Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Day with a Writer

Yesterday I got to spend a day with a writer, and not just any writer...Nora Raleigh Baskin. She is kind and generous. She is smart and funny. She made yesterday a day we will all remember for a long time.

I picked her up at her hotel in the morning. We chatted for the entire ride to school. She's so easy to talk to and we have so much to share. At school, things get set up. The technology magically works and kids begin arriving. I could feel the excitement. So many people stopped and listened to her talk, but the sixth graders were so excited. (I'll get reactions today in class.) 

She talked about how she got the idea for the book, what it was like writing about an event like 9/11, and how it was like writing four books in one. Throughout her talk, she engaged the students and asked them questions. She talked about how books are windows and mirrors to the reader. She talked about the hard work of writing and revising and research.

During lunch, she asked the teachers for feedback on her presentations. What do you think? How is it going? Nora is a great listener. When she listens you feel like the most important person in the world.

She signed book after book after book. She took her time and really talked to the students as she signed. One student told her his idea about a book. Another student shared the research she did about Nora. Nora listened intently and her face lit up when the kids shared these things with her.

She graciously posed for pictures. She talked about how she became a writer. In sixth grade, her teacher read her story to the class. He said it was the best one. In that moment, she decided to be a writer. One student asked for advice to young writers and her answer was, "Write your truth. Write from the heart."

I'm rereading this post and it's like a book report of the day, but I don't want to forget a moment. Here are some of the things she said, "Writing healed me."
"Writing is magical." 

"I use a new notebook and a new pen when I start a new book."
"Words are very important to me."

On a personal level, Nora is a new friend. A day like yesterday is a dream come true. I'm grateful to Nora for her precious time. I'm grateful for everyone who helped pull this together. I can't wait to hear what the students think!

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it. Join us at Two Writing Teachers.


  1. WOW! What an amazing experience for you, your staff, and your students. Nora sounds just so wonderful. I love how she was asking for feedback on her presentation. :) (Very cute dress, BTW!!)

  2. What fun for everyone! That is an amazing book and it's so important for students to connect with authors in real life and hear their stories personally!

  3. What an awesome post! It's so nice to see the teacher also gets things out of an author visit. I had one last week and my Slice is about my experience. Here's the link if you want to check it out. :)

  4. Wow! Love her and this book. What an amazing day for your school, your kiddos and you! Thank you for sharing her words of wisdom.

  5. What an exciting day! Thanks for sharing your excitement and the quotes from her visit. Authors truly do rock our world. And this is a powerful book.

  6. I am so jealous. I read Nine, Ten just before school started. When I book talked it, almost every student added it to their "Next" list. Thanks for sharing your author visit.

  7. Wow, what an extraordinary day, Michelle. I recently finished her book, and loved it. How wonderful for you and for your students!

  8. How wonderful, Michelle! I loved this book so much, and I had heard that this author had quite a journey of her own to share, as well.

  9. Great picture! Great dress! Great moment! Great day! Great book! Great post!

  10. What an amazing day! Nora is such a special person and through Slice of Life I've learned you are too, Michelle! It makes sense that you became fast friends!


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