Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Literary Pumpkin Patch

I am between trips, so today's entry is a little photo journal of the special lunch Central Middle School hosted for me when I visited them last week in Oklahoma. Those of you who know me (and Sammy!) know that Halloween is my favorite "holiday" so you can imagine how giddy I was when I saw all these painted pumpkins and decorations on display at the school lunch tables.

There was Sammy Keyes and the Dead Giveaway...

Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise....

Then Night of Skulls, front and back...

And the Curse of Moustache Mary!

 They did some "stand-alone" titles too! Like Flipped (book and movie versions)...

And The Running Dream...

Swear to Howdy...

Confessions of a Serial Kisser...

And The Gecko & Sticky!

So much work went into putting these table decorations together ... and I don't know about you, but painting even one of these pumpkins would have been a monumental effort for me!

Then there were skits, put on by faculty and kids, including 3 different "Sammys". I wish I had a picture of the three women who played the Bandito Brothers from The Gecko & Sticky. They were dressed up like the characters (in full mariachi regalia, plus mustaches) and were hilarious! "Ms. Krockle," the fierce science teacher from The Gecko & Sticky, was also present (played by the assistant principal), as was Elvis.

This school really knows how to make an author's work "come alive" for the students, and I feel so lucky to have my books as part of the whole Central Middle School Experience. As a kid, how could you not want to read when teachers dress up as Bandito Brothers (Bandita Sisters?) or your teacher walks out with an Elvis swagger and gives you a taste of what the story's about?

I wish I could have magically transported all those pumpkins home in my carry-on, but I'm glad I've got pictures to remind me what a special place CMS is, and how lucky I am to be part of that school experience.

Thanks for checking in--see you next Sunday (and, of course, in the comments)!


Gabrielle said...

That's so cool! I couldn't of painted that on those pumpkins. I have no artistic talent what so ever. But I really like them! It sounded like so much fun! I wish I could've been there!
Hope everybody has a great week!


Caradith Craven said...

No other author on the planet could evoke this kind of response from our school. Just mention that Wendelin is returning to Central, and so many step up to be part of the experience.

During and after her visit this is how she was described: adorable, fun, darling, a whirlwind of motion and energy, entusiastic, a lady with a huge, compassionate heart for others, creative and smart at the same time, a writer who touches kids in a special way with her words and characters, delightfully entertaining,
awesome, and a California Dreamin' Girl who never gave up on her dream to write, and made that dream come true with perseverance, determination, talent, crativity, and by putting the metal to the pedal and never letting up.

Central loves you, Wendelin Van Draanen!! We encourage other schools to give their students and faculty the amazing Wendelin author experience.

Ryan said...

Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise is out already?! How did I miss that?! Oh... it came out in September. I was too busy thru-hiking the Long Trail through Vermont. I don't keep up well with news in the "real world" when I'm off in the backcountry hiking a few hundred miles. They definitely need to install more Internet cafes in the wilderness!

Well shoot--I need to get a copy of that book ASAP! =)

-- Ryan

RowAn said...

Haha, yeah! I read the entire book night before last. In one sitting. I just couldn't put it down. :D

Those pumpkins are awesome! I wish my middle school had done stuff like that!

Kylie said...

Those pumpkins are amazing! They all look spectacular!

Sorry this comment is so short. I hurt my wrist pretty bad, I think it might be sprained, and it hurts to type, write or do anything with it.


Jessica said...

That's incredible. Lots of talent at Central. My favorite is the Dead Giveaway pumpkin, maybe because I think the night of the Black stretch Pearl had some of the funnest scenes in the series.

I'm hoping tomorrow is library database update day (and that the update includes KC). But my sudden random brain wave was correct regarding Yusa's code from a few weeks ago, and I decoded it. It's a tricksy little code, and it would be a good way to practice certain homework.

My friend's daughter is in kindergarten learning to read, and she mentioned that she's helping with the school's "Girls on the Run" program, so I of course mentioned ETRTR. She's interested but doesn't know how to get the school interested. Any suggestions on who she should talk to?

Jessica said...

P.S. Kylie, I hope your wrist heals quickly.

Isabel said...

Oh, heavens, I love them @ll!!!!

Kylie said...

Thanks Jessica,

I just got back from the ER and luckily it is not broken, just badly sprained. I have to wear it in a cas like thing for a week and a half and then it should be better.


Optimistic4ever said...

I love those pumpkins! I wish I could've seen them in person!

I was sick this weekend (still am) so I finally had time to sit down and read Killer Cruise without worrying about homework (cuz u know, there's always tomorrow). Definitely my favorite book in the series!

And Kylie, I hope your wrist feels better soon :)

Jessica said...

I just checked my library's list of new YA and juvenile fiction. It was updated on 10/2, and SKatKC was not on either list. :( I guess I need to find a bookstore locally. (Though I'm still going to harass the library until they order it, because it's just silly to have all but 2 books of a series.)

Kylie, glad it's not broken (though sprains aren't any fun, either). I hope it's not your dominant hand. When I sprained my non-dominant wrist (thanks to my big brother turning Thanksgiving family frisbee time into tackle-frisbee), I couldn't even pick up a pencil with it, so I couldn't imagine trying to eat and write and get dressed and bathe and everything else with the dominant one sprained.

O4E, I'm sick, too (I've been for 3 weeks now -- I'm ~90% better, but still have a little bit of a cough). Hope you get better soon.

How did I miss the Moustache Mary pumpkin? I love the wink!

Kylie said...

So I think Night of Skulls one is my favorite. It is just spectacular.

