School’s Almost Over

Dedicated librarian Diane Firmani in Alaska is one of the most entertaining educators I’ve met. Naturally, the kids love her.


I’ve had the busiest school year to date, with trips to the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest, and to Alaska from my home in Oregon. I visited public and private schools, as well as libraries and bookstores. Here’s a review of where I’ve been this year:

MIDWEST: Winslow Elementary, Indiana; Alan Shepard Elementary, Illinois; Kankakee Valley Montessori School, Bourbonnais, Illinois; Limestone School, Kankakee, Illinois; Kankakee Public Library, Illinois.

SOUTHEAST ALASKA: Southeast Island School District schools—Hollis, Thorne Bay, Kasaan, Port Protection, Coffman, Naukati, Edna Bay, and Whale Pass; Craig Elementary, Craig; Craig Public Library, Craig; Hydaburg School, Hydaburg; Ketchikan Public Library in association with Parnassus Books, Ketchikan; Holy Name School, Ketchikan; Tongass School of the Arts and Sciences, Ketchikan; Point Higgins School, Ketchikan; Juneau Public Library; Riverbend Elementary, Juneau; Gastineau Elementary, Juneau.

ANCHORAGE: ReadAlaska Book & Craft Fair, Anchorage Museum; Police Navidad, Dena’ina Convention Center; Ocean View Elementary; Bear Valley Elementary; Aurora Elementary; Northern Lights Elementary, Bowman Elementary.

MAT-SU VALLEY: Shaw Elementary, Wasilla; Tanaina Elementary, Wasilla; Fred & Sara Machetanz Elementary, Wasilla

FAIRBANKS / NORTH POLE: Gulliver’s Books, Fairbanks; Santa Claus House, North Pole; Arctic Traveler’s Gift Shop, Fairbanks; Salcha School, Salcha; Weller Elementary, Fairbanks; Fairbanks North Star Borough Public Library, Fairbanks; Barnes & Noble, Fairbanks; Cold Spot Feeds, Fairbanks.

OREGON: Boeckman Elementary, Wilsonville; Watts Elementary, Scappoose.

And more good news: I recently learned that a favorite book of mine, GROUCHO’S EYEBROWS, has been named for the Alaska Battle of the Books 2012-13 reading list! That also means more opportunities to get out there and visit students next year. Start planning and let me know if you’d like me to visit your school or local library. Click on the School Visits tab for more info.

A gathering of teachers and librarians in Fairbanks. Students had created banners for each visiting author.
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