Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yes in every way

You know an author visit has gone well when a week later, you're still smiling.

Each year, the Arlington Library's TAB (Teen Advisory Board) invites an author to speak to the middle school kids who participate in the program. This year, I was lucky enough to be that speaker. What's more, the entire county, under the banner of All Arlington Reads, is highlighting military themed books for the month of April and the library is hosting book discussions and exhibits and speakers and film screenings. (I'll be blogging more about one of those exhibits, the Combat Paper Project, later this week.)

Here are some quick shots of my visit.

I began with a story---what happened when my daughter received a folded note from her school counselor on the morning of Sept 11.  I wondered if the students, so young when the attacks happened, would connect, but boy did they. You could've heard a pin drop.

Talking about military families

Quoting Miss Loupe's rule about not passing out before we start the improv. :)

The audience enthusiastically counted out my "ten"!

Awesome crowd.  They really had fun improvising jody calls, and SO many of them spoke up when I asked about the good and bad things about being part of a military family.

I displayed other books about military families.

The kids LOVED the LGM pictures
 (taken by my fabulous agent, Tina Wexler)

Talking about ways to say yes and how to give back
 to veterans and military families.

The kids were so polite when they came up to get their books signed. Some shook my hand. So many said thank you. Some shared that their parents were military. Plus, it was fun to hear the variety of beautiful names from all cultures.

Book signing and posing for pictures afterwards.  My hand was non-stop for a full hour. And the kids---as you can see---were totally terrific. 

Afterwards, the librarians took me out to lunch---yummy mushroom soup and a grilled veggie sandwich---and it was one more chance to talk about books and writing and kids with people who Truly Get It.  

Thank you, Friends of the Arlington Public Library, for making this day happen. It was what every author hopes for---to connect with readers in a powerful way. 

One last story---and one of the reasons I'm still smiling this week. A student, as she came forward to have her book signed, told me her favorite chapter in Operation Yes was the one called "Do Something." 

I asked why. 

"Because that's my motto, too," she said. 

Yes. Perfect. :)


  1. This is so great. I feel like cheering. Really. That had to feel good. Woot! What a great bunch of students.

  2. Fantastic. This post makes me smile, too.


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