Friday, May 24, 2013

Great Times at McGilvra Elementary School! (And in Vancouver, WA)

Yesterday, David and I spent the day at Seattle's McGilvra Elementary School. We talked to three large groups of students (one after another) about our Oregon Trail graphic novel. This was our first encounter with members of the demographic for whom this book was created.

We were touched and delighted at their overwhelmingly positive reaction. We also greatly appreciated the positive feedback from teachers who use the book as part of the Oregon Trail studies in the Washington state school system.

The students asked us some great questions. My favorite one, which we heard more than once, was the existentially basic "why did you do the book?"

David and I had celebrity status a rock star would envy. I lost count of the autographs I gave, and David and I both did several on-the-fly drawings. Once the students found out I could draw a passable ox, the request line redoubled. I could see David had a long waiting list, too. So much love in the room!

It was great to really understand that our book succeeds at what it sets out to do, and that it helps 21st century young people relate to the brave souls who took this very risky journey, 150+ years ago...

A few weeks back, I boarded an Amtrak train and traveled solo to Vancouver, Washington, where I signed 50 copies of the Oregon Trail book for a librarian's conference. It was great to meet school and public librarians, and introduce them to the book. We ran out of books quickly, and got word out about the graphic novel to these influential individuals.

Thanks to the astounding kindness of the teachers and students at McGilvra, and to Lisa Hay of Sasquatch Books, who has done a lot to make the world aware of our book. Here are a couple of iPod photos Lisa took of me at the Vancouver signing:

Thanks to everyone we met at these two great events! We hope to see you again soon!


  1. I just want to add that I found the Oregon Trail book very moving. It actually did move me to tears several times.
    Glad you guys got the recognition you richly deserve.
    I'm sure you made an impression on some young minds, and who knows, you just may have started seedlings among those kids, heading down paths to becoming new writers, someday...

  2. I;m so glads that elementary schools are cottoning to how perfect this book is for their classes. I've re-read the book three times now and always enjoy it. It's great that you both got some love and support for you fine work.