School Visits – L. E. Shaw, Glooscap, Rawdon Elementary Schools

One of my favorite things about being a writer is visiting schools through the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program, run by the Writers’ Federation of NS. Thank you to everybody at these three schools for welcoming me! I got to help the grade 3 and 4 students at Glooscap get started on creating their own picture books, with topics ranging from wanting a puppy to the perils of being a very skinny man. I hope to go back and see their finished books before the end of the school year.

With Grace and the Braille edition of RAINBOWS

Although HARE is really for readers in grade 7 and up, I share a bit of it with students in grade 5 and 6.  Somebody always asks about the title; what I love is that as soon as I tell them that Jacob is the “Hare”, metaphorically speaking, even without reading the book, somebody in the crowd quickly figures out that the Elephant, then, must be the war. Being old and crotchety as I am, I always take a few minutes to explain that to many people, like Jacob and the other 20,000 Lost Boys of Sudan, war and its after-effects are very real, and it’s for that reason that many adults are against the video war games so commonly played these days. War is not fun for anybody. During yesterday’s visit, a student said, “Yeah, but war isn’t real in those games.”  I’ve never even seen a game like Call of Duty being played, but I can only imagine the adrenalin-pumping sort of violence contained therein, real war or not.  War is too devastating to be trivialized in a game. I must remember to use that as a response the next time the topic arises…

L. E. Shaw, March, 2012

Despite all that, I love being a visiting author, and I’ll be in Caledonia, Annapolis Royal, Maitland and Kingston before the school year’s out. I’m sure when I was in school we never had a “real” author visit our class – as a kid who always loved to write, I would have been thrilled to bits! Thank you Writers’ Fed for making these visits possible.