"Poet Laureate Jose Felipe Herrera just gave me this writing advice: 'Face the Abyss with many different colors'."
The bit of writing advice above combined with Tabatha Yeatt's poem from last Friday was my inspiration for today.
Last Friday, Library of Congress’ Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Gene Yang, visited my school.
Mr. Yang's visit was absolutely stellar. Students and staff were completely enthralled. One math teacher tracked me down on Monday, “Mrs. Mitchell, I’m not going to lie. I was not happy about having to give up my planning time to chaperone the assembly….but I LOVED it.”
Administrators from our Central District Office attended and enjoyed Gene’s presentation so much that they promised to grant us money to buy more of his graphic novel series, Secret Coders, for our library.
The PBS News Crew that came to interview our students and Gene were happy with the footage they got of kids excited over an author discussing his book about a group of kids that discover a secret school and solve mysteries with binary code!
As a Teacher Librarian I have to say I slept with a smile on my face that night. Friday, September 23rd was an A+ day. I know author visits are good for kids….but this particular author visit was especially outstanding. We are fueled to talk about coding and graphic novels for at least this school year. It was a literature and literacy success.
Like my students, I am one of Gene Yang’s biggest fans. I will buy every word he is able to publish. I follow him on social media like the fan-girl that I am.
After leaving my school, Gene attended the National Book Festival in DC in an official capacity as Ambassador and as a guy who’s passionate about kid-lit. He had a chance to talk to Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and shared the writing advice Herrera gave him. It's no surprise that the advice was poetic. Mr. Herrera really knows what we writers, famous or not, face.
|Thanks First Books/Children's BookCouncil for sponsoring Mr.Yang's visit!|
Thanks to Karen Edmisten: Mom. Writer. Consumer of Coffee. for hosting today's Poetry Friday!
|Mr. Yang talking coding & books|