Tami said, "You know, she would like to visit and elementary school, are you interested?"
WHAT!? YES! WHERE DO I SIGN UP!?
So Tuesday, we welcomed author Natalie Lloyd to Bailey. What a treat! We crowded, and I mean crowded, all 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders into the library with kids sitting on tables and standing in the aisles. She presented for 15 or 20 minutes and then opened the floor to questions. The kids were awesome and their un-coached questions were very well thought out. It was obvious that they had either read the book closely or their amazing classroom teachers shared it with them.
I was fascinated with how much of the book actually mirrors Natalie's life. Family and friends were the inspiration for many of the characters. She share photos of her grandparent, parents and pet dog, Biscuit. The musical piece in the story was inspired by her grandfather and the photo of his well loved guitar and banjo was beautiful. It really drove home the fact that if you write about what you know, you will never lack for ideas or authenticity. She admitted to me that she was nervous to be in front of such a large group, it was only her fourth presentation, but I told her not to worry, the kids would love her because she wrote a great book that they love. As expected, she was a natural and warm in front of them, and they loved her.
She signed autographs carrying on smooth conversations with the kids as the stood at the table and many of them commented on how much they liked listening to her Tennessee accent. I'll admit, I did too! She finished a whirl wind visit by signing the wall in THE PIT and that was it.
I love that we get these opportunities to host authors sort of last minute and quick, and what a memory for our kids. Thank you Natalie Lloyd and Tami for making this happen.