5 ways to experience back to school

Our authors dive into their childhoods to describe a memorable school experience as you go back to school this fall.

Linda Joy with best friend Lori bus stop first day jr high

                                   Pictured: Author Linda Joy Singleton with best friend Lori                                       at the bus stop on the first day of junior high school.

While starting a new school year could sometimes cause anxiety, especially when my best friend was going to a different school, the one thing that made returning to school fun was my back-to-school shopping day with Mom. I have three siblings so going out with Mom alone was rare. Before school started every year, each of us kids went out individually to buy school supplies and have lunch with Mom. After buying paper, pencils, binders and a new outfit to wear on the first day of school, we’d climb up to the lunch counter at Woolworths and order burgers and fries. I think I enjoyed this special lunch more than getting new clothes. And I’d always end this fun outing with a milk shake for dessert. –Linda Joy Singleton

WhitneyStewart back to school

Pictured: Author Whitney Stewart as a young child

Back to school was always hard for me. I LOVED summer swimming and bike riding. And trips to the penny-candy store. But one thing made back to school fun—BOOK FAIRS! My mom is a big reader too, and she’d let me buy an armload of books at the fair. I could trade them for my allowance. I’d stack my new books on my desk and stare at them, dreaming of the stories I’d discover. I’d smell my books and run my hands over the clean pages. I’ve never lost that love of books—new or old. As long as the teachers let me read, I was a happy girl. –Whitney Stewart 

Nancy Viau ponytail school pic

Pictured: Author Nancy Viau as a child

I couldn’t wait to go back to school every September! I had my pencils sharpened, notebooks labeled, and my Scotch-plaid school bag packed and sitting at the front door by August 1st. I have very fond memories of my metal lunchbox, a favorite back-to-school item. After all, it was also Scotch-plaid like my school bag, and it came with a matching Thermos, which meant my mom trusted me with something that could shatter in an instant if dropped. I carried it like it was a glass goblet. When the first day came, I jumped out of bed the second I was called. I dove into my outfit (skirt, cardigan, knee socks, black and white saddle shoes), and skipped to the bus stop. No one was there, of course. I was always an hour early. That back-to-school enthusiasm never faded in high school or college. Always first in class and last to leave; I never wanted to miss a thing. –Nancy Viau

sarah lynn scheerger in 7th grade

Pictured: Author Sarah Lynn Scheerger in seventh grade

Middle school is a time of change. Changing classes, changing friends, changing bodies, changing “out” for P.E. (ugh.) One special part of my routine did not change. Our English teacher, Mrs. Moore, read out loud to us for the first fifteen minutes of every class period. I had English right after lunch, and I remember sitting in my seat, listening to the shushing sound of the air conditioner, and drinking in the story. It was one of my favorite parts of each day. I particularly remember her reading the book Tuck Everlasting out loud. After she read, she’d pause and ask us what we thought of the story. Good times. –Sarah Lynn Scheerger

Alison Ashley Formento back to school

Pictured: Author Alison Formento in first grade

When I do author visits, one of the throwback photos I share is my first grade school picture. The dress I’m wearing is made from a fabric with an autumn leaf print. I loved this dress because I felt like I was wearing a tree. I loved and still love climbing trees, hiking through a thick forest, and sitting under the shade of a tree to read a book. I was a daydreamer (I still am!) in school, often looking out of the classroom windows. It helped me focus to see the trees behind our school, especially when writing or tackling math problems. It’s no different now. If I gaze at the trees in my yard, or take a nice walk in my local park, I’m always more focused when I sit down to write.  –Alison Formento

What’s your favorite back-to-school memory?

5 ways to experience back to school

Spring has Sprung!

Summer has been fun here in the Albert Whitman offices, because our new Spring 2011 titles are in full-tilt production. 

Original art as been breezing through on the way to pre-press 

Original art from Princess Kim and Too Much Truth by Maryann Cocca-Leffler, sequel to Princess K.I.M. and the Lie That Grew

color proofs float through on the way to the printer 

Color proofs from The Goodbye Cancer Garden by Janna Matthies, illustrated by Kristi Valiant

and dummies spread across table tops for all to see. 

Sales dummies for This Tree, 1, 2, 3 (The Board Book edition of This Tree Counts! by Alison Formento, illustrated by Sarah Snow) and Done with Diapers! A Potty ABC (The Board Book edition of Danny Is Done With Diapers! A Potty ABC by Rebecca O'Connell, illustrated by Amanda Gulliver)

Finished books are still months away and pub dates aren’t until March, but as the Spring 2011 selling season enters full swing in September, it’s very exciting to watch these final stages of book production come together.

Spring has Sprung!

Uncle Albert’s Got a Brand New Blog

Welcome to the new Albert Whitman & Company blog.  We are dedicated to serving the interests of the children’s book publishing community, including librarians, teachers, parents, publishers, authors, and illustrators.  In addition to news and updates, every week we will feature the following series.    

AWCo Author Podcasts
Audio interviews with our authors and illustrators
    

From the Archives
A nostalgic look back into the vault of AWCo classics
    

Classroom Connection (Beginning August 2010)
Educational resources, news, and information especially for educators
    

Today we leave you with a photo of our new VP of Publishing, Josalyn Moran, and a few of our authors at this year’s ALA conference.    

(Left to right) Alison Formento (This Tree Counts), Josalyn Moran, Margaret Read MacDonald (How Many Donkeys?), Dori Butler (Buddy Files), Margaret Coffee, Catherine Stier (If I Ran for President)

 

 

Uncle Albert’s Got a Brand New Blog