Category Archives: Events

2007 Community Read


In the summer of 2007, all teachers and administrators at Victor read Crown Me!, then a committee of 14 worked together to create a syllabus and plan for the next month of activities to go along with the book.

Crown Me! was read to all 900 students in their classrooms during that month. The book was used to discuss and emphasize leadership and community. Lessons were created with questions for each chapter, math word problems for each chapter, vocabulary words, idea to create door and hall and flag decorations, a crown decorating contest, classroom leaders and advisors and more.

The month long event culminated with a visit from me to the school for 2 days of presentations to the students, crown judging, lunch with students, and the closing event for the Community Read.

Everyone is talking about what a great author visit we had. The kids thought it was so much fun. They truly enjoyed Crown Me! as a Community Read. Everyone has loved the book. Crown Me! has kid appeal and everyone on the Committee liked it, as well as the themes of leadership and community service.

This is the third year for a Community Read in the school. The intent is to generate excitement for reading by having all students and staff members read the same book. A committee of 14 teachers considered a number of books for this years Community Read. After reading the top contenders, they chose Crown Me!

Author Kathryn Lays author visit was fantastic. The students loved Crown Me! and were eager to meet her. She talked about why she became a writer, where her ideas come from and how she has to edit her work before publication. The presentation is interactive, allowing kids to share what they would do if they were King or Queen of the school. She also left times for student questions.

Maggie Elliott, Library Media Specialist, Victor Intermediate School.

Read more about it here.

Cardboard Castle in front of school auditorium.

Essays about my book.

Winners of the Crown Decorating Contest.

Letters from students to me.

Crown decorating contest entries.

Student’s assembled for author presentation

Classroom doors were decorated as Kingdoms!

Victor Intermediate School Librarian, Maggie Elliott — Queen of Librarians, and Me.

Halloween Pumpkin

Josh and his sister look forward to visiting their grandfather every Fall and helping him sell the pumpkins in his pumpkin patch. There is something magical about a patch full of orange pumpkins, and everyone in town is hoping to find the perfect one for the Fall Festival. When Josh finds the biggest pumpkin hes ever seen, hidden away in a corner of the patch, he decides it must be his and hides it for his own entry in the Festival parade. But when his sister gets lost in the woods, Josh decides to sacrifice his dream to find his sister.

For more information on the book including a sample of the first few pages of art and text, go to:

Download the Teacher’s Guide for Josh’s Holloween Pumpkin

Check out the illustrator for Joshs Pumpkin, Katy Bratun, at


“With wonderfully warm illustrations to accompany the story, this picture book will surely help children to get into the mood for fall.” Through The Looking Glass, Children’s Book Review, October 2008

“…kids will enjoy both the sibling relationship and the happy ending. Nicely illustrated, the book’s pages have a glow that comes from the lit-up pumpkins that pepper the pages.” Booklist, October 2008

“Josh’s Halloween Pumpkin will enthrall the young. It is an excellent book to illustrate love and cooperation.” Jerry Turner, Mexia Daily News, Sept. 19, 2008

GROW A GIANT DREAM! by Texas author, Kathryn Lay

  • Power Point or Overhead — See and learn about Giant Pumpkins! Facts and photos of real giant pumpkins.
  • How I Grew My Writing Dream since 3rd Grade
  • Pumpkin Word Search handouts
  • How a Picture Book is Grown
  • Question & Answer Time
  • Crown Me! program included if desired. Here you will find information on pricing and contact information.

Fun With Giant Pumpkins!,7518,s1-5-16-164,00.html