Friday, July 20, 2012

Guest Post with Saundra Mitchell


Book Nerd Guest Post

Saundra Mitchell has been a phone psychic, a car salesperson, a denture-deliverer and a layout waxer. She's dodged trains, endured basic training, and hitchhiked from Montana to California. She teaches herself languages, raises children, and makes paper for fun. She's the author of Shadowed Summer, The Vespertine, The Springsweet, and the forthcoming The Elementals and Mistwalker. She's also the editor of the forthcoming YA anthology Defy the Dark. She always picks truth; dares are too easy.

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What was the greatest thing you learned at school? 

The best thing I learned at school was that I didn't need school to keep learning. I grew up in an impoverished neighborhood, but I was lucky enough to attend an experimental elementary school. It was open-concept, four teachers in one giant room, with kids drifting from quarter to quarter for different lessons.

Then we'd all come together in the middle of the room for special lessons. Or for reading time. Every teacher I had at this school loved reading. In fourth grade, Miss West read THE LAST OF THE REALLY GREAT WHANGDOODLES and THE WESTING GAME to us. Miss Thompson helped us staple construction paper covers on books we'd written. We had lots of library time. We were rewarded for reading on our own.

We were also rewarded with attention and praise for learning. We had daily journals where we wrote about something new we'd discovered, and the teachers always wrote back with interesting facts that related. One sixth grade teacher chose a different favorite every day. One of the ways to become Mr. Pfeiffer's Favorite? Whip out some amazing science on him.

When they sent us home for the summer, they made sure we knew that anything we learned over vacation would be worth attention and discussion in the fall when we returned. We were all poor kids, but we had a great school library. And we were lucky enough to have enthusiastic teachers who made learning not just fun, but desirable.

They taught us—they taught me—that the most important thing was to read. To pay attention. To be curious. In retrospect, I wonder now if they realized that many of the kids in my neighborhood (me included) would never be able to afford to go to college. If they understood that it was up to us to stay bright and sharp on our own.

Because they did an extraordinary job of teaching us that we didn't need them to keep learning. They made educating ourselves so sweet, that I still enjoy seeking out new non-fiction, on subjects absolutely brand new to me. They taught us that learning was the most important thing. That books were the gateway to go anywhere. And that there was always something more to discover.

I'm sad to say that my elementary school closed down almost twenty years ago. I don't know where Miss West and Miss Thompson and Mr. Pfeiffer are now. I just hope they realize the legacy they created in that strange little school in the middle of one of the worst neighborhoods on the east side of Indianapolis.

When I read to my fourth grade daughter, I think about them. When I write my novels, I think about them. When I seek out new stories and histories and sciences, I think of them. They taught me that school is only the beginning; learning is a gift that lasts a lifetime.




Heartbroken over the tragic death of her fiancé, seventeen-year-old Zora Stewart leaves Baltimore for the frontier town of West Glory, Oklahoma, to help her young widowed aunt keep her homestead going. There she discovers that she possesses the astonishing ability to sense water under the parched earth. When her aunt hires her out as a
“springsweet” to advise other settlers where to dig their wells, Zora feels the burden of holding the key to something so essential to survival in this unforgiving land.
Even more, she finds herself longing for love the way the prairie thirsts for water.
Maybe, in the wildness of the territories, Zora can finally move beyond simply surviving and start living.


You can purchase The Springsweet at the following Retailers:
    


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Saundra for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

67 comments:

  1. everyday, but most of all from my cellphone ^^

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  2. Every day! On my mobile, at my parents...i'm addicted

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  3. Everyday, use it at work and at home!

    Holly

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  4. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

    I'm online everyday. Mostly on my phone :)

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Hi,

    This is Becky Smith from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's marketing department. Thanks so much for running this promotion! If just had a quick request so if the owner or administrator can please email me at rebecca(dot)smith[at]hmhpub(dot)com that would be great- thank you!

    Becky

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  7. It's impossible not to go online every day!

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  8. Every day!!!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  9. I'm online every single day. Thanks!

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  10. Everyday! (ileana-rafflecopter)

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  11. Everyday. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

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  12. Everyday :)
    Thanks a lot for the giveaway! That cover is gorgeous!

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  13. I go online almost everyday. Every once in a while I do take a break from all my techie stuff for a week or so just to breathe.

    Thanks for the great giveaway! The book sounds interesting :)

    Stefanie McMullen

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  14. On and off through out the day just about every day.

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  15. I know I shouldn't, but every day.

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  16. Before my surgery I was online pretty much all day every day.. it's pretty scary. I've been unemployed since April so it gives me time. :D

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  17. Everyday for almost half of the day, my husband hates it, lol

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  18. Everyday otherwise I get withdrawals lol

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  19. Everyday! I love to keep up with friends and my blog.

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  20. I don't think I'm ever not online...

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  21. every day..
    thanks for the giveaway ^^

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  22. I go online about 5 times a week, or 4 times a week
    Thanks for this awesome giveaway!

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  23. I´m online everyday (:

    Thank you for this awesome giveaway and making it internationally! (:

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  24. I'm online every day.
    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

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  25. every day!! thanks for the giveaway :o)

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  26. I go online daily, I have to, it's an addiction lol :)

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  27. Pretty much whenever I'm awake lol

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  28. EVERYDAY! sometimes, from the moment I wake up :P

    Rabiah (name on Rafflecopter)

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  29. Every day, and I am mostly off and on.

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  30. Much more than I should. Every day, definitely.

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  31. everyday for at least 2 hours :)

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