Did you hear any roosters crowing with the sunrise this morning? Local Virginia author Kimberly K. Schmidt sure did! On her farm near Scottsville, VA, Ms. Schmidt houses hens, roosters, horses, and all kinds of other animals. After years of watching their adventures at Grayson Farm, she decided to write a book about all of the mischief that they get into together.
Ms. Schmidt stopped by the Legner Learning Village Library two days last week to share that story with a few lucky St. Anne’s-Belfield classes. The Hen House is the story of Freckles, a sassy white hen, and her friends around the farm. Freckles has a taste for adventure, and loves to sneak off of the farm in visitors’ cars – but she always finds her way home to her loving owner, Mrs. Little. Because she is different than the other, fancier show hens, Freckles doesn’t always fit in. In fact, some of the other chickens aren’t very kind to her at all. But when Red the fox comes to Grayson Farm, it’s not adventure coming to find Freckles – it’s danger. How can Freckles protect herself, the other chickens, and her eggs? Will the other chickens even accept her help? Will everyone survive?
After reading bits of The Hen House last week (and stopping on a cliffhanger!), the third graders were so ready to find out the fate of Freckles, Queenie, and the rest of the gang. Ms. Schmidt introduced herself, her books, and Grayson Farm to each class with fun personal stories and pictures. Then, she kept students on the edges of their seats reading the exciting conclusion to The Hen House. After finishing the story, Ms. Schmidt introduced the special guest that had been waiting patiently in my office – Freckles the hen!
Students loved getting to meet Freckles, and the opportunity was made even more special by the fact that they had just finished hearing The Hen House. I was so surprised to see how calm and friendly Freckles was, even with whole classes petting her at once. Having an author visit the library is always such a special opportunity – and so inspiring for students that are working on their writing.
Ms. Schmidt is local to the Charlottesville area and has special connections to St. Anne’s-Belfield School, having children that are alumni of our program. She loves to read for students, and also offers Writers’ Workshops to students of all ages. Check out the gallery below to see even more photos of Ms. Schmidt’s special visit, one that students are sure to be talking about for a long time time come.
You can learn more about Kim Schmidt and her books on her website, Kimberly K Books. The Hen House ($11.00) and Listen ($21.00) are available for purchase in the library. Ms. Schmidt is available to sign and personalize purchased copies for readers. Both books are also available on Amazon.