IRW’s on the go, go, go!

From Providence to Swan’s Island, IRW’s on the go, go, go! A book conference, school visits and an office move have had Ruth Feldman, Program Director and Jan Coates, Executive Director on the go! IRW moved to 246 Main Street Southwest Harbor on Friday, September 26 and the unpacking continues!




On October 1, they were off to the New England Independent Booksellers Association (NEIBA) Conference in Providence, Rhode Island. There they attended the NEIBA awards banquet where Paul Janeczko and Melissa Sweet received the award for the best New England children’s book for Firefly July. What an exciting evening!



Ruth and Jan also spent a day in the exhibit hall talking with publishers about recent and soon to be published books. What fun! They found many wonderful new books to share with IRW volunteer readers and all of you too! They also attended the Children’s Literature breakfast and heard Andrea Pickney, Gregory McGuire and Alice Hoffman talk about their new books The Red Pencil, Egg and Spoon, and Night Bird. The speakers also shared their thoughts on the importance of reading and the power of story. IRW Board member and Maine award-winning author Cindy Lord was there too! It was a day filled with presentations by celebrity authors and inspiring conversations!


After the conference, Ruth and Jan were off to Rockland to catch the ferry to Vinalhaven Island to meet with youngsters in grades k-6 at the Vinalhaven School. After Vinalhaven it was on to Swan’s Island and another school visit. Whew! How lucky for all to visit and work with “the poet guy” Paul Janeczko for a day! Copies of his award-winning book Firefly July were autographed and given out to 120 children. Lots of great poems were written and shared with classmates and visitors alike. The “I made a mistake” poems were really fun and a little silly too!


Here’s one written by a 3rd grader–

“I went to the beach to swim, I made a mistake and climbed a limb.”

Here’s another –

“I went to the garden to pick a carrot, I made a mistake and found a parrot.”

Ruth and Jan had a great time at both schools! The children wrote some amazing poems! And when asked to say what they liked best about IRW’s visit they said, “ I liked how we were able to write our own poems.” “I liked that you had time to visit with us.” And all said, “I love the Firefly July book. Thank you!”


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