I believe in the power of story. I believe in the power of connection. It's in the moments where these overlap that magic happens.
Today Kevin Emerson very graciously offered to Skype with a 5th grade class for World Read Aloud Day. He read to us from his new book, The Fellowship for Alien Detection, and revealed that he had once worked in a bank about a mile from our school! The questions came fast and furious and with each answer Kevin won over the hearts of these young readers (and this not-so-young librarian!) He fielded each question with seriousness and humor (from "Were you fired from the bank or did you quit?" and "How could there possibly be aliens in the world?" to "Do you REALLY believe in aliens?" and the one that gave him most pause, "What do you like better, reading or writing?") Kevin made some lasting connections by sharing that one of his favorite authors is Sharon Creech and favorite books include the His Dark Materials series (this might make us secret soulmates). He sparked a hold list a mile long not just for tFfAD (fad! What a great acronym!) but for the book he shared as his current read- The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (another gem).
To see 20 5th graders sit for 30 minutes as we chatted with an inspiring author was powerful. It really felt like he was in the room with us just hanging out.
I think they might flip when I tell them we will have to Skype again to hear Kevin's live version of The Fellowship for Alien Detection song.
I believe in the power of connecting with the creativity behind the story. And my students do, too.