That was my afternoon yesterday with 4th graders from The Pingrey School.
Last September, Ms. Casey's 4th graders won an ARC of GLORY BE. I'd popped in to their classroom to deliver it, along with a packet or two of Elvis stickers. After they'd finished the book, bought their own copies at the school's Book Fair, and written me some pretty amazing letters, I popped back in yesterday. And discovered the 4th grade teacher across the hall was reading GLORY BE aloud to his class these last few days of the school year.
My visit was a surprise, last-minute, unplanned event their teacher and I cooked up. I was sorry not to have given them time to bring in their own books. Instead, I signed a ton of my bookmarks for them.
Some of their comments reminded me of the brainstorming/ revising I did with my esteemed editor. These kids had questions! And comments!
"I wish you'd put more detail into Glory's dad and put Glory's dad in more scenes."
(If only they'd seen the pre-revision version! Poor ole Brother Joe hardly mumbled a word.)
"I could almost feel the grass between my fingers when Glory took a bunch of grass from Elvis's yard in Tupelo..."
"I thought Glory Be was amazing! How their friendships were either falling apart or growing stronger in every chapter."
Can I get those readers a book reviewing job, please?
When you see this hanging in a classroom, you know you've arrived at a school that values reading.
Thanks for a great afternoon, kids. I hope you have a terrific, book-filled summer.
Please invite me back real soon!