Just before Thanksgiving I spent an afternoon with the 4th grade at Bettie Weaver Elementary School in Chesterfield County. Bettie Weaver is a community of serious readers and writers, a school that prides itself on a high level of literary engagement.The school principal, a horsewoman and fellow boarder at Campbell Springs, invited me to share some thoughts about reading and writing with her students. The 4th grade prepared for my visit by using Chancey of the Maury River as a read aloud title.
What a joy to spend a few hours with them! I left Bettie Weaver feeling so thankful that my life offers opportunities to talk with young readers and writers and very thankful, too, for the passionate educators and librarians I met that day. Here are a few of the drawings the students made of scenes from Chancey:
All of the pictures from the classes were awesome! The best part, though, was reading their notes to me:
That was my favorite book that my teacher has ever read to us. The most tearful part in the story was when Trevor was sent home.
I didn’t know you were coming today. I thought you would come on the first day after Thanksgiving break. I really liked this book and hope you did too.
I love your book Chancey. I think it’s kind of funny.
Thank you for sharing your ideas with us fourth graders. Your book was painting wonderful, detailed pictures in everyone’s mind. I was surprised and impressed at the same time.
Your book CHANCEY OF THE MAURY RIVER was spectacular.
Thank you for coming. You taught me lots of things about characters and how to write a story about anything.
I’m still so sad about Trevor. I loved your book.
Now, if I ever write a book I know what to do.
Chancey is a majestic pony and loves people. He’s not a mean pony.
I love to ride to and I have a white horse named Buddy. I like to ride him but sometimes he will get bossy.
I think the mountains are very cool.
I love to write!
My favorite part is when Trevor passed the boy and his fat pony.
I love the blue ridge mountains too!
I have one question wich is how long did it take to write the book?
I wanted Mrs. Payne to read two chapters a day.
My dream also is to write a wonderful book just like you. I love to ride horses.
Our class was intrigued by the part where Claire fell off Chancey.
Is your real horse’s name Chancey?
I wanted to cry when Claire got hurt. I hope you continue writing the great books you do. Ya boy ya!