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Archive for May, 2013


Meadows Elementary

Today I visited my last school of the school year … Meadows Elementary in Fort Hood, TX. Even though the troops had been training with large artillery all night long (the hotel window literally shook with every blast), I was up early and drove onto the base to meet some very enthusiastic students. I performed three shows in their huge school library and since the mic was on the fritz, my voice was almost gone by the last show. Luckily, I still had enough juice left to show everyone that illusive giraffe sound. Catch a show next year to hear what that sounds like!
Thanks to Mrs. Tedford for inviting me. Thanks to Mrs. Leech for all her help and for being such a gracious host. Thanks to Mrs. Burr for her help reigning in a few of the rowdy ones. And a big thanks to all the kids at Meadows Elementary.
And thanks for writing, Kaylee!


Cedar Valley Elementary

Today I stood before the many fine students of Cedar Valley Elementary in Killeen, TX. I met so many great kids and answered questions about writing, special effects, and (for those who’ve seen my recent show), donkeys! I was pleased to receive an overwhelming response when I asked how many students enjoyed writing his or her own stories—my biggest response of the year!
I was especially fortunate to meet two exceptional young writers. Mrs. Osborne made a point to introduce me to Margaret and Timothy, two winners of the Take 190 West Writing Competition. Of all 5th graders entered in the district, Margaret won 1st and Timothy came in 3rd. Great job, you two! I was also pleased to learn that Margaret enjoys one of my all time favorite authors, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Thanks to Mrs. Knopp for inviting me and for the use of her library. Thanks to Mrs. Bzoski for her help and for her generous gift of a funky cool hat (it may turn up in a show sometime soon). And a big thanks to all the students at Cedar Valley Elementary. Be sure to read some of those Wishbone books in the library. They’re are written by many fine authors and there’s even my very first Wishbone book, Digging to the Center of the Earth.


Reinhardt Readers

Today I had a fun author visit at Reinhardt Elementary in Rockwall, TX—home of the Reinhardt Rockets! I had an opportunity to meet every student in the school but 4th grade (hope you guys had fun on your field trip). I even had lunch with the 5th and 6th grade book club members! I had fun eating and chatting with 5th graders: Alex, Bailey, Cheyenne S., Faith, Kavya, Rachel, and Stephanie (thanks for the wonderful thank you note, Kavya & Rachel) and 6th graders: Cheyenne B., Kensey, Lizzy, Madison, Maci, and Shelby. What a great way to spend lunch!
Thanks to Mrs. Figert and the Reinhardt PTA for inviting me. And thanks to all the Reinhardt students and teachers for being such wonderful audience members. Keep blasting toward the stars, Reinhardt Rockets!


Two Schools in Alabama

This week I traveled all the way to Jackson, Alabama. As soon as I pulled into Jackson, I zipped downtown to marched in Jackson’s annual AR parade. Every year, all of the JISD’s accelerated readers get honored with their very own parade through downtown Jackson! I marched with 1st Grade and had a great time. I met several great readers, all the way up to high school students.
Gilmore Elementary
When the parade was over, I visited my very first Alabama school, Gilmore Elementary. I had a fun time during the show and enjoyed signing tons of books for some of the politest students I’ve met. There were so many “yes, sir’s” and “thank you, sir’s” that it sounded like I was in the army.
Thanks to Mrs. South for inviting me to her school and to be a part of the AR parade. Thanks to Mrs. McKenzie for helping me set up. And a big thanks to all the wonderful students at Gilmore Elementary. Keep reading!
Jackson Intermediate
The second school I visited in Jackson was Jackson Intermediate. Like Gilmore, JIS is full of great readers. There were tons of young writers, too! I let them know that the easiest way to become better writers is to do something they’re doing already—reading!
Thanks to Mrs. Wright for having me out. Thanks to Mrs. Rozier and Mrs. Fulmer for helping me set up. And a big thanks to all the great students at Jackson Intermediate. Keep up those great reading habits. See how many books you can read next year!


Rasor Elementary

I ended this week’s trilogy of North Texas schools at Rasor Elementary in Plano, TX! They’re in the middle of renovations so I couldn’t perform in the library (the jackhammer was booming). Luckily, Mrs. Pickles (yes, that’s her real name), the music teacher switched with me and let me use her classroom. Sorry you had to deal with the jackhammer, Mrs. P! Otherwise, I had a great time with everyone. Many of the students were dressed as pirates for teacher appreciation week—where teachers are the treasure!
Thanks again to Mrs. Pickles for the use of her room. Thanks to Mrs. Battista and the Rasor PTA for inviting me. And a big thanks to all the students at Rasor Elementary. From some of their questions, I just know that I met a bunch of future writers during my visit!


Checking out Cheatham

Today I found myself at Cheatham Elementary in Allen, TX–home of the Chargers. CHARGE! I was welcomed by a banner signed by every student in the school. I wish I could say that everyone saw my show but second grade had a field trip today (sorry I missed you guys). I felt even more at home when I saw that most of the students wore his and her favorite hat to my show. I just had to get a shot with me and all of them (I’m the one in the hat, by the way).
Thanks to Mrs. Allen and Mrs. Barnes for helping me set up. Thanks to the Cheatham PTA and Mrs. Beaehner for inviting me, for the fun lunch, and for snagging a bunch of my favorite books for the school library. And a big thanks to all the Cheatham Chargers. Keep charging to the library for some exciting books—and not just mine!
Oh, and thanks for writing, Max!


A Return to Renner

I returned to Plano, TX and Renner Middle School for a full day of writing workshops. Throughout my travels, I’ve found that middle grade kids aren’t first to raise their hands for questions, but these kids had plenty of questions about reading, writing, and everything in between—from who’s my favorite superhero (Batman, of course) to what’s my favorite sport (like Garfield asks, is eating a sport?).
Thanks to Mrs. Nowlin for inviting me back and for the use of her library. And thanks to all the students a Renner Middle School. I enjoyed your creative questions but I must say that I enjoyed your Papier-mâché art a little bit more (the LEGO man and the ring pop are my favorites).


St. Mark’s in Shreveport

Today I zipped over to Shreveport, LA to have a fun author visit at St. Mark’s Cathedral School! I gave two shows to the K5-5th grade and a writing workshop for all the middle grade kids. Mrs. Beason just finished with a Scholastic book fair so I had a few of my Scholastic books to sign. Yay for LEGO City!
Thanks to Mr. Stubbs for helping me set up and to Mrs. Beason for inviting me (and for that spicy cajun lunch). And a big thanks to all the students at St. Mark’s! Keep reading, writing and remember the four words: “I Can Do That!”


Yukon Reading Council

I’ve been horseback riding through the Yukon territory in Canada but that casual pace was nothing compared to my whirlwind tour of Yukon, Oklahoma, thanks to the Yukon Reading Council! I appeared at seven schools in just THREE DAYS! Below are some fun pics from all of my shows!
Thanks to Mrs. Moore for inviting me and thanks to her and all the participating librarians for working with my scheduling conflicts, hosting me, and helping set everything up: Mrs. Adams, Mrs. Eskew, Mrs. Pennington, Mrs. Urton, Mrs. Schick, and Mrs. Wilmes. Thanks to all the other staff whom I met and helped prepare for my visit. Thanks to Zac for the cool story (keep writing, Zac!). And a big thanks to all the great kids in Yukon, OK! Remember what I said: the easiest way to becoming a better writer is to keep writing but also to … READ!
Central Elementary
Parkland Elementary
Ranchwood Elementary
Surrey Hills Elementary

Myers Elementary

Skyview Elementary
Shedeck Elementary