On Friday of last week, I spent the morning at Bedford South School, Bedford, Nova Scotia. with two wonderful grade four classes. This is my fourth year in a row visiting grade fours in this school – and I always have a fine time.
The students in the first class had made a folding display for The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, colouring it a dull gray to look like the old fish shacks in Gulley Cove. They’d added their own comments and pictures, and cutouts of some of the characters – it was a work of art! I was very touched.
And what great questions they asked – challenging questions that made me think.
I always show as many versions of the book as I can, so this time I took along the Korean translation of Nine Lives, which I’d received earlier this year.
When I held it up, the teacher told me a new student from Korea, who spoke very little English, had just joined them and was sitting there right in front of me. So I was able to give him his own copy of the book, in a language he could read. The smile on his face brought tears to my eyes – and by the time recess came, he’d read the first two chapters.
So heartening – these cold, snowy winter days – to realize that the very first book I wrote for children is still such a big hit.