We have been fortunate to connect with some amazing authors via Skype this year. Most recently, fourth graders had a chance to speak with Janet Tashjian, author of the series, My Life as a Book. These books are so popular in our library it is hard to find them on the shelves. We gathered all the fourth graders on the rug in front of the library Smart Board at the appointed time and made contact. With a small pop, Janet Tashjian appeared on the board. Students were eager to ask her questions. The webcam, which sits atop the Smart Board, allowed the author to see all the kids settled in front of her. As students were called up to speak, they stood right in front of the board. The experience is very close to having an in-person conversation. Ms. Tashjian's son, Jake illustrates her books with small humorous cartoons. The kids enjoy this aspect of her books. They had many questions for Ms. Tashjian about her writing process and about her son, Jake.
In November, we had two Skype sessions with Kate Messner, author of many books including The Ranger in Time Series and The Marty McGuire Series. Both of these series are very popular with our second and third grade students. Marty McGuire is one of our Connecticut Nutmeg Titles (see the CT Nutmeg Page of the HCS Library Site for more information). The Ranger in Time books are historical fiction novels featuring a rescue dog who travels through time to have adventures in places like Ancient Rome and on the Oregon Trail.
Our second graders had a brief question and answer session with Kate Messner about the book, Marty McGuire. Third grade students were treated to a longer presentation about the author's writing process. There was also plenty of time for students to ask questions. Students and teachers enjoyed hearing Kate speak. A former school teacher, she kept her audience fully engaged with visuals and stories about her work. Our first Skype of the year was with British author Jonathan Emmett, author of many children's books including The Princess and the Pig, which is a funny story about a princess and a pig who were switched shortly after birth. Jonathan Emmett greeted our first graders and pointed out his location in London on a big globe he held up to the screen. He read his book to the kids and answered their questions.
We have many more Skype visits with authors scheduled for students in all grades coming soon. Check back for more details.