Here we have the cover photo for "Tales of Room 34" a book of 27 short stories by 5th graders of Miss E's class. It was quite a project. I spent weeks in and out of the classroom providing feedback on the stories with the rest of the class. And then provided editing comments. They learned a lot, but the stories were 100% theirs. And a lot of them are very silly stories. But they make you smile if you have a sense of the absurd. I think what I like best about the book is that I could see how the stories were reflections of the authors, that there was something unique about each one coming straight from that person's personality. For example, Miss E's story about her cat Shy Ozzie centered on a little girl who is sick and needs to go to the doctor in Ancient Egypt. Shy Ozzie dances for coins to help her. But the subject clearly reflects what's been preying on Miss E's mind all fall. Cut vein and bleed. Just like her mother.
Yesterday there was a book launch 'festivity' at the school where they said all kinds of nice things about the other mom and myself who put the book together. Then they read from their stories. I'm so awful about projects that if it hadn't been for Mrs. C. the book would still be in draft. She got the publication date from the press and I had to meet it. It turned out to be a good thing because all the press dates after February were booked. We turned in just before New Year. But here they were, reading from the hard copies of the book yesterday. And I felt like all of them were my kids. I nearly cried when the two Special Ed kids fought to read part of theirs with the assistance of a classmate.
A mom said how all their children were now 'published' authors. Ummm, no. This seems to be an old-fashioned press that does this for schools. It was all manual, I had to send everything in hard copy. The books aren't available for more than a short time for re-ordering. It's not, frankly, as 'published' as Miss E's blurb books. I know, I know. I had a knee-jerk writer reaction to the comment. Hey, I didn't say anything. I just kept my thoughts to myself. Oh wait. I just put them all here, didn't I? It's sour grapes, that's all. Once again, my kid is in print and I'm not.