Literacy Breakfast at Albert S. Hall School in Waterville

Last Friday, I was honored to be the guest author at Albert S. Hall School’s Literacy Breakfast in Waterville, Maine.  My talk – the inspiration behind the series.  My hope –  that students would learn they could find inspiration too, just outside their front doors.

When I arrived at 7am, I was eager to meet Jen Allen, my contact for the event. We’d been chatting back and forth for months, in anticipation of my visit. She introduced me to Anne Smith, Librarian and Barbara Jordan, Principal.  I wish I’d thought to get a photo of the three of us, because I truly enjoyed meeting them.

As I entered the cafeteria to set up for my talk, this amazing collage greeted me



Each piece was created by the students with die-cut shapes as their base


Packrat and his coat of many pockets


Bathroom cleaning plays a big part in Mystery of Pine Lake


The dump truck doing the trash run. Love the trash bags!


Loons, eggs and Ant Island! 🙂

Look at all the little details! A lot of thought went into this!  And I couldn’t stop bragging about it all weekend long.

I wish I’d taken a photo of the food table, too.  If I hadn’t of had butterflies in my belly over having to talk to fifty families, I would have filled a plate myself.

Families slowly wandered in as I set up, and before I knew it the cafeteria was full and Barbara was introducing me.


I showed photos of loons and foxes for books 1 and 3, but I was especially excited to show the inspiration behind Mystery of the Eagle’s Nest; our nesting eagles, geocaching, the Grafton Notch box canyon and my campground, too.

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Because all fifty families who attended, received a free  hardcover copy along with a literacy folder that held among other things, a beautiful, empty writing journal.


I was a little envious of that writing journal, truth be told.

Once I finished speaking, I was ushered in the “back door” to the library, to find a a line of students waiting for me to sign their books. Meeting each one individually, really warmed my heart.

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As I drove back to Whittier Middle School, to my own students, I reflected on the many positive interactions I’d had in my short hour and a half there. Above them all, was one I felt illustrated exactly what Jen, Barbara, Anne and the rest of the staff at Albert S. Hall School had worked so hard to accomplish.

I’d just finished signing the book of a 4th grade boy, when he looked down at it as if he didn’t quite know what to do next. Turning to another student, he asked, “Can I take it home?”
His friend said,  “Yeah. It’s yours.”
“It is?” he gazed down at it in wonder.
He smiled, turning that book over and over his hands. I don’t think I’ll ever forget his look.

Albert S. Hall School, you’re creating book lovers, one book at a time. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of that.

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