On Monday morning, the school library in the village of Twann invited me to read from THE VENETIANPEARLS at their cosy venue. The 5th and 6th grade kids were amazingly bubbly, considering it was the first lesson of the day. Pupils never cease to amaze me with the quality and originality of their questions. More often than not, theirs are more interesting than those adults ask.
Thursday evening was Library Night for the 3rd and 4th graders in the village of Seedorf. I read from DIE ZIRKUSAFFÄRE (The Circus Mystery), which I hadn't done for a while. I must have made something differently. Because for the very first time I had a class who – like the villagers in the story – suspected the circus people of having committed the burglaries. Only after the scene in which the circus boy Franco is beaten up did their opinion change. After a short tea break, I read the beginning of the PEARLS, before calling it a day.
In that night, the children were allowed to choose a maximum of three books, and read as long as they liked. The organisers had especially ordered all my available stories published by SJW, as well as the PEALRS for that event. As soon as I'd said my good-byes, the children went "book hunting". I hadn't put on my jacket yet, when one of the organisers informed me that all my stories had already been borrowed. Could there be a bigger compliment?
At both readings, I was able to watch how strongly the audience reacts to the scene in the PEARLS, in which Daniel explains how he lost his leg. This is a moving part even for me. I'm very happy so see that I seem to have got it right.
Both the organisers in Twann and Seedorf gave me flowers and chocolates as a thank you gift – and this, although they did most of the work, and make sure time and again that the pupils develop a passion for books and reading. I have to say "Thank you!"