When I wrote my first book, The Goose Girl, I didn’t know I was writing a children’s book. I thought I was writing a fantasy novel with a young protagonist, completely ignorant of the whole young adult category of books that had spread while I was in my 20s. I remember the first time I visited The…
Shannon Hale provides an excellent and detailed description of what school visits are, and how to make them work better. Schools who prepare their kids for authors arriving, thank you so much!
My initial reaction to hearing about school visits was ‘Kids get to miss class and have a big book talk? JAMMY. I would have LOVED that. Why was I so deprived? CEN FATH? (that means why in Irish, which I lapse into when the world is cruel. For it is a cruel language. KNOWLEDGE BOMB.).’
My second was ‘There is a reason I wasn’t a teacher.’
There were many reasons.
a) I can’t answer to ‘Miss Rees Brennan.’ I will just stare. Who do they mean? Sounds like someone with authoritah!
b) Who would trust me with their children for extended periods of time? Nobody, that’s who. ‘Oh, MISS REES BRENNAN has taken the kids on a surprise ‘class trip’ to Timbuctoo.’ ‘Oh, pay no attention to the screaming, MISS REES BRENNAN is just training the children for a zombie apocalypse.’ ‘Today she said “Now you teach me! Think fast!” That MISS REES BRENNAN, she is so cray.’
c) The most important is that I could not bear to have glazed eyes fixed on me. I remember being bored in school. It was nobody’s fault. There was just a lot of school. There was a lot of me hearing about stuff I did not want to hear about when I wished to be doing something more fun. Probably this is all my own fault, and I have missed out on much enriching knowledge. However, my deep and dark memory of those glazed times has stayed with me.
I did not want to bore kids.
So I started to try and think of ways around this…