Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cried her eyes out and loved every minute

This morning I had duty in the hallway where the 3rd graders hang their coats and backpacks. I love this duty. I hand out hellos and hugs and high fives and reminders about folders and backpacks and not taking too long in the bathroom.
But mostly, I like it because I get to talk to the kids. One of my favorite things is to watch them unpacking their library books and talk to them about what they are reading--and maybe making a suggestion or two (or more).

This morning, N walked up, planted herself directly in front of me and informed me that she had read both Chasing Vermeer and The Caulder Game by Blue Balliett as I had suggested after spotting The Wright Three in her pile a few weeks ago. Without pausing she told me she was also reading The Tale of Despereaux. I immediately asked if she had already read The Adventure of Edward Tulane. 

She leaned in and confided, "oh yes, and I cried my eyes out. That book just got to me."
"I know what you mean," I replied. "Kate DiCamillo knows what she's doing when she writes a story!"
N nodded, "I think it's the love that's in it. It's all there and even though he makes it home in the end, I still cried and cried and cried. But it's a great book and it's because of the love that's there."
We talked a few minutes more--kindred spirits indeed. N wondered if our buddy Kate was working on anything new that we'd just have to read (yes, have to...a necessity).

So tonight I got on Kate DiCamillo's website and clicked around. N is the kind of girl who knows I'll be on duty again tomorrow and will come wanting to know if I have anything new to share with her. The best thing I found, though, was a list of tips for writers that Kate has on her website. It made me think of N, and somehow, I have an easy time imagining her growing up to be the kind of writer whose books make young readers cry their eyes out and come back for more.



  1. Glad that you have inspired her for more.

  2. I always tell my 8th graders that if they have missed reading Kate DiCamillo up to this point in their lives, they must go back. Reading her books is like wrapping your soul in a warm quilted blanket. I love, love, love Tiger Rising. And the Magician's Elephant is enchanting.

    Your craft in this post is pretty enchanting, too, you know! The multiple ands in your lists at the beginning are just right. This is a special exchange!

  3. Kindred spirits indeed. I met Kate at a workshop after Because of Winn-Dixie was published. This is what I remembered but it has been several years ago. Flashbulbs were going off every second as teachers were trying to capture pictures of her. She smiled and said, "If only my mother could see me now. She always said i was too full of my self." What a sense of humor. She shared that she used to work in a book warehouse and her job included pushing skids of books around in the back. She told her co-worker that one day she would be an author and someone else would be pushing skids of her books. The co-worked chuckled. Well, you know the rest of the story. : )

  4. I love Kate. Do you think I can be her when I grow up to be a writer?

  5. Thank you for helping these third graders have reading opportunities by your ability to be a book pusher. It is one of your many gifts!

  6. This post is precious, such a wonderful exchange. The love wrapped up in it. Blessed!