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.