Tornadoes and Tigers: My Most Exciting School Visit Week Yet


I may be the luckiest author in the world. Well, okay, in MY neck of the woods, anyway. But I couldn’t believe how wonderful last week in Edmond and Oklahoma City was. I took a ton of pictures at the schools I visited.


On Monday I was in Edmond at Centennial Elementary, with the powerhouse librarian Michele Scheffe.


She made me feel incredibly welcome, with her decorated school, gifts of candy, and special treats for the kids who came in to chat with me at lunch and in the writing workshop.


(All you can eat candy, kids. You should ALL beg your librarians to invite me to your school. Sometimes it results in an ALL CANDY DAY. Just sayin.’)

And then that night, Michele and the other gals took me out to a great pizza dinner!

On Tuesday, I went to OKC to Cleveland Elementary, where Super Librarian Kay Childers introduced me to two of the smartest, most artistic kids in town.


These two girls decorated the ENTIRE school – I mean, every hallway! The auditorium was covered with art the art teacher had her classes do – everything from witches to screaming kids to candy and food.

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The library even had a sycamore tree, filled with the exact things in Gayle’s nest in Nightingale’s Nest. I was blown away.


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Thanks, Kay!


Then on Wednesday, I was back in Edmond, with a wonderful trip to Clegern Elementary…


Small classes, focused kids, a decorated library? YES!


Then on to Orvis Risner Elementary. This day was very exciting… possibly because the night before, we’d been up all night listening to tornado sirens, and watching for TIGERS. Yes, the tornadoes that whipped though Oklahoma on Wednesday night hit the Tiger Safari facility in Tuttle, and the tigers got out.

So, sweet librarian Rachel Edgren had gotten practically NO sleep – between tigers, flooded roads, and tornadoes, she hadn’t even been able to get home the night before! We both may have felt a little tired, but I was greeted at the door with a giant Sonic cherry limeade (you have to be Southern to understand. It’s a traditional hospitality item, LOL), and a giant smile. Orvis Risner was wonderful! The writing workshop there was a highlight.

Then on Friday, I was welcomed to Cross Timbers Elementary, where I spoke to enormous groups – who honestly, were the most focused, intense kids I’ve ever met! Good listeners and great questions – whatever they’re doing at Cross Timbers, they’re doing it very, very well.

Cross Timbers

In the middle of all the schools, tigers, tornadoes, and weather panic… I had time to visit Best of Books in Edmond again! It was a wonderful evening, seeing some kids I’d met before, and some new friends, and talking about all my books. I even read a short excerpt from the Guys Read story that comes out in September. Creepy…

What a great week. I have a couple of weeks of writing ahead of me, and then summer! I can’t wait. I’m going to a conference, two writing retreats, and a family vacation to Seattle/Vancouver Island. I hope you all have as much fun as I plan to!

** Wow! This Nerdy Book Club Review just went live! Thanks, Irene Kistler, for reading Wish Girl and responding in such an amazing way. You are the best!




Posted in Children's Fiction, People I Love, School Visits, Uncategorized on 05/13/2015 07:05 pm

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