This one’s for my author & illustrator friends…

I’ve shared this poem before, but in light of all the “Best of 2011” lists appearing in newspapers, magazines, journals, radio shows, and blogs… I thought it might be time for an encore. This one’s for my author/illustrator friends, whether or not your book is on any of those lists.

What Happened to Your Book Today
by Kate Messner

Somewhere, a child laughed
on that page where you made a joke.
Somewhere, she wiped away a tear,
Just when you thought she might.

Somewhere, your book was passed
from one hand to another in a hallway
busy with clanging lockers,
with whispered words,
“You have got to read this.”
And a scribbled note:
O.M.G. SO good.
Give it back when ur done.
It’s looking a little more love-worn lately,
rougher around the edges than it did on release day.
There are dog eared pages and Gatorade stains.
Someone smeared maple syrup on the cover
because she read all through breakfast.
Pages 125 and 126 are stuck fast with peanut butter
Because Chapter 10 was even more delicious
than lunch.
Somewhere, tiny hands held up your book
And a little voice begged, “Again!”
Somewhere, the answer came,
A grown-up sigh…and a smile…
And the fourteenth read-aloud of the morning.
That same book. Again.
Your book.
Somewhere, a kid who has never read a whole book on his own
(Really. Not even one.)
picked up yours and turned a page.
And then another.
And then one more.
And it was pretty cool, turns out.
He brought it back – huge smile on his face –
(and I mean huge)
And asked for another one.
And he read that, too.
Somewhere, a teenager who thought she was alone
Opened your pages and discovered she’s not.
And somewhere, somebody who thought about giving up
will keep on trying,
keep on hoping.
Because of that book you wrote.
Somewhere tonight – listen closely and you’ll hear–
A child will turn the last page of that book,
That book you wrote,
and sigh.
Can you hear it?
It’s the sound of a story being held close
Right before a young voice says,
“It feels like this was written just for me.”
And it was.

So thank you, friends.  Your books matter so very, very much.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted December 20, 2011 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Hi Kate,
    Thank you for sharing your poem again. I love this poem so much that I have it up on the wall in my classroom. Even though I’ve read it many times, it still speaks to that quiet spot in my reader’s heart that listens for truth. Merry Christmas.
    Marilyn

    • Posted December 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Marilyn – this made me smile. Merry Christmas to you, too!

  2. Marilee Haynes
    Posted December 24, 2011 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    That is so exactly why I write and so exactly why I hope one of my stories turns into a real live book one day:) Thanks for sharing and for the perfect, two days before Christmas cry!

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