This week I had the pleasure of picking up several packages at the Post Office. Three of them were my books which were written by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock. We have been communicating through email, and hopefully soon, by Skype.
In class this week we read The Night the Bells Rang.
My students had high praise for the story, and had many interesting comments. We enjoyed a treat of ice cream with real maple syrup after reading the book. It was a fun activity to tie into reading and social studies, where we are studying the New England States.
I received a message back from Natalie, after sending her pictures of my kids with their ice cream treats.
“Oh, what great photos of the kids! I would very much like to meet them, and visit them.
The Night the Bells Rang is based on a true story also, about two real boys who lived in Derby Line, VT back in WWI. I knew Mason as an old man, and he told me about this bully in town who had saved Mason’s Valentine for his mother when Mason had dropped it down on the ice. The bully went on to the war and was killed. The townspeople said, “Well, it’s too bad he was killed, but he never did a good thing his whole life,” and Mason told me, “I knew he had done one good thing.” That’s when I knew I had to write the story. I made Mason a little older in my story, and that he was carrying a picture he’d done for his father (not the Valentine).
And I’ve done sugaring (making maple syrup) every spring of my life. It’s hard work, but I can’t imagine NOT doing it.”
Back to me…. While waiting for a few hours at the dentist’s office on Wednesday, I also read “The Bear That Heard Crying,” which was a true story about Natalie’s family. I really enjoyed it. A bear helped save a lost little girl.
Also, to my son’s embarrassment, I read “If Wishes Were Horses,” which is about two sisters, who of course fight as sisters will do. It made me laugh, and of course, before it was over, it made me cry. The historical nature of Natalie’s writing is very enjoyable.
It has been very enjoyable reading something that ties in with many other things we are studying. It’s also very interesting to realize that authors are just normal people, who spend part of their time writing. I would love to be at that point. I used to do a lot of writing at our local newspaper, and I miss having time and a purpose for writing. I have many artistic endeavors that have been put aside in order to be back to teaching now.