementary, home of the Linden West Cougars! I was invited by Library Media Specialist, Emily Pokorny, whom I met last year when I worked with her mother, Janet Warman (the librarian for Crestview Elementary). And today I met Mrs. Pokorny’s grandmother (Mrs. Warman’s mother), Mrs. Peggy O’brian. I enjoyed discussing our mutual love of libraries and books.
 
Thanks to all the Linden West Cougars for being good listeners (not to mention good Dragon roarers). Thanks to Kristi Shea and Roger Davis for helping me set up for the show. And a big thanks to Mrs. Pokorny for inviting me and spreading the word to other schools about my visit—I hope Sophie enjoys her books!
 

 

Fri
Dec
2

In the Land of Ogg!



 

 
I zipped back down to the Houston area to visit a wonderful school: Ogg Elementary in Clute, Texas! I enjoyed meeting and performing for all the energetic students, or Twisters (their whirlwind mascot). I also signed a bunch of books for many of the students. I was still signing at the end of the day!
 
I especially enjoyed looking over some of the books written by a few of the students themselves including All About Me by Deven Wallace. Way to go young authors! Keep up the good work!
 
Thanks to Mrs. Rumsey for inviting me and for the fun lunch discussion about some of our favorite science fiction authors. And thanks to all the Ogg Elementary Twisters! I hope you enjoy your books on Monday!