Island Readers and Writers were out for another visit last week. We look forward to these visits all year. This time it was Cynthia Lord, the author of Touch Blue (and a Newberry winner for her other book, Rules!). As usual, when newcomers show up, they went through the greeting line.
Then Cynthia presented on her book, Touch Blue, which is a story about a foster boy named Aaron, who moves to an island off the coast of Maine. The island was in danger of losing its school due to low enrollment, so the islanders hatched a plan to bring in foster kids. Crazy idea? Nope. Cynthia got the idea from real events that happened here on our island in the 1960s. Enrollment dropped to two students, and the state threatened to close the school, so the idea of taking in foster children was born.
Then something really cool happened. Four schools came for a visit. Monhegan tuned in over Skype (that's them propped up on the copy paper) and Isle au Haut, Matinicus and Cliff showed up on our Polycom. They got to hear Cynthia present about her book, and then they could ask questions such as, "What inspired you to write Touch Blue?" and "What is your favorite book?" It was great to see all the kids and to hear their questions and comments.
After we hung up with the other outer islands, it was our turn to present. We put on our iMovie that was a compilation of an interview done with David, a Frenchboro man who told about his memories of the foster care program, then the 5th and 8th graders responding to questions about Touch Blue. Cynthia seemed to really enjoy it.
Lastly, Cynthia read her new picture book Hotrod Hampster. That little dude is seriously cute, and he loves a fast car! It was interesting to hear about her connection with her illustrator and how he put in little drawings of his dog, Friday, and her dog, Milo. I thought that was great. Many thanks to Jan and Cynthia for journeying out to Frenchboro on a windy day!