O4E- Thanks, I hope so too! Wasn't it fantastic! I hope you feel better soon!

Jessica- I hope you get to read it soon! It is such an spectacular book. I have to agree with O4E in that it is probably my favorite in the series. I hope you feel better soon. Being sick for 3 weeks doesn't sound like fun. It is my dominant hand worst makes it all that much worse. I have to write with my left hand and it looks like my 7-year old nephews hand writing. But I only have this week of school and then break, so it shouldn't be that bad.

Yusa said...

Hmm Sin City is my favorite cuz i feel like so much deep stuff happens and underneath mysteries are discovered.
Okay those pumpkins are seriously super cool for real!
O4E: Feel better soon!
Kylie: I hope your wrist heals quick so you can talk more :)
Jessica: Wow they better get it quick since i really want to see what you think of it :)

WVD i hope you come to my area again soon i will forever wait.

I currently have 0 time to read other than my must reads like KC and right now Ally Carter's "United We Spy"... ugh sophomore year will be the death of me yet.


Wendelin Van Draanen said...

4:00 AM Los Angeles: Read all the comments and thought, I'm so glad for my bloggies. (Bloggies was a 4AM word, sorry.)

Here's to healed wrists, books appearing at libraries, good required reading, and painted pumpkins.

Jessica said...

Bookstores are going the way of payphones, but I managed to stop at a certain chain bookstore today.

They didn't have any of the Sammy Keyes books! I managed to find The Running Dream and Flipped (which was in two places, under teen fiction and teen paranormal romance -- guess that upside-down chicken on the cover threw them), and when I asked, the guy was "Hmm, SKatKC is new, so we should have it... That's weird, it wasn't shipped to *any* of our stores." :(

I'm going to try the independent children's bookstore where Wendelin was supposed to do a book-signing for the Running Dream, if I can find it. And I'll keep harassing the library until they order it. In the meantime, I'm re-reading Sin City. The first 3 sentences of chapter 1 are so awesome.

Wendelin, I don't know if 4am was a late bedtime or early rising, but either way, I hope you got some sleep!

Gabrielle said...

Kylie, I hope your wrist feels better! My mom, over the summer got I operation on her wrist, and it was her dominant hand to, so it was really hard.
And I don't have just one favorite Sammy Keyes book, I have a quite a few: I love Moustache Mary, Wedding Crasher, Dead Giveaway, Showdown in Sin City, And Killer Cruise. So, yeah, a few, I just don't think I could pick just one!
Wouldn't it be cool if there was Sammy Keyes merchandise?! I know random,but I think that would be so cool!


Gabrielle said...

Haha! Bloggies! I like that! :D


Kylie said...

Thanks everyone for the well wishes! (Does that sound right?)

I love bookstores. I love walking in going to a random isle and start reading a book. There are one of my favorite places to go.

Every time a new book comes out it becomes my instant favorite. And then I re-read all the other ones and I realize how much I love them all so then I don't have a favorite.

I have to agree with Gabrielle, I like the word Bloggies.

Yusa said...

Holy Literary Highness and her Bloggies. We make up such a great family, don't you think :)

Anonymous said...

Halloween is definitely my favorite holiday. The candy! The pumpkins! The costumes! Those pumpkins were super cool and I think I like The Running Dream one the most. The shoelace thing with the R looks really cool on a cover and on a pumpkin.

Jessica- I know how you feel, I haven't gotten to read SKatKC yet either! Grrrrr. My library takes a forever and a half to order books even though I've sent like 10 suggestion forms. And the chain bookstore around me is not that up to date on SK, plus it's at the mall, and my mom hates the mall. There are "Too many people." So I'm waiting it out. I did this for Sin City too.

Yusa- I also need to read Ally Carter's United We Spy, I've read all the others. Plus I need to finish the Heist Society series.


Yusa said...

casmikeyesta: Well it's really really good! And the Heist society book is really good also. Have you read the crossover of the two series? I love her books!

We did this really cool volunteer thing in the library for teens where we chose a book from the teen section and wrapped it all up so that people can "blind date a book" and read new things without seeing it first. It was really fun and i chose books that i thought were amazing, but not a lot of people read. Sadly no WVD books that i saw at that time in the teen section other than COASK that i thought might be limited to girls.


Kylie said...

I loved UWS! Out of Sight, Out of Time is still my favorite. And when I found out about the crossover I was jumping up and down because I was so excited! I am very excited for Embassy Row.

Yusa said...

Kylie: Have you read the crossover? Its really short but i hope more comes! I love her writing style because everything came together in the end. :)

Gabrielle said...

Yusa, I joined the book club/library club, and me and my friend are doing the "blind date with the book", and I chose the only Wendelin Van Draanen book they have, Confessions of a Serial Kisser, which I have yet to read.


Yusa said...

Gabrielle: Yeah thats what i meant by COASK and i've read it. It's great but I think i like her other books better. I'm not into so much romance. And i didnt choose it since it can be limited to girls and what if a guy chose it but returned it. I chose a Bartholomew Strouse book and Alex Rider.

Gabrielle said...

Yeah, my friend was saying that we should switch it out with the Running Dream, since people probably are more interested in that book; it's not just a girly book. I'm not big on a lot of romance either, I like it more off to the side, not the main point of the book; except I did really like Flipped, but even that had other stuff in it, but I do eventually want to read Confessions of a Serial Kisser; I mean WVD is still an amazing author, so I know the book is going to be good. :)


Yusa said...

Oh yeah i love Flipped! And yeah i wish the Running Dream was in that section i recommend it to everyone.

Bethany said...

These are so cool! I wish I was artistic enough to do this!