Tag Archives: perseverance

Perseverance #SOLSC18

1 Mar

A few weeks ago, while I was at ALA, I got an unexpected email from Ellie Terry, author of Forget Me Not,  the book my Mock Newbery Club chose as their winner.

A friend had alerted her to our results on ALSC’s Mock Election site and she contacted me, offering a free Skype visit with the group. Of course I said yes.

Emails circulated, invitations to students were sent. My only instructions to the students  were to come with some questions in mind. Yesterday it happened.

I had never done a Skype visit with an author before and this went so smoothly, I hope to do more! Okay, there was the glitch that the Skype app on my school computer was out of date and required an administrator’s password to upgrade. Fortunately, I tested things the day before and found a work-around: Facebook Messenger!

Ellie asked the girls (yes, it was all girls who made it to this before school event) to introduce themselves and then began by showing her rock collection that connects to the story. After telling a little about herself, the book and her process, she opened it up for questions and the girls did not disappoint! We had a really great visit.

The thing that stuck with me was this: Ellie Terry received over 300 rejection letters – I think she said the exact number was 326 – and she has saved them all. She has them laminated in a roll and shows it at school visits to talk to readers about perseverance. She had a belief in her characters and the story she wanted to tell and kept sending it out into the world believing it would eventually find its place.

Today is day one of the Slice of Life Story Challenge in which I will write one Slice of Life Story every day for 31 days and comment on the posts of other Slicers. It starts off easy and gets hard. I run out of ideas. I don’t feel like commenting. I get busy. This year, when I start hitting that wall, I will think of Ellie Terry’s roll of rejection letters and I will persevere.





Picture book problem solvers

7 May


Let me start by confessing I almost cried reading Found by Salina Yoon. It starts of very simply.


Bear does everything he can to find the owner of the bunny, but to no avail. Then one day, he does. But by then he has grown very attached to bunny. But he does the right thing and goes it back. Even though he doesn’t want to, he knows in his heart it’s the right thing to do. This made me tear up. What Moose, the owner does next, is brilliant. And it is his action that  made the  tears leak out.

In Ashley Spires’ The Most Magnificent Thing, 


a little girl who makes things has a brilliant idea. The Most Magnificent Idea. She knows how it will look and work. But making it turns out to be harder than she thought. A great book to talk about engineering and design, and perseverance. the words and pictures convey  her frustration, anger and enthusiasm. The text uses vivid language to explain how she creates: “tinkers and hammers and measures,” she “smooths and wrenches and fiddles,” she “twists and tweaks and fastens.”

Two really great picture books you and your kids will enjoy.

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