The Queen of Water inspired art by student Terner Thompson
Just got back from an author visit to Unionville, Pennsylvania for their One Book, One Unionville program. I was honored that they chose The Queen of Water for their first year! The program was initiated by teachers at the high school, and they did a great job of getting the entire school and community excited about the book.
I gave two assembly presentations for students, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the book, and then did a third presentation in the evening for community members. I loved everyone's enthusiasm and insightful comments and questions... such a treat for me!
The goal of the program was to "promote student success by instituting a new academic tradition, creating a sense of belonging through shared experiences, providing opportunities for school and community interactions, and encouraging students to further reflect on citizenship and engagement."
The high school students and faculty read the book over the summer, and then had discussions and projects related to the book. I also did two Skype visits with community members at the local public library. The program was well-publicized through the town's newspaper, and a number of book clubs chose to read and discuss the book. My visit was the culmination of months of reading and discussing the book.
I was thrilled and a little nervous that Queen would be the first book of the new program-- I really wanted it to be successful so that the community would continue with this program for years to come. Thankfully, the feedback was really positive about the book selection and my presentations... I'm excited to see what book they choose for next year!
One of the coolest parts for me was to talk with readers and see how they connected with the book.
Student Terner Thompson did this amazing illustration, inspired by the end of the book. He wants to be an animator. I think he'd make an incredible one, judging by this masterpiece.
In the school library with wonderful administrators and the talented Terner
with the delightful librarian Diane (who styled her hair and chose her pretty water-themed blouse just for my visit!) She presented me with this gorgeous book on Longwoods Gardens.
Awesome student projects were hung around the library... I always love seeing interesting activities that teachers come up with and the creative ways students approach them.
Zoom in on the above pic, and you'll see this great scene with Cheetah the goat fending off angry dogs! Love this!
And another close-up-- such a beautiful drawing. My interpretation is that it's young Virginia curled up on the sheepskin rug that she imagines is Cheetah. That's the night when she first comes to the Doctorita's house and is feeling lonely and scared.
I have to admit, I get a little thrill when I see the words "The Queen of Water: The Movie." This student cast Salma Hayek as the Doctorita-- she's a great actress, so I think she'd be able to pull it off. Ah, maybe one day....
Here's a close-up of part of a project-- I thought it was so cute-- Virginia on the forbidden red sofa watching the forbidden MacGyver, hahaha!
This newspaper activity looked fun... there's an article about the winner of the Queen competition, as well as a review of the Hotel Otavalo, MacGyver gossip, and new classes at the Republica de Ecuador school.
Thank you, Unionville, for your warm welcome! I was so impressed with your great energy, and wish you lots of luck with future One Book One Unionville programs!
P.S. I wasn't sure who to credit for the above student projects and artwork, but if you see yours, let me know, and I'll credit you in the caption! ;-)