The long, harsh winter and cold, wet spring have finally given way to fragrant, blooming summer. To add to the happiness, I’ll soon have some good news to share…
Still, the end of a school year is always bittersweet. For me, school visits are wonderful for many reasons:
***Getting to hang out with kids, something that weirdly enough, holed up in my writing cave as I so often am, I don’t do nearly enough.
***Popping the bubble. I live in an inner ring suburb, and I get to meet kids growing up in settings far different from mine: urban schools where the challenges are enormous and never-ending, private schools where the environment is rich and nurturing for children of every ability and learning style, and everything in between. It’s a sober reminder that the kids we write for grow up in shockingly different situations and begin life on unjustly uneven playing fields.
***Being inspired. And I don’t mean just to keep writing, or to write the stories kids deserve, though that always happens. This year I took part in #KidsNeedMentors, where I partnered with two third grades who not only shared their writing with me but collaborated with me on first drafts of a new picture book. Their perspectives and observations blew my mind. I’ll be writing a post about this program and how teachers and librarians can become part of it next year.
But for now…it’s time to wander outside and smell the peonies.