I have a dear friend, Laurie Smith Murphy, who teaches fifth grade at Isaac Paine School in Foster, RI.
Each year she reads Tending to Grace, my first novel, to her students as part of her writing curriculum. This year, her class also read The Wonder of Charlie Anne.
Laurie and I are both writers and we often share our writing projects with one another. As a past special education and current regular education teacher, she helped me describe Charlie Anne's reading disability correctly.
Each year her students are ready with dozens of questions for me about my books, about writing, and about the publishing world. Often, I will be asked a question I have never been asked before.
Here is what her students said about the visit:
"I never met a real author before. It was very interesting to find out what your inspiration was for Tending to Grace. I was also very pleased that you weren't afraid to write about being a stutterer. If Cornelia wasn't a stutterer, the book wouldn't be as good as it is."
"I was also amazed that you had an outhouse that was leaning to the side with one little window in it just like in Tending to Grace."
"You answered all my questions that I wanted to know. You gave me some facts about writing. Now I reread my writing at least twice to see if there are any mistakes."
"Tending to Grace is one of my favorite books. Our class is reading The Wonder of Charlie Anne. I am thinking that it's going to be my favorite book ever."