Star Teacher Reviews and French Pastries and Giant Boulders...

Hey all,

Happy summer solstice to you!  Summer's flowing along swimmingly for me... just had a fun camping trip to Wyoming with Ian and Lil Dude, who pretended the giant boulders scattered across the landscape were fire stations and fire trucks (and of course, he was the fire chief). 

 I've been going on nice long walks along the river nearly every day, which is so good for my soul!  Today, though,  I was determined to catch up on emails and mail packages of books and organize files and make phone calls and all those things that pile up while I'm on long walks.  I got a big chunk of it done, thankfully, and I'm hoping tomorrow I'll be able to focus on writing more of The Jade Notebook and wandering by the river.

 I can never get enough sunshine through leaves, especially quivering aspens...
I recently taught Lil Dude what "dappled light" is, and now he points it out every time he spots some!

I want to get some good writing days in before I leave for Aspen for the Colorado Book Awards (this Friday (!!!)  The Indigo Notebook is one of three finalists in the YA category, and of course I used the occasion as an excuse to I buy an indigo dress from ebay (which you'll see pics of next week!)

I've come across some lovely online reviews of Star in the Forest, which I thought I'd share with you in my blog since Ian hasn't had time to post them on the actual website. The two I'll quote from now were written by educators, which brings a nice perspective. 

Here's a blurb from the blog "Tina Says..."  She's a librarian-teacher in Iowa at a diverse school:

"I have already ordered this one for my school library, knowing that many of my students may have their own experiences about immigrating to the United States...This is definitely a thought provoking book, appealing to many readers in my school."

And another review  from Kristine (who was a fourth grade teacher for many years and is now a Curriculum Coordinator) that appears in her blog The Best Book I Have Not Read --

     "I really enjoyed the entire story from sad beginning to happier ending. If you are working with students, I would recommend having them read Zitlally’s Papa’s folktale from the end of the book (p. 132) when the tale first gets mentioned. For younger readers, I think it help them stay grounded in the story and prevent confusion.
     As my daughter is immersed in an immigration study this week for social studies, I’m thinking this would be a perfect book to introduce the idea of modern-day immigration, both legal and illegal. With the background knowledge of Ellis Island, I think many students would appreciate having a simple, hopeful tale to help build their understanding of current day immigration.
      A great story that I could see being a read-aloud, a literature circle selection, or a book used in social studies as part of an immigration or culture study.
     Highly recommended."

Thanks, Kristine and Tina for your thoughtful reviews!  (You can read more reviews of Star and my other books if you click on the links on the right sidebar.)

Update on my accordionist search (for The Ruby Notebook release party):  I talked with a delightful award-winning accordionist today, who says that she (Vicki) or her talented brother Thomas will be able to play.  Yipeee!  And last Friday, when Ian and I were at La Creperie downtown for a rare lunch date, we talked to the owner, Jean-Claude, who will be preparing *French pastries* for the event!

I'd planned on making this release party a low-key event since I've been feeling overwhelmed lately, but I couldn't resist adding a few bells and whistles-- there are just too many scrumptious things in the book that I want to share with you!  So... Fort Collinites, mark your calendars for Oct 2, Sat, 7 pm, Old Firehouse Books (the event room in back...  follow the polka music...)

Please send The Indigo Notebook good wishes this Friday (although I'd be truly happy if either of the other finalists-- Rage by Julie Ann Peters or After by Amy Efaw-- won, too.  They're very nice author buddies who'd deserve the honor.)

Thanks for reading, everyone!