Today was the Caldecott/Newbery Tea hosted by the Children's Literature Connection at Guilderland Public Library. I was asked to speak about the Newbery honor book, The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Bradley Brubaker. No problem! We loved that book. It won our Consensus Club. We Skyped with the author. I listened to the whole hour of Kim's interview with Matthew Winner on his Let's Get Busy podcast. Mrs. Warland lead the book group and brought in tea for the kids to celebrate finishing the book. She loved it so much that she shared it with her adult book group and some of those ladies even joined us for our Skype with Kim. We knew it was a winner.
So when I was invited to speak, I knew I couldn't do it alone. And I didn't. I brought along two of my students and Mrs. Warland. They were awesome! They shared (in front of a group of about 40-50 adults) why they thought the book was a winner: Ada was brave. She persevered. The settings were so clear and vivid in their minds. Every chapter was a cliffhanger. They always wanted to read more than was assigned. It had all the makings of a book that deserves a sticker on it. We were thrilled that it was recognized on January 11.
It's times like this that I realize that I never want to leave my library classroom. I love being with my students and it gives me goosebumps to be with them on a Sunday afternoon talking about a book they loved. They impressed me so much, too, because they read this book months ago and yet when they shared it to the group, it sounded so fresh in their mind, you would have thought they finished it yesterday. A good book along with a young mind = unforgettable details.
Thanks to Mr. Rogers for documenting the afternoon for us!