Posted by: nancyisanders | January 26, 2009

50 Nifty States Tour: California!

drinkinggourdseal

Let’s celebrate African-American history
all year long from sea to shining sea!

50 teachers in 50 classrooms in 50 states celebrating the accomplishments and rich heritage of African American history! That’s the goal of this 50 Nifty States 2009 Virtual Book Tour.

Today is the very first stop on my tour. As the first state to join the tour, I want to welcome CALIFORNIA! Today we’re hosting the awesome 4th Grade classroom of my husband and teacher, Jeff Sanders, at Fairmont Elementary School in Yorba Linda. Last week, they read D is for Drinking Gourd: An African American Alphabet–in the same historic week they got to watch Barach Obama sworn into office as the 44th President of the United States of America.

To all of the students in Mr. Sanders’ class: Thanks for sending me your questions! There were so many interesting questions you asked. I picked 3 to answer here on my blog today.

Q: What made you think about writing a book about something that happened so long ago?

A: I grew up on a dairy farm in the small town of Everett, PA. The farm belonged to our family since before the American Revolution. So I feel an important connection to the history of our country. I like writing about the events of African American history for kids because it’s an important part of the history of our nation, and I want every child to know about the great achievements and accomplishments that have taken place over the years.

Q: How long does it take you to write one page?
A: For D is for Drinking Gourd, I wrote the book fairly quickly because I had already done most of the research when I had written another book called A Kid’s Guide to African American History. I usually wrote 3 alphabet letter pages a week. Each page took me a day or more to write. First I sat down and spent time in a comfortable spot writing the poem for the alphabet letter. Then I sat at my computer with my research books to write the information on the sidebars for that letter.

Q: Is it fun to be an author?
A: Oh yes, there are so many fun things to do! I often feel like I’m on a treasure hunt looking for treasure. When I discover an almost forgotten fact in a dusty, long-forgotten book, I feel like I’ve found gold. And then, when I put that fact into my own book, I watch other people get excited when they read it. They feel like they’ve found the treasure, too! It’s so much fun!

Thanks, Fairmont Elementary, for being an official stop on my tour. To find out more about my 50 Nifty States 2009 Virtual Book Tour, visit the link to the website today. And if you’re a teacher, you’re invited to hop on board and join the celebration!


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