Friday, May 17, 2013

author visit: Nicola Campbell

On Thursday, the Blair Library was fortunate to have Nicola Campbell, an award-winning BC author visit all the primary classes. Nicola is the author of Grandpa's Girls, one of this year's titles nominated for the Chocolate Lily Picture Book Award. She has also written two other award-winning books for children: Shi-shi-etko and Shin-chi's Canoe. Both of these books are based on her family's experiences in Indian Residential Schools.

Nicola spoke to all of the primary classes about her experience as an author and shared with us that she is the girl with the red pants in the book Grandpa's Girls and that the story is actually more factual than fiction and is based on her experiences growing up. Nicola shared how her aunt, also a published author, inspired her to tell important stories about her culture. She also read her first book, Shi-shi-etko to all the classes and followed up with Shin-chi's Canoe with some of the classes. Nicola is a masterful storyteller and the students were mesmerized by the way she used her arms and hands to gesture as she read her stories. 

The students had many questions for her and Nicola patiently answered as many as she could in the time she had. She told the students that she knew she wanted to be a writer by the time she was eight years old and that she also really loved to read when she was a child.

Nicola was kind enough to stay into the lunch hour and speak to a small group of intermediate students who were both interested in the writing process and about residential schools. The intermediate classes has already been read Shi-shi-etko and will be watching a short film that was made based on the book.

Nicola graciously signed our copies of her books and two new copies I acquired for her visit. It is always a special experience to have a published author visit the Blair Library and it has an honour to host Nicola Campbell.
~Ms Novakowski

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