Thursday, December 11, 2008

Polar Bears, Northboro, and Missouri

Thank you, everyone, for all your kind words about ICE and IVY! You guys rock.

As a thank-you, here's a new Random Arctic Fact: a male polar bear's neck is broader than his head. This means it's very tough to put radio collars on them -- collars slip off. So do necklaces, neckties, and cravats, which explains why you seldom see polar bears in fancy restaurants.

Another polar-bear-related tidbit: the mascot for my old elementary school (Lincoln Street School in Northboro, MA) is a polar bear. We didn't have a mascot while I was there. (We also didn't have plastic slides. We had a metal slide that heated to approximately 1,000 degrees in the sun. And we had a jungle gym composed of steel bars over concrete so that if you fell, you were guaranteed to seriously injure yourself.) Anyway, I love the new mascot. I think it's a sign.

The reason that I'm thinking about my elementary school now is that I was there on Tuesday. I also visited the Marion E. Zeh School in Northboro the same day. Zeh's mascot is a zebra, but I love them anyway because they put this on their sign:

That was so cool of them to do. Yes, I know they left off my "h"... But they tell me it was only because they ran out of h's for the sign, which is a pretty awesome excuse, so I totally forgive them, especially given the overall awesomeness of the sign!

I talked with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades at Lincoln Street and the 5th grade at Zeh, and I had such a wonderful day. All the students were fantastic. And really creative too. For my talk, I read a scene from OUT OF THE WILD and then did a writing workshop about a way to generate story ideas. They all came up with such awesome ideas. My personal favorite involved flying tacos.

And I have some other non-polar-bear-related news to share too: INTO THE WILD has been nominated for a 2009-2010 Truman Readers Award from the Missouri Association of School Librarians!! Huge thanks to GreenBeanTeenQueen for letting me know about this! I'm so excited, and am now feeling especially fond of Missouri, despite the state's distinct lack of polar bears...

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At 8:51 AM, Blogger Q said...

I know those slides! You can't slide down them unlses you're wearing jeans, which you don't want to do on hot days because it gets too hot.

At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the nomination!

(makes note to let her polar-bear-riding protagonist notice the thicker-than-head-neck thing)

At 4:19 PM, Blogger GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

Oh yay-I was the one that let you know!:) Cool!
And I know how it feels to not have the "h" on your name, since I'm a Sarah with an "h" too, but at least they had a good excuse and your name was on a sign!

At 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my goodness i saw that sign! my dad took a picture of it and sent it to me... i drive by it every day! that was super exciting. and congrats on the two new books!

At 11:35 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Q: And in winter, they're colder than ice.

Janni: Yay for polar-bear-riding protagonists!!

Sarah: Thanks again for telling me! I'm so excited! Viva the "h"!

Samantha: Cool that you saw the sign! And thanks for the congrats!

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Antonietta May said...

the best slide in the whole wide world is at a park in Cali- it's concrete, so you go down on cardboard, in the shade, so its never hot!
congrats( congpolarbears doesn't work...) on the nominations!
( this is Annadee- she forgot to log out...)

At 11:51 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Annadee: I have a vague memory of once sledding down a concrete slide in Colorado... In retrospect, I'm rather amazed I didn't hurt myself. I'm not the most coordinated person in the world, to put it mildly.


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