I have an update. Yes, they say funny things. They ask crazy questions. They often have no filters.
But they also write really great, really delightful things, and answering their letters makes me smile. A lot.
Yesterday, I opened four envelopes filled with letters from third grade classes about my novel, GLORY BE. There were so, so many thoughtful questions.
The first letter began this way: "At school, my fellow classmates and I have indulged ourselves in the literary feast that is Glory Be."
Be still my heart. I love this kid already.
AND- it actually went UP-hill from there.
One student explained why he needed to know the answers to his questions about the Beatles v. Elvis. "I wanna know what best fits your personality."
He also added that I needed to write him back because he'd spent a lot of time on his letter and his "pencil got worn out."
Another starts off with a bang. The first sentence announces, "I like to eat hot dogs."
(and now I'm laughing and hungry.)
Another shared that her favorite part was how the girls lied a lot to Emma and to the dad.
Another remarked that GLORY BE made her and her classmates laugh, and that was her favorite thing, the laughing together.
Teachers, I've read a lot of books to kids over the years and I love remembering the books that made us laugh.
And in case my head is swelling from all the lovely things they say? Andre adds this, "When I first was reading, I thought it was boring but then it started to be exciting."
A writer's worst nightmare. Starting out boring. I'll work on that, Andre.
Oh, he ended his note with, "Mrs. Scattergood, you are probably the best author I know so far. I want answers."
A veiled threat? He's jumping ship if I don't answer?
See, these kids absolutely crack me up.
Teachers don't always have time to comment, and I totally understand this. I was a school media specialist for a very long time.
I understand how busy everybody is, especially at the end of the year.
I'm just flattered when they take the time and effort to share my book with a class. They don't need to write.
But Mrs. Arnold said such lovely things, I'm going to quote her.
"Your book gave us so many chances for deep discussions not only about this period in our country's history, but also about the way people should be treated in the present."
And Mr. Blank from the Bethlehem Lutheran School thanked me for bringing to life this period of the South during segregation.
It's hard writing books, but this is very writer's dream.
As the school year winds down, I'd like to thank all of you who've shared so many books with your kids this year. Picture books, non-fiction, poetry-- It really does make a difference. You make a difference.
Now, here are some of these bright young students.
Seeing them holding my books, I'm over the moon!
(Kids at the Vernon Hill School in Worcester, MA. Love those smiles!)