Today, I want to give a big shout out to Prairie Spirit School Division, here in Manitoba. There are a number of teachers in that Division who have been very instrumental in promoting my book. They use it in their classrooms and decided every school should have a copy and went about ensuring that they all hear about it. Those two teachers are my friends, Clarence and Noaline Hofer, at Trileaf Colony School. Recently Clarence did a presentation at a principals meeting; he introduced my book and read a chapter from it, after which the Division handed out copies they had bought beforehand. I was deeply touched not only that they're so supportive and enthusiastic about Hutterite Diaries, but also that the School Division sees the value of schools having Hutterite books on their shelves.
Here's a note sent to Noaline, from their Learning Services Administrator:
Hello Noaline,The Hutterite Diaries were a big hit. Would you be able to send us ten more copies please? If Linda has a chance to sign any of them that would be great.
Gladly, Ms. Matchullis! Will be my pleasure!Lynda Matchullis
Learning Services AdministratorPrairie Spirit School Division
Noaline wanted to make sure I saw myself 'on the big screen'. She captured the moment and sent it my way. Something for my Hutterite Diaries scrapbook, if I ever start one. Thanks! We were joking about it before, when Clarence said they'll put me on 'the big screen'. To which I responded, "All my life I've wanted to be on 'the big screen' and now it's happening." Noaline's laugh told me she knew nothing was further from the truth. And she's right. I'm more of a behind-the-scenes kind of person.
On another note, but also from the same School Division. I got a sweet text from a teacher at another colony school.
I love the rich Hutterian culture just oozing out of every single sentence. I think my students immediately recognized and connected with the 'Hutterite-ism' as soon as I started reading it to them. I was planning on initially using it just to introduce a writing composition called "A day in the Life of ..." Now they insist I keep reading the diaries to them because they are so rich in culture, dialogue, and just plain old colony life that all Hutterites can relate to. Even though this book is about Elm River, there is a character just like "that" in every community, that instantly comes to mind when reading.
Well done, very well done!
Thanks, Ray! I really appreciate your comments! I'm glad you and your students are enjoying my book and were able to make meaningful connections. That's what it's all about, making connections and of course Hutterites unfortunately don't have too many books where they can identify with the characters and culture. And like you said, Ray, even though you don't know the people I'm writing about, you do know someone 'just like that'. So true!
Clearly, Clarence and Naoline spread the Hutterite Diaries bug to the Prairie Spirit School Division. I hear it's contagious. (: I'm wondering if any other School Divisions will catch it.
My sincere thanks to Lynda Matchullis, Clarence and Noaline Hofer, Raymond Wollman and everybody at the Prairie Spirit School Division. I've felt for a long time that it's important for Hutterites to write and publish their own stories. And it's people like you who help validate that. I have one more wish, could you please encourage your teachers to post a review on places like Amazon. It doesn't have to be a long review, a few sentences will do. Once again, thank you so very much!