Friday, January 10, 2014


For several years I've had the pleasure of speaking to all 4th graders in Alexander County Schools in North Carolina. Melinda Glenn and her magnificent team provide a wondrously nurturing time, not only for me,  but also for the students. I really love that about their program - the extra care they take to create a leisurely time for author-student interaction, snacks for the students, and some scrumptious lunch for me and the amazing volunteers who pull this off.  It's no small task to bus in kids, coordinate multiple events happening simultaneously, and keep everyone's needs met!

I get into several host schools over the course of two days.  And I really love seeing the Blue based projects I find there. These are from Spring 2013.

Flapbook with information about polio. Simple idea for breaking down and organizing information.

I really like their timeline which charted activity in BLUE.   And I realize I should probably create one of these for every novel I'm writing. 
I like that it shows the concentration of activity in summer when polio was always most troublesome.
After all, I can't blame all my pacing on an epidemic.

Tear Bottles or Personality Bottles are always popular activities for BLUE. 
 Sometimes kids decorate actual bottles.
 And sometimes they create them on paper.
 The bottles are a great way for them to reflect on who they are and to articulate their self-image to others.

  I think Alexander County is the only place I have seen this overall project which I really love.  Kids design a pair of overalls with images and information relevant to the story.

 I love that these are made out of actual denim.

And here's a whole clothesline of overalls.
I'm going back to Alexander County in a few months. Can't wait to see what I find this year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dioramas from Berendo Middle School in L.A.

Denise Taylor, contacted me via my website. Turns out she teaches at Berendo Middle School in Los Angeles and is using my book, BLUE in her classroom. The students made dioramas and wanted to post them on this site. I'm thrilled! Here they are. Click on the individual pics to see the great details.
Wow!  Someone made some really cool trees!  My husband could use these for his model railroad layout.

 Ann Fay's house and garden.  She's working, of course!

 Hanging out by the creek with Baker's Mountain 
in the background.
 Honeycutt house with family working in the garden. But Bobby is lying down!  Uh, oh.. .

Obviously Bobby is sick and his dog Pete is concerned.

The Emergency Polio Hospital 
I love the details in this view of the hospital.

It's always fun peeking inside of buildings.  
Here I see hospital staff and also some beds and hanging curtains for privacy.

There's a description on this diorama that isn't all visible but here's the part I can read.  
"Ann Fay and her family in the ceremony for Bobby. Ann Fay's mom couldn't afford a bigger funeral than what they had so they buried Bobby next to their house. This event really touch this family's heart, knowing it was their last good-bye to Bobby."  
 Another view of the funeral.  
Love the detail of the musical notes to depict the song they sangwhich by the way, was "Amazing Grace."

Thanks to Denise Taylor and her students for the lovely interpretations of my story.  

Saturday, January 28, 2012


BLUE and COMFORT are both out in paperback now and they have lovely trailers created by Wendy Hostetter Davis of Through the Waters Media.

Here are the paperback covers.

And here are the trailers.

First BLUE...

And then COMFORT

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

H.H. POOLE: Blue Related Story Quilts

One of the highlights of visiting H. H. Poole Middle School is seeing all the student projects based on Blue.  I was there again a few weeks ago and today I'm posting all the quilt projects I saw. (I hope I got them all!)

Wish you could see them better. Every quilt square tells a part of the story and each is a touching experience. Try clicking on the image to get a better view!

Are they amazing or what?!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


This is an expanded version of the slideshow below. If you have a little time you can watch this show with more slides. I tried to put them in chronological order. If you're in a hurry, see the one below!

Click to play Blue related dioramas
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I am getting familiar with Smilebox. I hope you enjoy these fabulous dioramas created by a few of the students I visited in VA last week. There are dozens more. I'll post some of them later!
Click to play Blue related dioramas
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Aren't they awesome!?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


About my book, BLUE - two 6th graders at H.H. Poole Middle School wrote poems about Ann Fay Honeycutt's experience.

Click on the following to hear them read. Both are very touching.

1. Leasette's poem

2. Larissa's poem

Thanks, Leasette and Larissa. Your poetry is really beautiful!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


So here's an idea I love! Randy Seldomridge, 7th grade language arts teacher at Granite Falls Middle School sent me these pics!

To the left of my picture is a mirror with the caption THE NEXT NOTABLE NC WRITER! That is so awesome. Maybe I'll meet that writer on Tuesday when I visit!

Thanks, Mr. Seldomridge for all the encouragement to me and your students!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


The students at Granite Falls Middle School are working hard at Blue related projects in preparation for my visit next week.

A few pics from Randy Seldomridge's Language Arts class at Granite Falls Middle School.

God's Bottle Collection. I love the variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Am excited to see this next week when I visit their school.
I'm also looking forward to meeting Ann Fay Honeycutt and friend. Could that be Junior Bledsoe in the background?

Kimberly Hindman's math class is creating to-scale, a model of the Miracle of Hickory hospital.
Group work is so much fun!
Thanks to Kimberly Hindman for the pics!

What is your school doing with Blue, Healing Water, or Best Friends Forever? Do share!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


On January 27 I'll be visiting the seventh graders at Granite Falls Middle School. Yay! As you can see from these pics they've been busy with BLUE related activities. Tee Shirts, iron lungs, gravestones, and more! Thanks to Language Arts teacher, Randy Seldomridge for the photos!

I love this iron lung made from a two liter bottle!


This page features Dorothy Horstmann, an epidemiologist who moved to Hickory during our polio epidemic and who devoted her life to polio research.

And this one shows a new hospital ward under construction as the epidemic grew! The man with the gun is guarding convicts who were called in to help carry the work load.

I'm looking forward to seeing these artifacts in person!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Now that I've decided to share learning activities on this blog, I have a problem. I need to know how to link PDF files and PowerPoints to my posts. Is this possible? Or legal?

I've searched Blogger's help questions and cannot find the answers.

I know how techy you teachers and media specialists are. Do any of you have any wisdom for me? Please comment or email me at the address to the right. THANKS!