Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: An Author Who is Silver and Gold
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Slice of Life: An Author Who is Silver and Gold

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“Why does a mother leave? Like not just in this book, but in life.  Why? Why would my mother leave?”

Whenever we hear Patricia MacLachlan’s name or a title of one of her books, we are immediately transported to this slice of life. A young reader asked us this question during a conference after reading the book Journey. It was one of those moments you never forget. For this student, reading Journey helped him talk about his feelings and process the questions he was holding deep in his heart.

So many of her books leave us speechless and inspire amazing conversations in classrooms. Her craft allows young readers to consider difficult issues in an accessible way. She can bring you from tears to laughter within one sentence and there is always more to each character than meets the eye. Her ability to weave layers of meaning into short texts is like no other author we know. We love using her books with upper elementary students for read aloud because we can get deep thinking about theme, purpose, perspective and symbolism in a short amount of time.

Here are a few of our favorites:

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Last week we had the privilege to meet and hear Patricia and Steven Kellogg speak at the NERA 2015 conference. She shared her most recent book, Snowflakes Fall, her tribute to the children, families, teachers and community of Sandy Hook and Newtown Connecticut.

On October 29, Random House Children’s Books will release Snowflakes Fall, a richly illustrated book that hopes to validate both the sadness that comes with great loss, as well as the power memories play in the healing and renewal process following tragedy. The book was a collaborative effort between Newbury Medal-winning author Patricia MacLachland and her fiend, the illustrator and former longtime Sandy Hook resident Steven Kellogg.

On October 29, Random House Children’s Books will release Snowflakes Fall, a richly illustrated book that hopes to validate both the sadness that comes with great loss, as well as the power memories play in the healing and renewal process following tragedy. The book was a collaborative effort between Newbury Medal-winning author Patricia MacLachland and her fiend, the illustrator and former longtime Sandy Hook resident Steven Kellogg.

She shared her journey in writing this book and how she came to the idea of snowflakes. She moved us to tears and once again left us speechless. This video shares how this book came to life – her words are far more powerful than ours:

http://www.randomhousekids.com/videos/rpf3tbqg_jk-snowflakes-fall-book-trailer – .VXYff0v3Q3Q

Patricia MacLachlan is a “go-to” author for us. We love her “tried and trues” and are never disappointed with her new titles. Her books truly reflect this quote for us:

“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”

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4 Comments
  • Sonja Schulz
    Posted at 11:12h, 09 June Reply

    I love her work, too! Funny–I think I came to her work through the illustrator Mike Wimmer. Years ago he visited my school and that is when I ran across All the Places to Love. Great post.

  • Linda Baie
    Posted at 12:39h, 09 June Reply

    I have every one of these books, & do treasure them. I read What You Know First to my students as we said goodbye last week. How wonderful that you got to meet her and Stephen Kellogg. That book is marvelous, too.

  • Margaret Simon
    Posted at 14:30h, 09 June Reply

    Do you know Cat Talk? It’s a book of poems by Patricia Maclachlan and her daughter. The artwork is wonderful. I love using these poems as mentor texts because they are free verse. And you just want to pet every picture.

  • Rose
    Posted at 20:46h, 09 June Reply

    What a wonderful experience that you got to meet both of these special people. Painting the Wind is my Patricia MacLachlan go-to book. All about the importance of being a mentor and the opportunity for so many craft lessons.

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