Went to a school in St. Catherines, both today and yesterday. Two completely different schools who’d heard separately about me and decided to book me on consecutive days, go figure!

So many times I end up going into a school where the kids are completely unfamiliar with my work.

It’s a shame! You’d think that considering the investment the school is making in bringing me, that more teachers would at the very least, familiarize the kids with the author’s books.

Right now about one in every ten school visits occurs where the kids are familiar with my books and have done some of the pre-presentation stuff in my teacher guides.

Well this school in St. Catherines had not only read Wanting Mor, the students had all kinds of responses to it on a bulletin board in the hallway. I scanned them quickly and one of them really popped out to me.

St. Catherines, as its name suggests is a sleepy little city on the way to Niagara Falls. It is most well known for all the wineries that are located in the area. Very rural and apparently quite conservative.

This school had very few students of different ethnicities. They were mostly white.

So when I read this kid’s response to Wanting Mor, I particularly found it thrilling. The connection he’d made was with the religious observances that Jameela is so attached to. He said how it reminded him of his own family’s practice of faith, even though they’re Christian, how devoted they are to prayer and how they attend church so conscientiously.

After I finished writing Wanting Mor I always did think that here was a book that most conservative Christians could relate to, even though the faith that it deals with is so completely different.

And here was one student who’ d gotten just that out of the book!

Then when I was doing the power point presentation, I had the luxury of getting to one picture in particular.  In the past I’d always just told the kids which character I imagined the person was in the picture, but this time, since they’d read the book, I asked them who they thought she was!

As one they all answered, “Zeba!!!”

Oh how I laughed!

That they actually recognized her when I don’t think there’s any kind of physical description of her in the book at all!

Here’s the picture they recognized!

What a fantastic group of kids, and I guess the feeling was kind of mutual because a number of them told me that mine was the best author presentation they’d ever seen!