I must admit, I was terrified.
What would I do if they didn’t like it? Would I keep them engaged? What happens if they eat me alive?
That’s how I felt when I went to do a series of class readings for the 4th Grade at James H. Vernon school in Oyster Bay.
I had little to worry about.
The kids of the 4th grade were fantastic. And not one of them wanted to eat me alive – thank goodness.
Just before the holidays, I had the great pleasure of sharing my book, The Ghosts of Raynham Hall, to the entire 4th grade at Vernon. We talked about the importance of understanding our history and the impact it has on how we live today. We discussed some important facts about the War of Independence. We did some spy code breaking (which seemed to go down really well) using the actually secret code developed by Benjamin Tallmadge and used the Culper Spy Ring to send their messages to George Washington as safely as possible. We studied a map of Oyster Bay that had been hand drawn by Colonel John Simcoe, the British Officer who was stationed in Oyster Bay during the War, and who took quarters in Raynham Hall.
All the children were great! They were really engaged in the subject. They already knew a great deal about the War of Independence and His Excellency General George Washington. I was also delighted to learn how much they knew about the Culper Spy Ring. In fact, the children taught me a thing or two!
I’m glad to say they all liked the book reading. I read an extract from Chapter 5 where the four children, Andrew, Christian, Jacklyn and Alysse, meet the ghost boy Samuel Townsend for the first time. Seeing their excitement made me even more eager to get the book published (February 2018) and complete writing the second book (coming soon – hopefully May 2018).
Thanks to Ms. Parente (Head of Library) and Dr. Vachio (Principle at Vernon) for giving me the opportunity to share The Ghosts of Raynham Hall with the 4th Grade. I hope I get the chance to share more books with them in the future.
If you are a Principle, Librarian or Literature teacher at a school, and you would like me to do an author visit, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to share the story of the Culper Spy Ring and the War of Independence with your class or grade!