I listened in awe as Nolan told me the story of the pre-order, his adoration for Patricia MacLachlan's writing, his constant nudging... It was Valentine's Day and it was obvious he was in love!
Nolan's adoration for Patricia MacLachlan started early this year. Three Names quickly became a favorite. Then there was All The Places to Love and Through Grandpa's Eyes, which I read as a notebook nudge. Soon, it was his personal copy of Word, after Word, after Word, tabbed with sticky notes (his own choosing) and annotated with thoughts and questions and ah-has (his own choice) that enveloped him, engaging him in the kind of reading we can only hope to watch develop in our students. Of course, he soon discovered Waiting for the Magic on the shelf and devoured it... it's magical, watching him spread the beauty of Patricia Maclachlan's writing around the room. It's contagious.
Workshop, after Workshop, after Workshop, I've watched Nolan breathe his reading life into the words of his new favorite author. When he has free time, he sits with the "Maclachlan" basket spread around him, looking... studying... searching. For what? For words. For mentorship from another author. For language. For the kind of passion that comes from falling in love... with writing!
Nolan is slowly becoming our resident expert on Patricia's writing. He knows her. "I've tried Baby a couple of times, but I don't think I'm quite ready for it." "I LOVE Sarah, Plain, and Tall." "Isn't she the most amazing writer?" What I love is that Nolan has discovered that her words fill his heart and mind with amazing curiosity and joy. And, he's not afraid to share it with his fellow classmates.
So, Nolan's become Kindred Souls with Patricia MacLachlan... and she doesn't even know him! But he knows her... and "what he knows first" he'll take with him forever.
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Kindred Souls is MacLachlan's latest book about Jake and his grandfather, Billy. It's about growing old... and having someone young with whom to share life. Haven't we all had that "person" we've wanted to live forever? Jake does. I just glanced through Nolan's book today... and now it's on my ORDER TODAY list. But if I have any questions in the meantime, I just have to ask Nolan. After all, he's the expert... and he beat me to the punch on this one!