Here’s two for the price of none! The third book in my “Big Idea Gang” series, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin, seems to be getting some positive attention. Perhaps the environmental, activist message strikes a chord. Here two students in Anchorage wrote to me about it, so I thought I’d do a combo post here.
Here’s Hailey . . .
Thank you for reading my book, Bee the Change, from my “The Big Idea Gang” series.
You noticed an interesting detail in that story – how Kym, in that situation, was brave; but Lizzy, who was usually bolder and more confident, felt nervous.
It kind of flipped, right?
I think life is like that. No one can be great at everything. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. There are people who are nervous around big dogs, while other people just want to give ‘em a big hug. For the purpose of this story, it gave Kym an opportunity to shine (after Lizzy was mostly the “star” of the first book, Worst Mascot Ever).
Writing these books (there are three so far), I wanted to show how when we are faced with big problems, that it is often best to think small and make a difference in your community. There used to be a popular expression: “Think globally, act locally.” We can all become overwhelmed by the Big Problems in the world –- asking ourselves, “What difference can I possibly make?”
Hopefully in these stories I help shine a light on the small but important ways that children like you can help make the world a better, kinder, safer place in your own communities. You are our best hope for the future.
My favorite character in Bee the Change was absolutely Otis Smick. He makes me smile, and I love the way Stephen Gilpin, the illustrator, drew him.
Thanks for your sweet letter,
And here’s Mia . . .
I wonder if you go to the same school as Hailey? I’d bet a dollar that you do. Anchorage, Alaska. Wow. I’ve never been there, but it sure sounds like an adventurous place to live.
Are bears just like always eating people?
“Oh, she got eaten by bear.”
“Darn, I hate when that happens!”
Okay, probably not. But still, the Alaskan wilderness strikes me as vast and formidable and a little bit scary. What a cool place to live.
Anyway, thanks for reading Bee the Change. As you might have guessed, I am very interested in our natural environment –- I love the great outdoors, hiking and camping and exploring — and our connection to all the living creatures that share this planet with us. To quote the poet Gary Snyder: “We must try to live without causing unnecessary harm, not just to fellow humans but to all beings.”
Recently I’ve read fascinating nonfiction books about beavers, and coyotes, and buffalo. It’s just something I enjoy and care about. Some time ago I read about “colony collapse disorder” and became worried about honeybees. Later, when doing research for a different book (Better Off Undead), I met a middle school science teacher who kept a hive box in the school garden! My visit with her was similar to when Kym and Lizzy visited Ozzie’s farm. Like Ozzie, Ms. Ford enjoyed sitting quietly in a chair, a book on her lap, and watching the bees come and go. That’s where most ideas come from for me –- from real life, the things I see, the people I meet, and, yes, the books I read.
I am excited to learn that you and your friends are involved in a cleanup project. That’s so awesome. You are making a difference in our world! Imagine if everyone did just a little bit? What a difference we could make!
ALSO IN THE SERIES . . .