Way back in September my class had the chance to Skype with Brad Meltzer for Meet the Author (a local thing). Before that we read quite a few of his Ordinary People Change the World biographies. We continued reading more of them after we had the chance to talk with him. He’s quite a popular author in our classroom, not surprisingly.
Last week Brad Meltzer’s newest book came out. As a part of his book tour he was at Politics and Prose, an independent bookstore in Washington, D.C. It’s nearby but not exactly close. The week before his visit I sent home the information with all of my students in both English and Spanish. But I did not expect that any of them would be able to be there. On the day of the book event, one of my students told me that his dad didn’t have to work that night so he was going to be able to go but he said he needed the address again. So I sent the information home with everyone anyway. This boy even asked if he could take our classroom copy of I Am Albert Einstein to get it signed. I promised him I would take it and he could get it signed if he was there (as I was skeptical).
That evening it took my daughters and me an hour to get to Politics and Prose in the rain in rush hour. (I’ve been there quite a few times so I was grateful to know the way. I can’t imagine doing it in the dark and rain for the first time.) The place was packed so it wasn’t until after Brad’s talk that I found my little guy. Not only had his parents brought him but they bought him his own copy of I Am Albert Einstein.
This made my night. I’m guessing my student won’t forget this, but I think I’ll remember it even more strongly than he will. We waited in line for about half an hour so I told my daughters and my student that they didn’t need to stand with me. They could wander around and read books. My girls both found a spot, grabbed some books, and sat down. This boy, on the other hand, kept running back over to me to show me books we’ve read this year. He’d say, “Look Ms. Orr, they have this book too!” His excitement and enthusiasm was beautiful.
I realized at one point that he’d never been in a bookstore. He told me he couldn’t wait for his parents to bring him back sometime. When I told him I could find bookstores closer to his house he was astounded. I am certain he has been to the public library, but never a bookstore. It was such a joy to watch him. I haven’t enjoyed an author event this much in a long time.