Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘schools

I just returned from a working holiday in Canada. In between spending time with family and friends, I launched Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral. It was so wonderful to be able to do this in person again. I love visiting bookstores, libraries and schools, and introducing my latest book. The people you meet at these events are amazing. Of course they are, they’re readers, my favourite kind of people.

I did author events in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, on the east coast of Canada, in Vancouver, BC on the west coast and in Medicine Hat and Calgary, Alberta. Everywhere I went, I met new and long-time Amanda fans of all ages. It was a lot of fun. Here are a few pictures.

Book launch at Albany Books in Tsawwassen
The bookstore supplied macarons!

When I got home I received this lovely message from someone who bought a copy of Amanda in France for her mom. “My Momma just phoned to say how much she’s loving Amanda and the Cathedral!!! She’ll be ordering more from Albany Books.”

Popped into Blue Heron Books in Comox, BC to introduce myself and my books. They are now carrying the Amanda Travels books.

We had a great turnout at Unlimited Characters Bookstore in Medicine Hat.

Reading to the children
A school presentation – my favourite thing to do. The students were wonderful.
A happy Amanda fan.
Presentation and reading at the Okotoks Library
And sometimes in people’s backyards

While I was at Indigo/Chapters in Charlottetown PEI, a woman stopped by and bought 4 books. She was a long-time friend of a cousin from Calgary, Alberta. These are the amazing things that happen on book tours.

Thank you to everyone who attended the book presentations and signings. You make my job fun!

Next time, less of me and more fabulous scenery.

March 3 was World Book Day this year and many schools encourage students to dress up as a favourite character from a book. I was delighted that one young reader dressed as Amanda in Spain! Her aunt sent me a picture. How special is that?

I love seeing who children choose to dress up as. A friend´s granddaughter dressed as Heidi, from a book I loved as a child. The young girl was upset that her mummy was in the hospital for three weeks, so her grandmother read a chapter of Heidi to her every night before bed, which settled her down nicely. It was her grandmother’s favourite book and now it is her favourite book too. Isn´t her costume great!

I now want to read this wonderful book, set in Switzerland, again.

I was invited to do a virtual visit to a Year 5 class in Birmingham, England to discuss Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting, as they were reading it in class.

This is part of the email from the teacher:

Dear Darlene,

I hope this email finds you well.

This year I am again using your wonderful text, Amanda in Spain in my English lessons to link to our Viva Espana topic. I have another class of Year 5 pupils who are absolutely mesmerised by every word and complain each time I close the book when a chapter ends!

I am emailing in the hope that you would be willing to do another virtual meet, like the one we arranged last year? We will have started a second of your books, in Reading lessons instead – Amanda in England. My class last year, LOVED this book just as much. We read the last chapter eating a scone with jam and cream to celebrate! I hope to do this again also. In fact, my previous pupils, who are based in the classroom next door, keep asking myself and the current pupils which chapter we are on and what has happened! I think that is a true sign of how much your book enthralled them.

I’m off to place tomatoes on the tables to enhance my lesson on the Tomatina chapter now! Hope to hear from you soon.

Now if that doesn´t make an author´s heart sing!!

What a delightful class, we had so much fun. The visit was the day after WBD so I asked who they dressed up as and they told me everyone dressed as a Harry Potter character! That would have been great to see.

Each student had prepared a comment or question about the book, writing in general, and Spain. Some practised using the Spanish words in the book.

Here are some of the comments and questions:

Reading Amanda in Spain made me want to visit Spain.

The book was amazing and now I want to read more Amanda Travels books.

After I read the book, we tried tapas.

I was inspired to research Guadi and discovered he was a famous architect.

After reading your book, I was inspired to write a story called Pedro and the Missing Blanket.

Have you been to The Prado Museum and did you see the painting?

Have you taken part in Tomatino?

Have you ever been to a fiesta?

Will we see Dona and Francisco in any other books?

Will we get to know more about Amanda´s parents in other books?

Besides, travel, what other hobbies does Amanda have?

What inspires you to write these books?

Why did you move to Spain?

Have you been to a bullfight?

What advice would you give a young author?

Who would you use as an illustrator if you decided to have the books illustrated?

How much time do you spend proofreading each book?

Have you written any books for adults?

Aren´t these just the best questions? They were all so well-spoken, polite and sincere.

I also read a couple of pages from Amanda in Malta which they loved. This was my second visit to this school, and later the teacher told me that the class from last year were watching through the window and wished they could have been part of it.

Visiting classrooms in person or virtually is the best thing about being a children´s author.

I hope everyone had a super World Book Day!

Who would you choose to dress up as?


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