The school is Escola básica e secundária vale d'este, Viatodos. The students, ages 13, are learning English. Their English teacher, Alice Faria, is the friend who invited me. (Some of these pictures were taken by her and/or the other teachers who were present.)
First, a sharp young man introduced me. He had memorized all my bio and author information, and I think he only had consult his notes once. I was really impressed. Then, I had to be wired up with a microphone, since I have a very soft voice that doesn't carry well in large gatherings. (Each of two classes had about 60 students!)
|The young man who introduced me.|
|Wired for action.|
|Reading from one of the books|
After reading excerpts from Carnival of the Animals and Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls, I took questions, circulating among the students. I always like to circulate among students at a reading. It brings you so much closer to them, and in my case, I hear the questions more clearly and can repeat them over the mike for the other students, who often can't hear them, either.
|Their teacher, Senhora Alice Faria,|
(in the front of the room) was so
helpful at every turn.
|Some of their questions really made|
me think: Example: "What is the most
unethical practice in publishing, in your
opinion?" I finally came up with "Piracy."
I must say, would that I were as fluent in either Spanish or Portuguese as they already are in English! They asked some pretty cool questions, too!
|This young man wrote a story with|
a surprise twist at the end that made
me laugh out loud. (Rajan, too!)
The students were wonderful. At the very end, Senhora Faria gave me stories they had written and printed up in the form of scrolls (which you can see below). The stories were really good.
|Stories on scrolls. I read every one of them and|
have them in a special place in my writing area.
|Rajan, me, Alice Faria, art teacher, French teacher.|
|The bouquet in a vase after a 2&1/2 hour drive|
the next day.
To the school, and to the teachers — especially Alice Faria, many thanks for the wonderful opportunity to visit your school, and read to your students. They were just terrific. I enjoyed the morning so much.
How about you? For those of you who write, do you make school visits? If so, what do you enjoy most about them? What is your favorite age group to read to?