One of the best parts about speaking to young readers is the totally goofy, fun, original things they say. This is one of the many things I miss about teaching. Good thing every author visit offers a couple gems.
Last week while I was in Chicago, a boy told me he’s building a sod house in his backyard (!). I’m not so sure his parents are aware of this fact. I got him to agree to send me a picture.
A brother and sister team decided they wanted me to write my favorite line from May B. in their copy of the book. My line is pretty weird and kinda foolish on May’s part, but oh so very brave. They still wanted it when I told them, right above my signature. Those two went home with a book that says “Wolf, show your face.”
(This isn’t the oddest thing a child has asked me to write. Last year a boy here in Albuquerque wanted me to sign the front of his notebook not as Caroline but as…King Kong. You better believe I did it.)
Another Illinois kid asked if I could sign my name and also leave her a message in secret code. She didn’t seem concerned that I don’t know any sort of codes, let alone secret ones. In the end, I used my typical May B. tagline with an special twist — Courage and hope and “secret code”.
On a more serious note, a lovely young lady told me she could relate to May because she’s been an outsider, too. She’s new to the US, having grown up in Korea, and says like May, she’s struggled with reading because she’s working with a new language. And guess what? Her mom is using May as a way to learn English herself.
What an absolute privilege (and a hoot!) it is to work with kids.