Thursday, December 23, 2010

Touchstone Community School

Students in the seventh and eighth grade classes at Touchstone Community School in Grafton, MA, recently invited me to talk about The Wonder of Charlie Anne.

What a delightful morning it was! Their teacher, Katy Aborn, asked students to take part in a Socratic Seminar, where they debated the effectiveness of the plot and different aspects of the book. For example, they discussed the friendship between Charlie Anne and Phoebe, the supernatural talks Charlie Anne has with her deceased mother, prejudice and racism, and the adversity rural people faced during the Great Depression.

What a gift it was for me and my mother (who often goes on school visits with me) to hear the articulate responses of students who so obviously understood the deeper meanings of the novel.

Here are some of the things they said about the visit:

"We were wondering so many things...."

"I loved hearing about how you came up with all the characters for The Wonder of Charlie Anne."

"Thank you for answering all of the questions about writing, because I love writing and your advice and strategies will help me become a better writer."

"I really loved the book. It was funny and really great."

"I also like writing a first draft because when I'm writing a first draft, so many ideas run through my head.

"Meeting you made me want to be a writer even more than I already do! I can't wait to start writing my book."

For more information on Touchstone, or to contact Katy Aborn, please visit