I arrive in Gambo, a beautiful community on a river about half an hour east of Gander. Smallwood Academy’s Grade 7 English class and their wonderful teacher, Ms. Jo-Anne Broders, are more than expecting me.
Theya introduces me.
Each student is wearing a t-shirt that says on the front, “Smallwood welcomes author…” and on the back, “Jill MacLean.” I’m presented with one.
There’s vanilla cake and chocolate cake with icing (lots of lovely icing). I pass out big slabs.
The walls are decorated. The kids are excited. It’s a party!
And I’m overwhelmed by the welcome.
The kids ask lots of great questions, we do a bit of writing, I read from “The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy,” I’m thanked by Torey, and given a bracelet by Travis. Two hours have flown by.
My thanks to Ms.Broders for her enthusiasm for “The Nine Lives of Travis Keating.” Thanks to the student assistant, Val. Thanks to the principal of the school.
What more could any writer ask than to visit Smallwood Academy?