As part of the Region VII Teaching American History grant in central California, we have been treated to an author visit times two. First, Fredrick McKissack, Jr. came in person to conduct a two day colloquia sharing his books and the books he wrote with his mother, Patricia McKissack, and tips for historical fiction writing.
Mrs. McKissack prefers not to travel but she lives near the Virtual Learning Center in St. Louis, Missouri and is happy to share her thoughts about the many books she has written and the importance of writing and libraries! Thanks to Elluminate technology, the 60 history teachers in Fresno, California were connected by Patricia and Fred McKissack, Sr. in St. Louis for an hour and half. The conversation and questions focused on how authors research books to find the story. Via Elluminate, the McKissacks discussed their books – and Stichin’ and Pullin’ (due out in October, 2008) and Away West – Scraps of Time. The “Stichin” book shares stories Mrs. McKissack learned about the quilters of Gee’s Bend. The experience over Elluminate – projected to a screen for all to see and plugged into speakers for all to hear – was much more intimate than sitting in a large auditorium.
You can read about the experience from Mrs. McKissack’s perspective here.