Tag Archives: Vanessa Diffenbaugh

World Book Night 2013

For the second year running, there aren’t adequate words to describe the thrill I felt when sharing books with students on World Book Night. This year, I strolled through the hallways and courtyard of Hellgate High School, my library cart laden with new books. Since the other “giver” wasn’t able to join me, I had the pleasure of handing out books to forty students.

Outside the library, the first two students I came across chose copies of¬† J. R. Moehringer’s memoir, The Tender Bar. Though I haven’t yet read Moehringer’s book, my pitch was successful and it was easy to find ready recipients.

The Tender Bar!
The Tender Bar.

I was able to give a glowing review¬† for the other title in my cart: Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers. The first ones to choose this book were among a handful of students who were enjoying the crisp, spring afternoon in Hellgate’s courtyard. The smiles and thanks I received from beginning to end of my book-giving excursion were heartwarming.

Smiles in the Hellgate courtyard.
Smiles in the Hellgate courtyard.
The Language of Flowers and The Tender Bar.
The Language of Flowers and The Tender Bar.
More great smiles from the few who braved the cool spring afternoon.
More great smiles from a few who braved the cool spring afternoon.

Some students asked if they could have both books. Had there been extras, that would’ve been okay. Anticipating that wouldn’t be the case, though, I told them they had to pick one. Perhaps those students will trade once they’ve read their chosen books, or maybe they’ll come to the library to borrow our copy of The Language of Flowers or The Tender Bar.

Two great reads that made for a tough choice for some students.
Two great reads made for a tough choice for some students.
Smiles in the halls of Hellgate High School!
Smiles in the halls of Hellgate High School.
Look what I got!
Look what I got!

My addition to each copy of The Language of Flowers was a handmade bookmark, each with the name of a different flower specially chosen from the flower dictionary in the back of Diffenbaugh’s book. I invited the students to embellish their bookmarks, either at home or in the library, and offered to then laminate them with extra pieces of book covers. To date, no one has taken me up on my offer. Whether anyone decides to or not, I hope that the students enjoyed sleuthing through the dictionary to find their flower’s meaning.

Armfuls of Myrtle, Oregano, Peppermint, and Pink Carnations to all who made World Book Night possible.

World Book Night

Celebrate World Book Night 2013 on April 23rd

Giver applications are due January 23rd

It was a thrill to be a giver last year on World Book Night 2012. Of the 25,000 givers nationwide, three of us celebrated books and reading with students and staff at Willard Alternative High School.

World Book Night 2012
Karen Buley presents The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
The Namesake WBN 2012
Karin Knight reads from The Namesake
World Book Night 2012
Kim Anderson shares Housekeeping

I had the privilege of sharing Sherman Alexie’s book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which won the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Alexie has been on my radar for years, ever since I heard him speak at the University of Montana. He was inspirational, funny, and his words about the craft of writing prodded me to continue to plug away at my own writing.

World Book Night 2012
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian!
World Book Night 2012
Great smiles for great books
World Book Night 2012
Humor in Sherman Alexie’s words

This year, I’m applying to be a giver of Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers. Not only has Diffenbaugh written a powerful debut novel about what can happen when you age out of foster care (you might find yourself homeless and sleeping in a park like protagonist Victoria Jones), she also is a co-founder of The Camellia Network, whose mission is to create a nationwide movement to support youth transitioning from foster care.

A bouquet of angelica, bellflower, flax, lisianthus and orange to Vanessa Diffenbaugh. White carnations, cosmos and peppermint to all who make World Book Night 2013 possible.

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