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BC Book Prizes On Tour

April 24, 2014

Northern BC Airports

We flew to Fort Nelson this morning, in a Very Small Plane. There was a lot of snow, and the pilot said we might not be able to land. For some reason, I thought of Dr. Seuss: “I do not like this, Sam I am.”

Free books at the Fort Nelson AirportBut… can I just mention how AWESOME northern BC airports are? Fort St John’s has TOASTERS! A whole display case of funky old toasters, including one which is actually a kettle as well. NEED! And Dawson Creek, Fort St John and Fort Nelson all have shelves of books- for a donation, exchange, or free. Plus all the staff are super friendly and helpful and kind of laid back and low-key in a way that us slightly nervous flyers really appreciate. Other airports further south- you have some catching up to do! I’d suggest starting with the book shelves.

Our pilot did manage to land us in Fort Nelson- and fly us out again later, despite the impressive amount of snow. And it was more than worth the trip. I spent the afternoon with 170 students in grades 5,6 and 7- and they were the most wonderfully engaged, curious, thoughtful and creative group. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them and could happily have stayed for twice as long.

We are back in Fort St John tonight, and tomorrow we head out on the last day of our tour- visiting schools in Chetwynd and Hudson’s Hope. I am looking forward to being in two communities I have never been to before.This tour has been a wonderful adventure. 

Posted by Robin Stevenson | Filed under: Peace River Leg 2014 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 23, 2014

Natural Born Storytellers

It’s cold and windy and snowy, but today was wonderful despite the weather- because I was visiting schools and talking with kids. Grade 4, 5 and 6 kids. Fort St John kids and Dawson Creek kids. Curious, energetic, excited kids. Overflowing with questions and ideas kids.

SO MUCH FUN. We talked about writing and books and where ideas come from and how they turn into stories. And then the kids came up with stories of their own…

In Fort St. John, the students conjured up Jack, a six foot tall thirteen year old who wants to be an NBA star, and Sherman, his best-friend-since-forever, affectionately known as Shrimp. Sherman has been in a devastating accident and lost all his memories of their friendship. Jack is determined to help him recover- and prepared to do whatever it takes.

In Dawson Creek, the kids created Angela, a girl with purple streaks in her hair and an annoying-but-cute two year old brother who she is fiercely protective of. Angela’s family has decided that they won’t celebrate their kids’ birthday’s because they have no money… but Angela is turning eleven and she wants a big celebration. How many bottles and cans will she have to collect to pay for it? And will her parents understand how important this is to her? Stay tuned…

Posted by Robin Stevenson | Filed under: Peace River Leg 2014 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 22, 2014

And We’re Off!

It’s 10 pm and I am sitting in my hotel room after a whirlwind of a day, which took us from Victoria to Vancouver to Dawson Creek (those were flights), and then to Taylor, Fort St John, back to Dawson Creek, and now back in Fort St John (and those were rather nice drives with good jazz playing in the car and a slow rain falling outside).

Flying into Dawson Creek was particularly cool for me because Dawson Creek was the first place in Canada I ever lived (I moved there from England with my parents when I was four). My sister was born there. We stayed a year—and that was in 1973! Today was the first time I had been there in FORTY YEARS! Wild.

Flying into Dawson Creek was also great because the airport actually has a bookshelf where you can help yourself to a book and stick a few coins in a donation box. Seriously awesome, and made me absurdly happy. I took two books, because I had only brought three with me and was worried about running out of stuff to read (I know this makes no sense, given how busy we are, but I’m slightly phobic about ever being without a book).

The afternoon at Taylor Elementary School was fabulous and a great way to kick off the tour. Eighty enthusiastic kids ranging from age seven to eleven or so… and all of them writers! Seriously. I was reading to them from my novel Record Breaker—which is about a boy who desperately wants to break a world record—but Taylor, BC is going after a record of its own. Taylor is on track to become the town with the most published writers per capita—and I will be cheering these young writers on.

And this evening we were welcomed by a lovely group of readers, writers and librarians at the Dawson Creek library. What a gorgeous space- colorful quilts hanging on the walls, cozy couches and chairs, and—of course—books everywhere. I very much enjoyed listening to Catherine Greenwood’s poetry, and talking to everyone who came out to hear us read. Thanks to all of you for laughing when I read the funny parts of my book. And a huge thanks to the library for hosting us.

Feeling very lucky to be on this book tour and grateful for the opportunity. Many thanks to BC Book Prizes and all the sponsors who make this possible. And now—off to bed. The adventures will continue tomorrow…

 

 

Posted by Robin Stevenson | Filed under: Peace River Leg 2014 | 0 Comments | Permalink

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