Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Today was a big day at my school.

We had an author visit. A real, live author visit.

Now to some people, that probably doesn't seem like a big deal. But remember, I work at a school that is 98% free lunch. The families at my school are what might best be described as "working poor." We have parents that love their kids a lot, and support us as best as they can, but we don't have a PTA.We don't have fancy teacher lunches or silent auctions. And we don't have author visits. Those things just don't happen very often in urban settings.

But today we had an author visit.

A month or so ago, we received a call from the Denver Public Library. The library was bringing Monica Brown, author of Marisol McDonald  Doesn't Match/ Marisol McDonald No Combina; Orbis Pictus Winner Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People, and most recently, Tito Puento: Mambo King/Rey de mambo to Denver. She would be visiting some schools. She wanted to talk to second graders. Our school had been selected.

We were thrilled to death. 

For the past few weeks, our second graders have been reading Monica Brown's books. They've visited her website and read her biography. They've created posters of their favorite books.

And today Monica Brown visited our school.

The second graders were beyond excited.  I do a second grade intervention group at 10:30. "Did you know today the author is coming, Dr. Carol?" they asked (more than once).

I had lunch duty. "I can't finish my lunch," apologized a toothless seven-year-old. "I can't be late. The author is coming."

I missed the beginning of the visit because I had recess duty. By the time I got there, the kids had read My Name is Celia/Me llamo Celia and were finishing Marisol. They had learned a song. They had talked about Monica's two daughters.

I got to hear the kids ask questions. "What is your other job?" asked one little guy. The kids grinned when Monica said she was a professor. They actually already knew that, but wanted to confirm, I guess, that the information on her website was accurate.  And they had several questions about Monica's sisters (not to be confused with her daughters, but probably closely related). They also wanted to know what life lesson she wanted her readers to learn from Marisol. They all nodded in agreement when the life lesson Monica suggested was similar to what they had decided in class.

 After almost an hour, Monica had to wrap up and move on. But the celebration was not quite over. The second graders lined up, and Monica handed every single kid an autographed copy of Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match/Marisol McDonald no combina.

Today was a big day for the second graders at my school.

Today we had an author visit. 


Chris said...

Oh my goodness - SO excited for the 2nd graders! I'm going to find this book for sure. Tom Lichtenheld visited our school a few years back. The kids had wide eyes and couldn't believe someone FAMOUS came to our school. Total joy!

Linda B said...

You showed us well how important and special this was, Carol. Sounds like a great time. Thanks!

Dana Murphy said...

This is just lovely! I'm so happy your kids got to experience a real, live author visit! Sounds like they really enjoyed it! I hope there are more in your future!

elsie said...

An awesome day that the kids will always remember. Authors are the rock stars of the school world, so that was a huge deal for all. I love the way you started and ended with a simple statement, but what a powerful statement.

PatC. said...

What a beautiful "Slice of Life". What a thrill for those second graders and probably something they will always remember. Thank you so much for sharing.

Jone said...

Hooray for author visits. They are so very important. Beautiful slice.

Stacey Shubitz said...

How lucky for your students that you had an author visit. That's really special. That only happened in my classroom once and it was a fantastic experience for me and for my students.

Nanc said...

wow...this says it all...
"I can't finish my lunch," apologized a toothless seven-year-old. "I can't be late. The author is coming." Lucky you...Let's all show this author our thanks and buy her books! I don't have any here! xo