celebrate kindness

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When was the last time you received a package in the mail? No, not a shipment from Amazon that you purchased with your credit card. I mean a REAL package. A gift. A surprise. Something just for you. Has it been a while?

This past week I received a package that LITERALLY made me squeal with joy! It was an unpublished, advance uncorrected proof of Kate Messner’s new book The Seventh Wish that was sent directly to me from Bloomsbury Publishers! This book won’t be available for purchase until June 2016, but I had it in my hands! SQUEAL!!

Kate Messner Book

For the past two summers, I have participated in Teachers Write: a virtual writing experience that consists of four weeks of daily writing prompts led by dozens of authors who write the books we read in and out of the classroom. These authors share their advice, offer suggestions, encourage us to learn and grow. Best of all, they actually read the posts we write and provide feedback (WOW factor, right here!) Created by Kate Messner, this writing opportunity has completely changed the way I approach composition, both as a teacher and an author. (Yes, I am using that term loosely. I have written blogs and published articles, but you know I want to write that book about kindness and life purpose!)

The great part of belonging to a writing community is that the connection doesn’t end when the tasks are completed. Even though the assignments and challenges ceased with the summer sun, we are still writing and sharing through social media.

A few weeks ago Kate posted that her newest book, The Seventh Wish, was nearing publication and she wanted to try something new for the book’s release. She asked if any of her teacher friends would be willing to read her book, then share with students to read, so that children could write the book reviews instead of adults.

I think this may be the actual moment I started squealing.

I threw my name in the hat, hoping to be chosen from hundreds of responses across globe, but figured it was wishful thinking at best. And then, with little fanfare or presentation, there was a simple manilla package waiting in my mailbox: The Seventh Wish.

This random act of kindness from Kate Messner and Bloomsbury Publishing made my heart soar this week. I can’t wait to curl up on my sofa, warm fleece blanket wrapped around my lap, with uninterrupted time to read her new book. I’m sure it will be just as awesome as her other books on the shelf! Then, as the ultimate pay-it-forward RAK, I will pass the book along to children in my school who will read, review, and share. What a gift indeed!

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