Here's our packed house of fifth graders!!
I have been the chairman of the fifth grade part of the Book Conference for the past three years, and this year, I handed the reins over to someone else. I had such a great time helping with the conference instead of having to worry about whether someone's shuttle showed up or if the powerpoint was set up properly. I missed being intimately involved, but it was blissful to sit back and enjoy everything.
The author for the fifth graders this year was none other than the wonderful Ingrid Law whose first novel Savvy won a Newbery Honor. Her book is an incredible magical tale
of talking tattoos, hurricanes, and special gifts. Katie McKee, a University of Mississippi professor who introduced Ingrid Law, described Savvy as "an extraordinary story of embracing your individuality." Ingrid's "tall tale" (as she described it) is full of crazy words and beautiful language. The fifth grade teachers have had a blast reading her book with the students--my daughter's teacher had them pick out as many fun, kooky words as they could find in each chapter and try to define them on their own. We're talking words like "shilly shally" and "jim jam" and "easy peasy."
Ingrid gave a wonderful talk to a packed house of excited readers. She talked about the process of getting published (including the rejections), her process of writing and her love of rhythmic language. She described how her older sister read aloud to her and how a love of books has shaped her life. She explained the importance of research--and many of the kids were shocked to learn that "looking stuff up on your computer" is the same thing as "research"! She also talked about how important revision, courage and imagination are to the writing process. Ingrid is such an inspiration!
Here we are having a little picnic at Rowan Oak which is Faulkner's home.
Stay tuned for more conference info--including a post about the ninth grade author, Watt Key, who wrote Alabama Moon.
I just looked over at Ingrid's blog, and she's got a great post up about the conference. Check it out--I forgot to tell you about the t-shirts!!!