The above montage is me in action last week while presenting Moving Forward: From Space-Age Rides to Civil Rights Sit-Ins with Airman Alton Yates to a group of fourth graders in a school library — my first unmasked appearance before a student audience here in my home city of Austin since Feburary 20, 2020.

Everything about the experience felt terrific from my perspective, but when it comes to my author visits, my opinion about how things go is the one that matters the least. I’m glad to say, though, that a survey of my hosts from March shows that things went pretty well in their view, too:

For better or for worse, what stood out about the feedback that you received after Chris’ visit?

  • These opportunities are far between for us. It has been so many years due to funds, and Covid, that our faculty just loved everything that he did!
  • Students are still asking for his books.
  • Everyone was pleased. I even received several notes from parents.
  • We had one student tell us it was like she went on a field trip. [Edited to add: I’m like a field trip, without the bus!!!]

Were there any moments that stood out as particularly memorable?

  • Our lunch with the author was really memorable for our little group of fourth grade writers. There was so much good conversation.
  • Chris is just fabulous with the students. He handles questions like the pro he is and pivots when needed.
  • I loved how Chris shared his path of becoming a writer with videos and and pictures from his past.
  • Chris did a great job connecting with our students.

What was the most valuable or beneficial aspect of Chris’ presentation?

  • His sharing how he is is always revising his work.

What do you wish that Chris had done more (or less) of during his presentation(s)?

  • The visit was perfect.

I’m already scheduling visits for the 2022-23 school year, so if you’d like me to come to your school, get in touch and let’s start planning!