Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Monday and Tuesday I presented at several public libraries in the Chicago area. While I signed books at the Skoakie Public Library, one industrious teacher decided to occupy her students by reading a chapter of When Zachary Beaver Came to Town. It reminded me of the times I've waited on the runway before the plane took off. Sometimes I've had to do that for a couple of hours. But it usually doesn't bother me because I always have a good book. I've also read while waiting for the doctor, standing in line or while I killed a few minutes waiting for a phone appointment. Perhaps readers are more patient waiters. They look at the time as another opportunity to escape into a story.

After visiting the Skoakie Public Library, Lee Cho took me to a lovely dinner at Olivetis's before visited her library. A couple of nice surprises happened before my talk at the Des Plaines Public Library. First, Linda Sawyer from the Skoakie Public Library walked in the room with her darling little girl, Hannah.

"We forgot to get a picture together," she said. A few minutes later when Lee aimed the camera at the two of us, Hannah rushed over into the shot, flashing a big grin. It was a great moment.

The other surprise was meeting a reader from the Texas Panhandle. Her mother had bought My Louisiana Sky in Amarillo and given it to her granddaughter. After the mother read it she did a little research and found out that I lived in the Panhandle. She and her daughter drove forty-five minutes to meet me. That sort of effort makes my heart soar.

Then Vernon Public Library hosted my last evening in the area. Some of the kids and parents that attended belong to a book club led by librarian, Carol Kaner. They had read My Louisiana Sky and wanted to know more. I have a feeling that those parents and kids don't just talk about books. I'll bet they talk about everything. That's what books can do for families. Sharing stories can break down fences and open doors to all kinds of topics.

Thank you Skoakie, Des Plaines, and Vernon Public Libraries. You made me feel special.

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