Happy Summer! Mine started with… A national award, a school visit and awesome events!

I cannot thank you all enough for walking this journey with me! We’re DOING IT! It’s pretty surreal to have a dream and then it actually starts working out!

Friday night, I was honored by the National Federation of Press Women for my book about Granddaddy Joe. I joked on FB that he used to joke about how we would post photos of our food on social media, but I hoped this was a post he would approve. I’m sure it is. The national organization received about 2,000 total entries between a bunch of different categories. The Music Man: Our Rootin’, Tootin’ Hero earned a second place award in the Children’s Non-Fiction category. HOW COOL IS THAT!? I have to shout out to my sister Jessica Rash, teacher extraordinaire and editor of this book! Without her, we would not see this much success with this book and we wouldn’t be able to get Granddaddy’s story out as much!

Speaking of my sister Jessica… She is an English/Language Arts and Social Studies teacher in our hometown community (ALSO super cool!). She invited me to speak with her students last week and boy did we have fun! Prior to my arrival, she led them on a book study with Boxes of Love/Cajas de Amor. Together, they had a chance to consider their own feelings about the pandemic. They also focused on reading comprehension and explored Spanish, among other topics. It’s so cool that it’s a book that can speak to younger readers and older readers alike at different levels! To round out the experience for her students (each of whom received a signed copy of the book to take home), she invited me to visit her classroom. She also invited Rony Baltazar-Lopez who translated this book! I visited Thursday and had a FANTASTIC time with her students.

They used the resources my sister made to help guide them in discussions and then came up with some awesome questions of their own! Two classes later, I was definitely ready for a brain break. It was truly an honor to hang out with these students!

Shortly after my visit, my new sign arrived to help me prepare for a fabulous summer. Check it out!

I’m hoping to fill my summer schedule with author visits of all kinds! If you have a daycare or camp that could be interested, I’d love to give them a call! I also have some slots available for individual author visit parties – each family can pitch in for their copy and bring me in to hang out with their favorite group of kiddos for a bit! Related craft add-ons are available!

I’m really excited to see how this summer ends up! Stay tuned for up-to-date news over on my FB page! See you soon!

OH! AND one more thing: Don’t forget to sign up for your library’s summer reading program! They are awesome with TONS of free activities for the family!

Love you bunches!

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