Posts filed under ‘Nova Scotia’

Hackmatack, Moose and Nova Scotian Hospitality

Driving the Cabot Trail

WOW!! Just got back from my Cape Breton and Halifax tour for Hackmatack. My book, Born to Write: The Remarkable Lives of Six Famous Authors, was nominated for the 2011 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award and  I was invited down east to tour some schools and attend the award ceremony.

I had so much fun and was treated like a queen by all my hosts. I got there in the middle of a rainy deluge, but I didn’t care. I love the East Coast, rain, fog, sun or snow!  The rain stopped long enough for me to glimpse the famous winding road, headlands and rocky beaches of the Cabot Trail, whetting my appetite for another trip soon I hope. I also saw my first moose of 2011, right ahead of us on the road, and snow banks (in May!) in the highlands.

The Giant Fiddle of Sydney and Me

I had a wonderfully warm reception from Chris Thomson and Tara MacNeil, from the Cape Breton Regional Library, who ferried me around and fed me and made sure everything ran smoothly at the schools. The students and staff were also very welcoming at the four schools I visited:

Cape Smokey Elementary, Ingonish

North Highlands Elementary, Cape North

Brookland Elementary, Sydney

Étoile de L’Acadie, Sydney

A bumpy little Dash 8 flew me from Sydney to Halifax, where I met up with the other Hackmatack finalists for a party and an exciting ceremony where the winners were announced. I didn’t win ― but yes, I guess I did, because being nominated for this great award means that students read my book and the whole trip was like a prize: meeting new book lovers, staying in a fancy B & B in Sydney and a haunted hotel in Halifax (TRUE!!)


* The introduction from my presenter at the ceremony, Gwyneth Fountain, in grade 5 at Sacred Heart School: her enthusiasm about my book made my day.

* The funny questions from students: How old are you? How much money do you make?

Showing the picture of Madeleine L'Engle and her dog at Brookland Elementary

* The serious questions from students: Are you proud of writing Born to Write? What were the echoes from your childhood when you wrote it?

*Six pillows on my Princess and the Pea bed at the B&B and the stool I had to climb on to get into it.

* The pilot who said we couldn’t take off for Sydney because “the boys who are supposed to wave us out have disappeared.”

* Kate Watson, Scott, Steve, the Hackmatack board members and all the wonderful volunteers who make the Hackmatack reading program such a success.

* My fellow nominees, children’s writers from all over Canada: you rock!

The Princess and the Pea high bed at the B & B in Sydney


May 16, 2011 at 11:10 am Leave a comment


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