Excitement was palpable from the moment Ruth from IRW and Cynthia Lord got off the ferry and approached Islesboro Central School. Gr K-1 had made some race cars, a la Hot Rod Hamster, using a 3D printer! They test drove them for us; one powered by air from a balloon, and the other by a mouse trap design.
Grades 2-3 were familiar with her Shelter Pet Squad series and had built Ferret habitats based on her most recent book in the series, Merlin. They were eager for the special treat of hearing a Hot Rod Hamster reading as well!
Two of Cindy’s books were chosen to read at the 4/5th grade level, Touch Blue and Half a Chance. Students had conducted some impressive research related to both books. Touch Blue, and the idea of school closures due to low populations, inspired oral history interviews and a visual mapping of the many schools that once existed on Islesboro. Half a Chance and its photo contest theme led the students to capture some of their own photography images according to some of the themes, such as “Holding on,” or “At the Shore.”
They were full of ideas and questions for Cindy during workshops: when she started writing, where she gets her ideas, how many pets she’d fostered, how long does it take to write a book, and more.
Cindy left them with the notion that sometimes as a writer you need to reach outside yourself to delve into other experiences. Principal Heather Knight observed that it is so valuable for students to hear directly from Cindy about the editing process, and to understand that feedback is not personal and is critical for kids to understand the importance of crafting their work to the best possible quality. Islesboro kids will definitely be doing that as they continue to record and document community elders and make connections to the themes in Touch Blue and Half a Chance. Cindy also shared info about her next two books to be published!
For more photos from the school visit to Islesboro, check out our Facebook photo album.