Ontario School Visits in Spring

Reading from Travis

I begin the day at Caradoc Public School in Mount Brydges, a newly renovated school with a wonderfully bright and airy library. Sitting cross-legged on the carpet from the back window to the tips of my toes are 110 grades 4 and 5 students (and 3 grade 3 students).

On one wall of the library is a quote from Dr Seuss, the same quote that I used in my third book, Home Truths. Definitely a good omen!

I read from The Nine Lives of Travis Keating. Lots of questions from a lively and responsive bunch,considering it’s their first class on a Monday morning! One of my favourite parts of being in the classroom is seeing what interests kids, and what they like – and don’t like – about the books.

Then I see another quote on the corridor wall. It goes something like this:

“Creativity is about making mistakes.
Art is knowing what to do with them.”

Now that I really like.

My second session in the same school was grades 7 and 8, 80 of them. I’d never done a grade 8 class before, but it went fine.

I’m off to a good start. My thanks to Norah Hofford for making all the arrangements.

In the classroom

My third session is at Dunwich-Dutton Public School in Dutton. This is a small group (30 or so) of committed Silver Birch and Silver Birch Express readers, whose librarian has kindly arranged for pizza, veggies, fruit and cookies to be served in the library. Oh yes, and chocolate sauce for the fruit – a big hit. I manage not to get any on my clean shirt. A lot of fun! Thank you, Catherine Nolan, for making sure this happened.

Welcome poster

And the fourth session, the first of my four Canada Council readings, is also in Dutton in the public library, another light-filled space. The school kids have walked there (one Newfoundlander among them, I’m always glad to meet anyone from my favourite province). A welcoming poster on the wall, and Susan Lamont is my host and driver for this and for the following day – thank you, Susan.

All day, I enjoyed my drives through the Ontario countryside. Ontario – like Nova Scotia – has had lots of rain, so everything is green and lush.

Back to the hotel, walk, supper, read my notes for the next day and collapse. This will become the pattern all week! No night life, believe me.

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The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden
Jill MacLean's latest book The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden , published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside and is available in bookstores and on-line!

This book is the completion of the Newfoundland trilogy which started with The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, followed by The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy.

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Jill MacLean's book Nix Minus One , published by Pajama Press and now available in bookstores!

Nix Minus One is geared for readers in Grade 7-8 and up.
Published February 15, 2013


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