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Instagramming an Author Visit (Part 2): Katherine Applegate

KA Sign

The nice thing about our school sign is that both sides have an announcement spot. This week, we needed it. On the opposite side, we welcomed Linda Urban, who visited on Tuesday (I talked about that visit here).

On Wednesday Katherine Applegate stopped by.


We did our best to make her feel welcome.

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One of my favorite welcome signs featured an ape-ish guest appearance from Betty from Betty Goes Bananas:


Really, every blank surface became a canvas for our welcoming fervor, including this magnificent whiteboard creation by yours truly:


What was the most popular book in our library on the day she arrived?


Mission Accomplished.

Katherine arrived in the afternoon and we got ready for her to present to 3rd and 4th grade students in our gym.


(Immediately after this photo, she began draining three pointers¹)

She talked about becoming a writer and how The One and Only Ivan came to be. It was cool to see how comfortable students were around Katherine. I think we set a new record for Student Hugs Given During an Author Visit.

Katherine also talked about her new book, Crenshaw:


In one of the coolest feats of book promotion I’ve seen, the folks at Macmillan have organized a national food drive for Crenshaw’s release. Since the book deals with a kid who’s worried he might become homeless again, it’s a perfect real-world extension of the book.

Click here to learn more about the Crenshaw food drive.

Crenshaw Food Drive

Afterward Katherine headed back down to the library to pass out signed books and do a little meet-and-greet with kids.

It was a wonderful visit.

All that was left was for Katherine Applegate to gift me a projector² (long story, but appreciated.)


Our school is now the proud owner of perhaps the world’s only projector sporting the signature of a Newbery Medalist:


Thank you Katherine Applegate for visiting our school. And thank you Mary Van Aiken for making it all happen.

¹ I’m kidding.

² I’m not kidding.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.