It’s been a long day, but I’ve promised some new friends that I’d post blog photos tonight, so here are some highlights of my author visit to Lothrop Elementary School in Pittsford, Vermont.
A town hall full of 4th, 5th, and 6th graders greeted me as soon as I arrived. We talked about Spitfire and the American Revolution on Lake Champlain. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a room of kids with more questions! Good ones, too – those Lothrop readers are astute.
After a quick break, I met up with the 5th graders again in their classroom for a second presentation: Encounters of 1609. I read from my new historical novel, Champlain and the Silent One, and we talked about the Champlain Valley as it existed 400 years ago, when French and Native Peoples were meeting one another and encountering one another’s cultures for the first time.
After lunch, I spent some more time with the 6th graders for my historical fiction writing workshop. The kids tried out 18th century games, foods, and tools and brainstormed sensory details about their experiences that they’ll use in writing their own stories later on. After spending the afternoon with these kids, I can assure you that the future of historical fiction is in very good hands.
Before I hit the road, I stopped by one last classroom — this one in the home of a fifth grader whose health concerns have prevented him from attending school lately. Jamee had read Spitfire with his mom and was waiting with it in his lap when I arrived. After we talked about the Revolutionary War and the fur trade in New France, we took time out for a photo with our favorite historical hats — one that I promised Jamee I’d post tonight.
Thanks, Jamee and family, and everyone at Lothrop Elementary, for a fantastic day of reading, writing, history, and learning!