Tag Archives: library

A Different Kind of Parenting Book

So here’s something I’m working on…

They always say you should write the book that you want to read yourself.

When my daughter was born I wanted to learn more about babies. I wanted to know how they perceive the world and how they learn. I wanted to know how her body was going to grow and develop. I wanted to know when her teeth would come in, and in what order, and what caused hiccups and if she would yawn if she saw me yawning right away or if that was something she had to learn. I wanted to know how she would figure out who the baby in the mirror was. I wanted to know about eye colour and hair colour and right- or left-handedness. I wanted to know what babies like and what they don’t like. I wanted to know what babies laugh at and why.

I wanted to know what was going on in that great big sweet-smelling head of hers.

So I searched through bookstores and libraries but couldn’t really find what I wanted. The parenting books I saw were all rather limited in scope. Continue reading

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Filed under My Projects, the Writing Life

Debate Club, Elementary School style!

The kids at my daughter’s elementary school are keen on starting clubs. Handwritten notices show up all the time on the main bulletin board.

Last fall a Debate Club started in this way. A group of grade 4 and 5 girls began meeting in the library during lunchtime recess. They were inspired by the CBC Radio show “The Debaters”, in which comedians debate topics for laughs. Not all the girls had heard the show, but the few who had were in possession of the basic format: you have a topic, you are assigned a position ‘for’ or ‘against’, and you take turns stating your views. At the end the audience applauds and picks a winner.

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Filed under Education

Forest of Reading Trip, first stop London!

Wow, what a week I’ve had! From my quiet country life to the raucous, celebratory hullabaloo that is the Forest of Reading Festival! And now that I’m back home, on my sunny deck listening to the wee birdies twitter (actual birds, not the 140-character ones), I’m ready to share my adventures.

First stop was the mighty city of London, Ontario, and their first-ever Festival of Trees event.

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Kevin Sylvester (author of the Neil Flambe series) and I arrive at the Progress Building fully caffeinated and ready to go. (photo by Kevin)

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Filed under Author Info/Biographical, Get Writing!, the Writing Life

Travelling! Next week’s events…

forest+logo+framedSo on Sunday I’m off to Ontario for the OLA Forest of Reading Festival events! Here’s what I’ll be up to…

May 12 – Forest of Reading, London

May 13 – school talk at the Danforth/Coxwell library branch, Toronto

May 14 – school talk at Northern District branch, Toronto

May 15 – Forest of Reading Festival at Harbourfront, Toronto

May 16 – Forest of Reading, Ajax

Holy marimba, by this time next week I’m going to be tired! But it will be a good kind of tired, the best kind, after meeting about a zillion eager young readers and talking about storytelling and books. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to this!

Unfortunately, however, preparations for my trip have left little time for other things, like posting on this blog… sorry! I promise I’ll have lots of photos and stories when I get back. Until then, keep writing!

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Toronto Finale: Glorious Library and Pointy Museum

My love affair with libraries and museums continues. A quick stop at the Toronto Reference Library, mostly just to ooh and aah…

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And a final stop at the acutely angled Royal Ontario Museum, a strange melding of old and new.

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Luckily my enthusiasm for these places is shared by my travelling companion.

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So ends our T.O. trek! Back home, back to school, and back to work!

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School Talks, Day 3!

IMG_3257I’m finally putting up photos from last Monday and my last batch of school talks. First stop was Allenby Public School, where we had a VERY full house! An extremely enthusiastic bunch, these kids sure LOVE¬† to talk about stories! Thanks for a fun morning, Allenby!

Next I made my way to another stately old library – the Bloor Gladstone branch, which has undergone a beautiful update and reno…

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And there I talked to kids from two nearby schools, Pauline and St. Sebastian.IMG_3306

Some terrific questions from this group, about graphic novels, and book series, and self-publishing, among other things. I’m pretty sure there are some future authors in this bunch!

I really enjoyed talking to all the school groups on this trip. I can’t tell you how great it is to meet so many kids who get excited about books! These kids LOVE to read!

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School Talks in Toronto, Day 1

I hit the ground running on this trip – on our first full day here I did 3 talks at our old school, Runnymede P.S.

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I spoke to three massive groups in the school’s wonderful library, first the Grade 7/8s…

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Then the 5/6s…

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And finally the 3/4s…

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Holy Mackinaw! Coming straight from small-town life to this was quite a shock. On Salt Spring when you get ten people in one place it’s considered an unruly mob…

It was a whole lot of fun to talk to them about being a writer, making up stories, and the importance of reading, though it turns out the last topic was entirely unnecessary because they already seem to be rabid readers. It’s fantastic to meet kids who are so excited about books!

And at the end of the day I was so exhausted I could have slept for a week. But, as they say, it was a good kind of tired…

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OLA Silver Birch nomination for Eldritch!

1226_silverbirch_logo_new1Very excited to get the news that Eldritch Manor has been nominated for a Silver Birch Award in the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading program!

Ten books are nominated for the Silver Birch Fiction award, which is aimed at readers aged 8 to 12 (grades 3-6).  Readers from all across the country are encouraged to read at least 5 of the 10 books and vote on which should win.

I will post more news on the OLA Forest of Reading events as they come up, but for the moment, I’m just totally chuffed!

Will you read the 10 nominees? See the list here.

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Book Dominoes in Seattle

The Seattle Public Library sets a world record for longest book domino chain. Why are these so satisfying to watch?

p.s. Nice looking library!

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Filed under Miscellaneous Fun-ness

My First School Group!

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Last Monday I had the great pleasure of reading from my book and chatting with a small but well-read group of students from the Centre School on Saltspring Island. I was a little nervous, but they were kind and had some great questions and comments. We discussed weird words, different kinds of fantasy fiction and mythology, which plays a big part in Eldritch Manor. They were extremely interested in Greek mythology because right now they’re reading Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief in class and are REALLY enjoying it.

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One challenge involved in talking to students is pitching your comments to their age level. Whenever kids ask questions and contribute to the discussion it’s a huge help in discovering their interests and making the talk more interesting for them.

Thanks Centre School students! That was fun! And it was nice to meet in the gorgeous new library too.

(photos courtesy of Sheila Spence)

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