February's Flood of Author Visits

Since I spent January teaching in California, I'm traveling here and there during an intense few weeks of author appearances which are usually spread out over January and February. I've been visiting the Max Warburg Courage Curriculum, Needham Free Library, Meadowbrook School in Weston, North Andover Middle School, a children's literature class at Boston College, Underwood School in Newton, and am heading to NYC at the end of this week for a meeting of the United States Board on Books for Young People.

I meet many wonderful educators, parents, writers, and students during winter author visit season, but one of my favorite encounters was last week's appearance at Boston International High School in Dorchester, Massachusetts. This small high school for students not yet proficient in English language hosts newcomers to the United States from more than 25 different countries, some with an interrupted or nonexistent education before arriving due to war or poverty.

You need company when you're growing up between cultures.

When I talked about my own experience of immigrating here and becoming a writer, faces lit up with empathy and understanding. I was a survivor of the life they were experiencing, my very existence sending the message that they, too, might endure a stressful coming of age between two worlds. Thanks, 826 Boston and the Foundation of Children's Books, for enabling this encouraging conversation about balancing the best of both worlds through the power of storytelling.