monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

2 minutes reading time (478 words)

I Finally Get to Newfoundland -- well, kind of!

So it is one of my life's dreams to visit Newfoundland. And in 2020, when I was selected to be part of the roster for the Canadian Children's Book Centre's Book Week, I was over the moon when I learned I was going to visit Newfoundland and Labrador. And then, of course, the pandemic happened. Last year's book week was postponed, and this year's book week has gone virtual. But you know what? I still enjoyed my visit to St. John's this morning -- even if it was virtual -- and I'll be back in town tomorrow too!

Today, I worked with three Grade Eight classes at Leary's Brook Middle School. There were about 90 kids in all, and when I asked if there were any who hadn't seen an iceberg, a couple of students raised their hands. (This cheered me up because I was hoping to see icebergs on my visit to Newfoundland!!)

I had an hour with the students -- and I must say I got pretty excited talking to them! I told them all my favourite writing tips, the ones I wish someone had told me when I was in Grade Eight. These include WRITE, READ, INCLUDE TROUBLE IN YOUR STORIES, ASK WHAT IF, AND REWRITE, THEN REWRITE SOME MORE!!

I also told a story -- the one about my monkey man necklace. And I got to meet a few -- but not many -- of the students. I'm not supposed to have favourites, but one student impressed me a lot because he was taking a lot of notes and nodding a lot too. (It's true that he was sitting in the front of Mr. Bowden's class so that made the student easier for me to see.) Anyway, meet Jacob -- that's him in today's pic. If you are wondering what weird hand gesture Jacob is making, it's because I had asked the classes, "Are you interested in writing?" and Jacob used his hands to tell me "so-so." Do you recognize the so-so hand gesture? Anyway, that hand gesture led me to invent a brand new writing tip; HONESTY MATTERS. If a writer writes honestly about feelings (including the so-so feeling), it bodes well for the writing.

I'm a little sorry my time with the students at Leary's Brook went soooo quickly. There wasn't time for the usual Q&A, so if you guys have questions or comments, post them here in the comments section and I promise to answer every one.

Thanks to the kids for being, as you described yourselves, "énergetiques" (hey, we have that in common!!); thanks to the teachers Ms. Hopkins, Mr. Bowden, and Mr. Butt for sharing your students with me; thanks to Principal Mr. Matchim for helping arrange today's visit. Thanks also to the Canadian Children's Book Centre and to Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries for bringing me to Newfoundland!

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Sunday, 13 June 2021

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