Archive for School Visits

Student Artwork: 2 Wonderful Notes Handed to Me!

“I love you visiting author.”

“You me.”

Oreos with the Author

For years on school visits, I’ve often enjoyed lunch with small groups of students. Problem is, I never get to eat. These days I’ve tried to shift that to a shorter, very loose Q & A session (25 minutes). I usually explain it as “Cookies and Conversation.” Last week one librarian gave it a fresh twist. Nice! They come for the Oreos . . . and stay for the conversation.

 

This Kid

Usually on school visits, there’s at least one student who is particularly vivid. A singular personality and a sharp mind. He arrived dressed as a detective, armed with a fine idea. 

He let me try them on and everything.

Second grade going on seventeen.

 

Fan Mail Wednesday #283: Madalyn’s Note

 

It happens fairly often on school visits. After a day of presentations, somebody hands me a note. In this case, a friend delivered it for a friend. I said thanks and tucked the folded page into my bag. My reply is below.

 

 

Madalyn, 

I totally remember you. 

You asked a question — and you wore a Hufflepuff sweatshirt. Is that right? You self-identified as a huge Harry Potter “maniac.” I noticed you when I gave my presentation. You were present, listening, involved, soaking it all up. That is, in other words, you were perfect. And impressive. Thank you. I’ve had kids fall asleep, you know! Teachers, too!

Anyway, hey, thanks for going the extra yard and writing that kind note. 

I know you are a big reader. And I’m sorry to report I have not written any books that are 10,000 pages long. To me, reading and writing have always been connected. One feeds the other in a long, beautiful, continuous loop. Every writer is different, but we are all readers. Book lovers. 

Like you.

Get yourself a journal. A place to go with your thoughts. If you go to a movie, tape the ticket into it. Write about what makes you mad, or sad, or causes you to laugh out loud. Maybe start a story one day. Or not. It’s okay. There’s no hurry.

Oh: I forgot to tell you! I have a picture book coming out next year, ALL WELCOME HERE, that’s illustrated by Mary GrandPre. Yes, the incredible artist who did the art in all the original Harry Potter books. So I guess I have a Harry Potter connection, too. Isn’t that cool? I thought you’d appreciate it, as a Harry Potter fan. At least Madalyn will understand my excitement. After all, she’s a maniac.

     Love your self-portrait with the manga eyes. Stylish and hip.

Be well & keep reading, my friend,

James Preller

Informational Flyer for School Visits

I finally did it. Parted with some hard-earned cash to print up flyers in the hope they’ll lead to more school visits. I don’t know why I resisted. Felt a little egotistical somehow. Anyway, I’ll bring them to book festivals, share them with librarians. But if you are interested in having me visit your school — or your school district for a multiple-school visit — I’d be happy to send along a few. I could also send a PDF, which is faster, easier, cheaper. But, admittedly, not as much fun. 

Anyway: thanks for your interest. Write me a note at jamespreller@aol.com and we’ll start this ball rolling. Still some openings at the end of this school year. It’s a great time to start thinking about 2019-2020 school year.