Today I had the sublime opportunity to talk to a group of students. Yes, I knew it was launch day for Stardust, but I’d been talking to a teacher for awhile, and the students at her small central Oklahoma school would soon be dispersing for the summer, so we set a date for me to visit. What a splendid way to celebrate the launch of a new book – spending an hour with students who had read Chasing Lilacs and had some serious questions. Boy, did they! Great, probing questions about characters, settings, and the writing process. About why I read books, my favorite authors, my motives and inspiration for certain characters. These were primarily SIXTH GRADE students. With inquiring minds and a love for reading. If that doesn’t inspire the socks off of you, I don’t know what will.
Kudos to their language arts teacher who came up with the idea of having an after-school Book Club. A voluntary club where they would read a few chapters a week and discuss a book. This is brilliant (Teachers, are you listening?)! Not only inspiring a love of reading into young minds, but challenging them to think deeper, to probe the meaning of the story, to discuss their favorite parts of the book. And then . . . in this case, to invite the author to come for a visit. What an honor for me! And I can’t think of a more suitable way to spend launch day . . . or any day for that matter . . . than with readers. It brings home the reason writers do what we do. We hope to provide an escape or enjoyment or inspiration to readers, but then to meet young people and hear their thoughts was more gratifying than two hundred tweets or a sales ranking. And what a special bunch this was! THANK YOU for having me!
Tomorrow (or later today as I’m sort of late in getting this posted), I’ll have an update and some highlights of the Stardust Blog Tour! And on Thursday, the announcement for a SUPER RETRO GIVEAWAY!
Are you in a book club? How old were you when you fell in love with reading? Do you remember the book and/or the author?