One of the unexpected delights of being a published author is seeing your book translated into other languages. I confess, when I started out as a writer, I was really only concerned with getting the book published in English; it never occurred to me to think of it leaving the UK! A Library of Lemons has been particularly popular overseas, being published now in 11 languages, and to my great delight, recently a teacher from Romania contacted me to say how much her class had been enjoying the book.
The teacher, Felicia, told me that she was planning a whole day of activities based on the book, and asked if I might be able to send her students a message or video to be played on the day.
“Please, would you help me make a wonderful surprise to my beloved minions?”
How could I refuse?! Of course I made a video to say hello to the students at Felicia’s school (4th grade, which I believe is age 9-10, the top year of primary school there). What followed was really wonderful. I’ll let Felicia tell it in her own words from the email she sent me:
“They were so excited, a few of them have cried because they were so happy. They said it was amazing that the author of a book they’ve loved had a special message for them
I was surprised they seemed so mature to appreciate in every way what you did! They’ve said we should make a “Thank you” video. It turned out to be not very professional, but we did it…
After classes, when they got home, they told their parents that it was the best day at school and their parents wrote me “thank you” messages. I thank you!
Now I will tell you about our activities inspired by your book. If you want to, you can mention it on your blog. Also the parents have agreed for you to put the photos in your article, online.
The students have had 3 weeks in October to read your book, “A library of lemons”. While reading it, they told me positive things about it. I knew they couldn’t wait for the debate of the book (we do one of these every time they finish a book).
We have read again what impressed them in the book, we have discussed them, we have also discussed the main message of the book and the other messages and they amazed me with the deep things they said!
My students have rated your book 4,9/5 (26 students said 5/5 and 1 said 4/5). Great rating!!!
Every student brought from home a thing related to the book, talked about it and about why they chose it. They brought lemons, books, a cooking book, a diy small house like the one Mae and Calypso wrote their book in, a diy small book looking like the one wrote by the two characters, a list of book recommendations inspired by the titles mentioned in your book…
Spontaneously, they made a play inspired by the book. In one of them, Mae writes with little sticks Calypso’s name. Another was about Calypso taking care of her father.
Some of them wanted to surprise their classmates with little gifts such as: a lemon sculpture, bookmarks, a diy picture, lemon cake, lemon muffins and lemonade…
Books make us happy! I am proud that I could make my students love books and reading. They have became real readers…”
What an inspiring teacher Felicia is! Within minutes of getting home later that day, some of the children had left me messages on the YouTube video I’d made – and Felicia herself sent me so many lovely photos of the children. I have permission to share, so here are some of them:
(Felicia tells me that some of the children were dressed up for a Halloween party happening later the same day!)
As an author, I do most of my creative work alone, and sometimes it can feel like very hard work and you wonder if it’s worth it. Moments like THIS are what make it all worthwhile!
Thank you so much to Felicia and her class. I’m so delighted you enjoyed my book, and I hope you go on to read LOTS more books now that you know how much fun it can be to read and share ideas!
2 thoughts on “Romanian Lemons”
Jo, I have tears in my eyes!
What a wonderful impact you, your book and this amazing teacher, Felicia, have made!
Those youngsters really took on board the touching and important messages in your book and now know the impact of author /reader liaison.
Isn’t it lovely, Tanya! So often the writing of books and the reading of books is very separate. When they come together, it can be quite magical 🙂 Jo x