My Yellow Brick Road

World Read Aloud Day was a huge hit yesterday, and our Skype with Navjot Kaur certainly stole the show. After a few minor audio complications, we were off and running! I am so thankful we had the opportunity to trade emails beforehand because Navjot was able to tie in some special connections from her book while talking with my class about things we've been learning. She had them spellbound for nearly an hour, which pretty much makes her magical in my book.

After the read aloud, hands were popping up all across the room -- 21 eager 4th graders ready to ask questions. Everything from "what inspired you to become a writer," to "where do your ideas come from," to "have you ever cried when your book was rejected." I definitely have a class filled with writers!

We ended our conversation with her and had about 5 minutes to reflect on the Skype session before we had to jump up and run off to recess.

And my kids completely shocked me with where the conversation went.

"Soooo, Mrs. Mogk," one of them began, "You have books you've written."

21 heads nodded at me, eyes wide.

"Well, yes," I say, unsure of where they're going.

"But... you haven't even tried to get yours published?"

21 students fold their arms and glare at me accusingly.

(Okay, fine, maybe I'm exaggerating a little.)

"Oh. Well, they aren't quite ready yet..."

"But you have stories! You read them to us all the time! And you finished your NaNoWriMo novel! You told us!"

21 little bodies start bouncing up and down, shouting things at me in rapid succession.

"Navjot Kaur said she kept sending out her book even though she CRIED sometimes when it was rejected!"

"You said you want to have a book published, so you should do it!"

"It would be SO COOL to have a teacher that was an author too!"

"Navjot Kaur said sometimes you have to believe in your story even when no one else does!"

I had a full-blown fist-pumping riot brewing in my room.

I laughed. Partly because I didn't know what to say, partly because they were right.

Thankfully, it was time to line up for recess.

At home, I started browsing publisher sites, submission guidelines, the how-to's of picture book publication. I felt a little dizzy. A little unsure of where I'm headed.

A little like Dorothy on her yellow brick road.

Am I ready for talking trees and flying monkeys and mean ol' witches?

I certainly hope so.


  1. Yea for your 4th graders! Take the leap--and remember, Dorothy had help fighting the flying trees, flying monkeys and mean ol' witches. You will too--you have the nerdywritersclub!

  2. Love this post! I'm so excited for you and your fourth graders that they were able to meet and enjoy your Skype guest and then apply it to what they know in their own lives--YOU. Apparently they think of you as an important author already. How fun is that? It's amazing what our students can motivate us to do. Good luck on your publication!

  3. What a great dialogue among writers! Best of luck with your submissions. I bet your students would just love seeing your books published, knowing that they were part of that author's journey to inspire you to seek publication.

  4. Oh what encouragement from your students! I sure hope you follow their advice. :). Your post made me cry, mainly because I felt like your students were also talking to me through the post. I keep on saying, someday I need to write that book. Every summer when I have "off", I tell myself that this will be the summer for writing the book.

  5. Hmmm... perhaps I need a group of student like that chanting at me! Go for it, and see where it leads you.

  6. What a caring classroom culture that has erupted in your room. It sounds like you know who would be the first to buy your book(s) and review them with the highest praise.