When Smart Teachers Get Creative in the Classroom


Amanda Pidgeon is a teacher at Hancock High in Kiln, MS. She teaches English 2, and AP Language and Composition. And she is a very clever lady!



She has a literature project called "Write On!" that combines books with art, and helps tame a perpetual classroom problem. She tweeted these pics to me the other day.




She told me, "It's based on changing desks covered in graffiti into something you actually want to write on. The students chose a significant life-changing quote from literature and wrote an essay about the quote. The essay gave the big significance of the quote. Then they decorated the desks to accompany the essays. "



She said the desks get repainted every couple of years. Amazing, right? Why couldn't I have had an English teacher like this when I was a kid?



Bookstore Events and Book Awards, Oh My!!!

Since Laurie is running around like a Mad Woman, and being true to her inner Mad Woman in the Forest, I thought I would share, once again, her bookstore schedule for this weekend! Yes, it is time for her to travel to Philly for NCTE (no, she is NOT packed yet!). Besides the wonderful conference, she is scheduled to appear tomorrow (Friday) night at a Public Event at Doylestown Bookshop from 7PM until 9PM!! Can you be there? If you are in the area, please stop in and say hello! She would LOVE to see all her friends!

On Saturday, Laurie will be doing conference book signings and an Author Blog Panel: Please see her post here.

On Sunday, Laurie will be at an author breakfast with Sarah Dessen held at Chester County Book & Music Company beginning at 9AM until 12PM. If you plan on attending, please RSVP to their Children’s Department. Come on, admit it, you always wanted to know what Laurie has for breakfast, check it out!!!

Also on Sunday, Laurie will be one author out of NINE at a super event at Children’s Book World from 1PM until 3PM. The event is called “A Novel Idea”, a Teen Event/Benefit for Philadelphia Free Library’s Summer Reading Program. Philadelphia Free Library is faced with the possibility of NOT having it’s book budget restored next year, so Children’s Book World has teamed up with them to raise money for books! Go here, and scroll down to read more on the event. Seeing your favorite author and helping a local library, two great reasons to stop in to Children’s Book World.

We received some awesome book award news in the Forest recently: WINTERGIRLS and CHAINS were both named to the 2010 Tayshas High School Reading List in Texas!! We send a TEXAS sized Thank You to the Tayshas Committee and the teachers and librarians of Texas!! ::Whoop, Whoop::

Believe me, Laurie would absolutely L O V E to see You at her events. Just tell her the Queen sent you! Ta Ta….


I revised all weekend. What about you? If you are working on NaNoWriMo or just putting pedal to the medal to finish a draft, you might want to read the Tips on Writer’s Block I wrote for the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program.

Because of the intense revision schedule I’m on, I need to issue a blanket apology to all my friends for not answering email or phone calls right now. I’d grovel too, except I’m too busy writing.

It’s almost Thanksgiving and that means… The National Council of Teachers of English/ALAN Conference is just around the corner. This year it’s in my old stomping ground, Philly.

::thinks of cheesesteaks::

Here is my schedule:


7–9:00 pm Doylestown Bookshop

Doylestown Bookshop

16 S. Main St, Doylestown, PA 18901

(215) 230-7610

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2009 All Events open to Conference attendees ONLY

7–9:15 am Keynote Speaker at ALAN Breakfast (Ticketed Event)

Philadelphia Marriot
1201 Market St, Grand Ballroom, Salon A (5th floor)


Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

1–2:00 pm BOOK SIGNING AT SIMON & SCHUSTER, Booth #419

4:15–5:30 pm Panel: "Authors’ Blogs: Connections, Collaboration, and Creativity"
Other authors on panel: Maureen Johnson, Justine Larbalestier, Barbara O’Connor & Lisa Yee
Convention Center, Street Level, Room 103A


9 am–12:00 pm Chester County Book & Music Company Author Breakfast with LHA & Sarah Dessen!

Chester County Books

975 Paoli Pike

West Chester, PA 19380

(610) 696-1661

1–3:00 pm “A Novel Idea” Teen Event for Philadelphia Free Library at Children’s Book World

More authors than you can count at this one: Jay Asher, T.A. Barron, Sarah Dessen, Steve Kluger, Justine L
arbalestier, David Levithan, Lauren Myracle, Scott Westerfeld & Jacqueline Woodson. And me!

Children’s Book World
17 Haverford Station Road
Haverford, PA 19041
(610) 642-6274

My husband did a little more tweeking on the exterior of the cottage and he wanted me to post this picture to prove you can’t see the Tyvek anymore: