I am so lucky because my principal began an initiative at my school where we get to have an author visit our school yearly (2022: Nathan Hale, 2020: Neal Shusterman, 2019: Jennifer A. Nielsen). The author sees all students in the school, so it is a great community literacy event for my school, and I love being able to bring this experience to all 1200+ students each year!
This year, we hosted Christina Diaz Gonzalez!
The visit was phenomenal and included 5 presentations for approximately 240 kids, book signings, and a small presentation in Spanish for our emerging bilingual students who have been in the US for a year or less. It was all such an amazing experience!
Here are some reflections from my students from after the visit. I asked them to think about what they learned, what they enjoyed, how they were impacted, or anything else they wanted to share:
- The Christina Diaz Gonzalez visit was something I will cherish forever. I learned to normalize authors and realize how authors are real people and how they’re not magical beings with neverending ideas. I enjoyed how she managed to keep the presentation light and sweet but as well as interactive, she made me interested in so many more of her books!…I love how she reminds us how important Hispanic Representation is. These author trips are something I will forever cherish when I go to High School. Thank you for putting the effort and time into doing this Mrs. Moye! I really appreciate it!
- [The visit] impacted me because it showed me that I could accomplish my dreams.
- I learned that you can pursue whatever you like and you should be passionate about what you want to do.
- I learned a lot from her visit to our school, and it was really cool! I learned about how it could be a struggle to write a book, and how 1 book or author can inspire someone. I really liked how she got to answer my question, and how a lot of people cared to ask many questions which made it even more detailed and fun to listen to stories. I feel like it impacted me, and some other people, to encourage them to be an author. I am currently writing a book, and her amazing books are encouraging me to finish my book. I am so glad she came because it was really cool to see an author explain and show about writing books.
- I’m glad she came because her whole presentation was just amazing, I liked that I had the opportunity to meet her and I liked the tips she gave us and of course, the stories that she told us.
- I am glad she came because in my other school we never got a visit like this one.
- Well, I really enjoyed how much Christina Diaz Gonzalez was like an everyday person. You see famous people on the back of book covers, and their names on movie posters, and things like that. You expect them to be a different way. You expect them to be different from everybody else. But that’s obviously not the case seeing as many actors, authors, and directors all act just as normal as everyday people. Christina Diaz Gonzalez seemed just as normal as me and I respect her a lot for this.
- I very much enjoyed how she let us ask questions, and I liked the questions that the kids asks.
- This visit also made me think differently about books like how you can relate to a story really easily or learn something new every day.
- From the Christina Diaz Gonzalez visit, I learned that being an author is harder than people may think. I enjoyed that she was fun. She spoke in a way where you can’t really get too bored or bored at all and she showed us those cool trailers of her books. This impacted me by meeting someone who’s Cuban. I don’t ever meet any others that are Cuban.
- I learned that she has a similar childhood to some of the people at the school that don’t know how to speak English or understand it. I’m glad she came because the whole school knew about her books and to be able to see those students that were so excited to meet her happy and to get to know her more.
- What I learned from yesterday was that Christiana Diaz Gonzalez is an inspiring author that uses her family to help write her books, which I enjoyed. It inspired me to try to write my own stories about my family. I am glad she came to HCMS because she has a difficult past, and I have had one too.
- During the part where she was talking about her very first story that she had written, it made me think about how creativity really does come from anything. A little thought can slowly grow and grow, it just needs a little bit of effort added into it, so that impacted me to open my eyes and “see beyond” generic ideas.
As you can see, Christina’s visit was highly engaging and inspiring. I would highly recommend her for a school visit!