May 26, 2020

What a strange spring this has been, and now it’s summer.

Thank you, teachers, parents, students, friends–everyone who has shifted gears so suddenly and made learning possible these past weeks. I’ve received quite a few letters from children who are reading my books and I’m so glad to see what they notice and tell me about. I’ll share a few excerpts:

Carter writes about SALT, “I love your book! Before we read it, I picked Little Turtle as my famous Hoosier. When I opened up the book I was so excited it took place in Kekionga and with the Miami tribe.”

Marin, also writing about SALT, especially loves the “..small poems included after every section. The poem I love the most is Salt Streaks. I don’t know how to even describe it. It is just amazing. Another small poem I love is The Deer’s Heart because you put the words in a sideways heart. It is sort of sad for the deer though.”

Amalya, writing about HIDDEN, says, “The book you wrote, Hidden, is by far the best book I have ever read. I read this book 5 times. It is written fantastically. I like this book because of how things like this could happen maybe not exactly like this but quite similar. I felt bad for Wren because of the anxiety it put me through. I can’t imagine what she went through; I know it is just a book, but it felt so real. … In the end, I liked how Darra and Wren met again at camp, I think that is what makes this so much better than the other books.”

And Renee, a mom reading HIDDEN with her daughter at home, writes, “I bought the book Hidden for my oldest daughter when she was 11.  She and I both loved it.  Now my littlest daughter is 11.  I love to read books with or before my girls do so I can discuss them.” She had a question about the book and took the time to write to me. I thought that was amazing. What a great example of parent-turned-teacher.

Thank you and congratulations to all the teachers, parents, and students who have made this school year work as well as possible. It’s been hard, I know, and you’ve done it.

As for me, I have enjoyed the time at home, reading, writing, cleaning, gardening, though I miss going out in the wider world as much as I used to. Now that summer is here, I’m seeing flowers and insects and other creatures return as they do every summer. A milkweed plant that popped up near a small rosebush last summer has come back bigger than ever, and I am happy to think of the monarchs on their way to meet it.

My hope for the milkweed and the rosebush is that, like all of us, they will be able to live side-by-side, neither of them overwhelming the other as they bring their gifts to the beautiful world.

I hope you all remain in good health, and that you will have time for leisurely summer reading.