Melanie Jackson and Orca Publishing. One of the best parts of being a teacher has been the excitement of having authors visit our school. Living in Vancouver we are fortunately to have many authors who do live here and many who come to visit the city. As an adult I have always been thrilled to get to see an author reading their own words or in the case of an illustrator, talking about their illustrations.
I first got to know Melanie as a result of her volunteering her services to help us with the formatting of a cookbook of BC authors and illustrators that our British Columbia chapter of the International Reading Association put together. It turned out that she worked at the time for the British Columbia School Trustees Association right across the hall from me at the school board. After that she did a couple of workshops for me and became involved in the British Columbia Literacy Council.
Her new book, again a Orca Current book (a high interest series for reluctant readers) is about a boy who is performing in a summer circus for young people. His dream is to be a wire walker like Phillipe Petit, who walked between the Twin Towers in New York City. Things become problematic due to a roommate that hates him, a dog his aunt dumps on him, and the disappearance of a valuable necklace.
It was a fun afternoon with Melanie doing two sessions, each with two of our upper intermediate classes. Students were also buy an autographed copy of the book, just like a real book launch, with a generous portion of the cost being donated back to our school.