April 29 to May 7, 2011
Seven planes, eight taxis, six cars, three buses, and two trains. Four cities, five schools, and two libraries. A thousand kids, from toddlers to tweens. All in five days.
Yup, it was an intense week. What I’ll remember is the kids who leaped up after my first presentation, scrambled to the nearest computer to look at my website and began a passionate discussion of which book they wanted to read first. I’ll remember the school sign welcoming “author Michelle Mulder” in bold, capital letters, and the hand-coloured posters of my book covers lining the hallways. I’ll recall walking into a school where young people filled the hall, smiling, waving and whispering “That’s the author!” and where a grade-two boy came to the library during lunch hour because he wanted to meet a real, live author.
The teachers and librarians who hosted me during Book Week were passionate readers and champions of story. They sparked an excitement about books unlike any I’ve ever seen before, and without exception, every class I talked to was engaged, attentive, and full of excellent questions. “Where do you write?” “Does the editor ever tell you to make changes that you don’t want to make?” “Don’t you get bored rewriting your books so many times?” “What do you love most about being an author?”
Now, even though Book Week is officially over, the memories I’ll cherish for years keep coming. Teacher-librarians email to say my books are flying off the shelves. Kids keep writing with new questions. Book Week is a national treasure, a celebration that inspires kids to be passionate readers and makes authors, illustrators and storytellers feel like rock stars! What an honour to have been a part of it all. A huge thank you to everyone who made this tour possible, and thanks to the kids who delighted me with their enthusiasm and excellent questions.