Afterwards, I had lunch with three of my writer friends who happen to live near the school: Christine Hayes (Mothman’s Curse), Heidi Lewis (I can’t wait for you to read her nonfiction), and Amy Finnegan (Not in the Script).

Afterwards, I had lunch with three of my writer friends who happen to live near the school: Christine Hayes (Mothman’s Curse), Heidi Lewis (I can’t wait for you to read her nonfiction), and Amy Finnegan (Not in the Script).

On this trip, in between my reading of ‘The Nutcracker’ Comes to America and my discussion of how I did my research, I began showing a 1938 clip of two of the Christensen brothers dancing in Filling Station. That visual made for a great addition to my presentation. At Westfield, one of the kids exclaimed, “That’s ballet?” — a perfect response.

On this trip, in between my reading of ‘The Nutcracker’ Comes to America and my discussion of how I did my research, I began showing a 1938 clip of two of the Christensen brothers dancing in Filling Station. That visual made for a great addition to my presentation. At Westfield, one of the kids exclaimed, “That’s ballet?” — a perfect response.

In the gym at Westfield, I presented to an audience containing around 700 kids grades 1-6 — my single biggest school-visit audience ever.

In the gym at Westfield, I presented to an audience containing around 700 kids grades 1-6 — my single biggest school-visit audience ever.

From left to right, Gay Cookson, director of the Utah Division of Arts and Museums; Adam Sklute, artistic director of Ballet West; Utah First Lady Jeanette Herbert; Utah Governor Gary Herbert; Scott Altman, executive director of Ballet West; and me

From left to right, Gay Cookson, director of the Utah Division of Arts and Museums; Adam Sklute, artistic director of Ballet West; Utah First Lady Jeanette Herbert; Utah Governor Gary Herbert; Scott Altman, executive director of Ballet West; and me

"Children's book author Chris Barton continues his tour around Hays CISD elementary campuses with a recent stop at Buda Elementary School."

"Children's book author Chris Barton continues his tour around Hays CISD elementary campuses with a recent stop at Buda Elementary School."

This past Sunday, I drove down to San Antonio to attend my first conference of the International Reading Association, where I appeared on a nonfiction panel consisting of Brian Floca, Meghan McCarthy, Marc Tyler Nobleman, Shana Corey, and me.

This past Sunday, I drove down to San Antonio to attend my first conference of the International Reading Association, where I appeared on a nonfiction panel consisting of Brian Floca, Meghan McCarthy, Marc Tyler Nobleman, Shana Corey, and me.

"Susanna and fellow children's book authors Gary Golio, Jennifer Ziegler and Chris Barton signed stock at Austin's fantastic indie bookstore, Bookpeople."

"Susanna and fellow children's book authors Gary Golio, Jennifer Ziegler and Chris Barton signed stock at Austin's fantastic indie bookstore, Bookpeople."

"Children's book author Chris Barton continues his tour around Hays CISD elementary campuses with a recent stop at Buda Elementary School."

"Children's book author Chris Barton continues his tour around Hays CISD elementary campuses with a recent stop at Buda Elementary School."

Authors Chris Barton, Kathi Appelt & Brian Yansky at the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation's 2013 Illumine benefit gala honoring Cynthia Leitich Smith.

Authors Chris Barton, Kathi Appelt & Brian Yansky at the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation's 2013 Illumine benefit gala honoring Cynthia Leitich Smith.

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