This week saw the publication of On Track – and it’s been such a wonderful celebration.
First stop: Sandy Strait State School for Wide Bay Readers Cup. I was invited as guest Quiz Master, because Bully on the Bus was one of the the Yr 5/6 set texts.
Readers Cup was amazing. There were 180 kids there from Yrs 5-8 … and they were wonderfully behaved – a credit to each and every school.
The competition was tight. And the questions were tough. (I wouldn’t have got away with all the Qs correct for Bully on the Bus.) The winning teams each said they read the books multiple times – with one team still rereading books on the drive to the event. #hint
It was such an incredible feeling to be with so many kids who loved books and reading. And to answer their questions about my books and writing. Also fabulous sharing my new book trailer with such an appreciative audience.
Throughout the day, kids each got to choose a free book from the Readers Cup book table, and you know what that meant … 😉 #noseinabook
Congratulations to Gin Gin for winning the Yr 7/8 event in their first year of participation – and being so openly surprised/delighted/excited, and to Xavier Catholic College for winning the Yr 5/6 event – quite convincingly!
And huge congratulations to Mrs Jennie Core, the Wide Bay Readers Cup Co-ordinator, who thought of absolutely EVERYTHING and ran the smoothest event imaginable … even when one team was delayed because of car trouble, causing a late start. (They were obviously not flustered as a result because they came second!) We still finished on time!
Some teams had travelled considerable distance to be at Readers Cup, and needed to be back on the road straight away. But there were many who could stay and celebrate the launch of On Track.
There was a discus competition… which was just a wee-bit tricky, because in the interests of safety (and making things fun) I’d made a lovely green discus (of course!) stuffed with wadding… Needless to say, no records were broken – or anything else, for that matter!
There was also a poetry activity, for kids to play with white space and alignment, using one of my poems from On Track.
And there were books…thanks to Cate from Mary Ryan bookstore, Hervey Bay, who came to the Sandy Strait School to facilitate this.
Signing a 300 page book is much trickier than signing a 130 page book!
Writer’s cramp is AWESOME when it’s caused by kids who love books.
Jennie Core launched On Track … and I so appreciated her insights as to why the book was so special to her.
As a teacher I have spent years telling students to add more words and therefore add more description and more emotion. Kathryn shows us that we don’t need lots of words, just beautiful, carefully chosen ones. In both ‘Bully on the Bus’ and ‘On Track’ there is a simplicity of language which manages to convey a complex story.
To say this story touched me would be an understatement. ‘On Track’ is a book I am going to return to again and again in the future … to remind me of the vulnerability of those around me.
All in all, a fabulous, fun day. So many reasons to smile!
The celebrations didn’t stop there, with a visit to Torquay State School the following day… but that’s another blog post.