Especially teachers who share the joy of reading with students with such infectious energy and fun as third grade teacher, Mrs. Maiese.
And how in the world could I NOT love her for writing me the following letter:
Hello there from Titus Elementary School in Warrington, PA!
My class and I have just finished reading Popeye and Elvis (which is a ritual for my classroom each year). The kids have named your book their favorite book of. all. time. Any time I picked up your book to read, you could absolutely hear a pin drop… if it weren’t for the slurping sounds of them drinking Yoo-Hoo J
In appreciation for you and your book, we would like to send you something via snail mail. Is it possible to get a mailing address to which we can send you something?
Thank you so much for inspiring a love for reading, writing, suspense, and Yoo-Hoo!
We appreciate your time. You are a celebrity to us all.
Happiest of holidays to you,
Mrs. Jillian Maiese Third Grade
And then, as if I didn't love her enough, she added this to a follow-up email:
My former students loved your book so much they still talk about it. Whenever I have to leave any former student a note of some kind, I always attach a box of Yoo-Hoo to it. It’s just created so many fun and meaningful ways to communicate with my kids.
Thank you, Mrs. Maiese, for encouraging readers like these:
But what I mean by "the ending" doesn't mean just the end of the storyline.
I mean the feeling the ending leaves the reader with.
That feeling is critical.
How do you want your reader to feel after reading the final page of your book?
thing that contributes to the feeling left by the ending is whether or
not the reader is left with a memory of how the story evolved.
That is often accomplished by providing a connection to the beginning of the story, even at the end.
Does that make sense?
going to offer up a personal example that may seem rather trite, but to
me, it is a good example of reconnecting the reader to earlier parts of
the story at the end and, thus, producing a satisfied feeling that
encapsulates the story as a whole.
This is repeated several times in the story (for the first few notes).
At the end of the book, one of the boys is sending a boat and a note down the creek.
My brilliant editor suggested that he fold it:
Once. Twice. Three times.
(She refers to that as a "refrain." I love that!)
Of course that's what I needed to do.
That simple addition took the reader back to the beginning of the story in a wonderful, satisfying circle.
addition left the reader with a memory of the early part of the story
and, thus, an "aura" of the story as a whole, not just the end.
I suggest that you might consider if there is any way to "bookend" an
element of your story - to bring back at the end something important
from the beginning - to give the reader a reminder of the evolution of
your story - to connect the beginning and the end to leave the reader
Hi, my name is Sonia. I live in Montana and I love to read. I am 12 years old and love your books. I read your book "Fame and Glory" and I loved it! It was a great book. How did you get the idea for the cover? I'm wondering because the girl looks alot like me
Well, guess what?
The girl on the cover DOES look like Sonia! Check it out:
Thank you, Sonia, for sending your pictures! Bird would be delighted.
writing, as in life, voice is crucial. Your voice has been honed by your
family, your ethnic heritage, your neighborhood, and your education.It is the music of what you mean in the world. Imitate no one.
Your uniqueness - your authenticity - is your strength.