April 29, 2010

Hammy and I Had a Blast at Vero Beach

I left home at 7 a.m. yesterday and returned nearly 14 hours later. Here's what happened in between . . .

I arrived at the Vero Beach Book Center -- a fabulous indie bookstore with a separate store for their children's and young adult books and programs.

Here's what you see as you enter this very special space:

The amazing Cynthia Grabenbauer orchestrated the day. Thank you, Cynthia!!!


I had the great pleasure of spending the day with Cynthia and Tiffanie. (Yes, Tiffanie was as much fun as she looks . . . and she draws a great map!)


Our first stop was Storm Grove Middle School. The media specialist had Hammy Time playing on a giant screen when the students entered the cafeteria. The kids came in dancing. It was so much fun.

This sweet student, Ryan, stood at the podium and introduced me. Ryan was also running for office. Isn't this a cute poster?

(That's a mirror in the center.)

After that, we whooshed over to St. Edwards school. I talked to only 50 students, which was fun because we could interact more. I began my talk by saying, "I am a dork." Some boy near the front said, "I'm a dork, too!"

After lunch at Crispers, I had the pleasure of talking to the 6th graders at Oslo Middle School.

There, Anna, introduced me to the students and got waaaaaay more cheers than Hammy did.

Their media specialist, Alison Rhoden, was the kind of person you wish were at YOUR school. Alison has a contagious enthusiasm and bright smile. Check out her great idea: Students get "bucks" for reading, then spend their bucks at the "store" she sets up. An autographed copy of How to Survive Middle School is the newest item in their "store."

After that, I got a break to explore Vero. Cool town!

Then it was time for the meet and greet at the bookstore. This great group of tenth grade students from Vero Beach High School stopped by.

Here's Mykhue . . .

And Nick with Hammy . . .

These amazing kids made me want to write YA!

And my dear friend Carole, gave away a shift at work to be there. Thank you, Carole!

Now, I'm off to Michigan to have a fun time at the S.C.B.W.I. Conference this weekend.

I leave you with the obligatory cute doggies photo . . .

Tune in next week for Michigan conference photos and the new blog post: Sumo Wrestler vs. Hammy the Hamster. (Will Hammy win?!)


Anonymous said...

SGMS Stingrays enjoyed your visit and can't wait to read How to Survive Middle School!

Thanks again,
Tabitha Johnston
Media Specialist
Storm Grove Middle School

Wild About Words said...

Thank you! I had a wonderful time with the SGMS Stingrays. And showing the Hammy Time video as the students entered was a great idea.

Ryan said...

Hello Ms. Gephart,

I just wanted to let you know how much fun it was meeting you yesterday at my school (storm grove), and how cool it was introducing you! Thank you for mentioning me on your blog and for showing my campain poster! It was really nice of you. Please let me know when you are in Vero Beach again so I can have you sign my (your) book. Have a great day. Sincerely, Ryan

Millie Del Grosso said...

Thank you, Ms. Gephart, for your wonderful sharing with the students at Oslo Middle School. I loved your honesty and your humor and can't wait to read your books (even though I am from a generation far removed from the one for which the book was written!).

Wild About Words said...

Thanks, Ryan! You are filled with awesome. There are some signed copies of my book at Vero Beach Book Center. Or I can mail you a signed bookplate to stick in your copy. (Contact me through my Web site.) Keep in touch and let me know when you are FAMOUS because I have no doubt you will be!

Wild About Words said...

Thank you, Ms. Del Grosso! It was my pleasure speaking with the wonderful students at Oslo Middle!