Thursday, May 14, 2015

Inspiration in the library today

Our last author visit of this school year:  P.J. Hoover, who wrote The Forgotten Worlds series, and more recently, Tut and Solstice.  Third and fourth grade classes made for great audiences, rapt with attention and asking thoughtful questions during the sessions we had in the library.  I was amazed at her stamina and how fresh she sounded retelling her material for the fourth time at the end of the day.

Ms. Hoover connected with the students through current trends in videogaming and by talking about her own children.  She smoothly segued into retellings of classics such as The Odyssey and Greek mythology and made the connections with her own writing.  P.J. talked about achieving her personal goals, but also emphasized risk-taking, handling failure and learning from it, being true to oneself, and having fun.  Our students need real-life examples of resilience, and she delivered!

She sat with a small group of fourth graders at lunch and talked about topics covering mythology, book publishing, writing and revising, and continuing personal goals--whatever questions the kids threw at her, she answered.

Her message that resonated the most with me is best summed up in the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt:  

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

P.J. spoke over and over again about facing her fears, moving through them, and moving on toward the next goal.

That's a lesson I needed to hear today! Looking forward to reading her newest books this summer.

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