Christopher Paul Curtis


I was super excited to meet Christopher Paul Curtis at the National Book Awards Ceremony this month! I attended without finding out who were on the finalist list. I love surprises…especially if I can control them in some way.

The first thing I would always do when I arrive at the New School (which is where the ceremony is held) is visit the book seller’s table. I do this even before looking at the program. Looking at the books for sell tells me who I will be listening to that night.

When I came across The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis, I asked the vendor if he Mr. Curtis was going to be there that night. Sometimes authors don’t show up to the event.

Yeah, I believe so, he responded.

And, sure enough. He was there!

I was really happy to meet him in person because his writing kept me up at night as a little girl. His books were among the many books my favorite librarian, Mr. Hardy, placed in my hand when I was in middle school.

When I introduced myself to him during the intermission, he looked at me and smiled.

It’s a pleasure meeting you, Lystria. Do you teach?

Yes! I do! How did you know?

I actually didn’t. I didn’t know weather to ask if you taught or how old you were! You look so young.

Thank you, Thank you. I get that I a lot. I teach third grade.

Oh, third grade! I still remember my third grade teacher.

He signed my book and we spoke a little bit about his writing habits. I had remembered some of his habits by reading all of his books closely over and over again as a little girl.

Do you still wake up at 6 to write?

He started smiling. Well, Lystria, it’s getting earlier and earlier.

After we spoke, I met other authors. But meeting him and hearing him speak was by far the most nostalgic and settling for me.

Before I left, he introduced me to his wife Mrs. Curtis and author, Andrea Pinkney. They all looked at me in my eyes and told me how thankful they were that I was teaching.

Thank you for teaching our children.  They told me constantly.

I would be lying if I told you I did not leave that event feeling better then when I walked in. The same feeling I felt after reading  Bud, not Buddy or The Watsons go to Birmingham had returned to me when I met Christopher Paul Curtis in person.

The Library In Azogues

I went to the very small library in Azogues. I wanted to see their classics and most recent books. Instead I saw a huge periodical newspaper section and seemingly old books. Both times I went, the only people there were the employees.

Unlike the library in my neighborhood, that caters to people of all ages and is always busy, this library was vacant and almost boring….maybe if I read in Spanish my experience would have been different? I am not sure.


  1. Alexis
  2. Allison
  3. Jade (met mother)
  4. Jamel
  5. Taitiana
  6. Janisha
  7. Joseph (met mother)
  8. Justin
  9. Lindsay (met mother)
  10. Ronald (met mother)
  11. Dillian/Dylan
  12. Ronald’s Babysitter grand daughter (met babysitter)Lilly & Students
  13. Rebecca
  14. Joseph
  15. Emmanuela (met mother)
  16. Estiel
  17. Francesca (met babysiter & Mother)
  18. Delilah (very mature, watches little sister)
  19. Junior
  20. Sandy
  21. Priscilla (met mother and father)
  22. Destiny
  23. Manny  (Manuel)
  24. Ben
  25. Ben’s little Sister
  26. Ben’s older Sister
  27. The little Mexican Boy (met father)
  28. Kayla
  29. Shanyah (met mother)
  30. Aldo (met grand or mother)
  31. Takiya
  32. Celine
  33. Janiece Green
  34. Whitney Green
  35. Whitaker Green
  36. James Bell
  37. Kizzy (met mother)
  38. Essence
  39. Malik
  40. Essence and Malik’s brother (met mother)
  41. Moria (met mother) (raspy voice)
  42. Michael
  43. Frank
  44. Tramaine (great with math)
  45. Michelle (tom boy)
  46. David
  47. Genesis (met mother)
  48. Dssandsa
  49. Sally
  50. Edwin (mischievous)
  51. Messiah (good with computers)
  52. Johnny
  53. Angelique
  54. Rosalie
  55. Mohammad ( dance like Micheal Jackson)
  56. Mohammad’s sister
  57. Johanna
  58. Valerie
  59. Ilianni
  60. Marilvz (talkative )
  61. Angel ( likes to joke in Spanish)
  62. Michael (serious about work, like to joke )
  63. Sophie (speaks French)
  64. Khadijah (always smiling)
  65. Damien(popular with everyone)
  66. Joshalyn
  67. Eddie (popular, very serious about school work)
  68. Yu Lynn ( loves to read )
  69. Yukki (does HW but hates to read)
  70. Beatrice aka Bea ( Lindsay’s friend)
  71. Shanavier (Kizzy’s friend/ Godsister)
  72. Jesus (wants to be an actor, tutor Saturdays)
  73. Elian Abinder (ESL,  likes to count in Spanish)
  74. Leanne (very acrobatic )
  75. Adam (likes books about the body/ hobby football)
  76. Gabriella (first grader who reads extremely well)
  77. Pria (sweet little kindergartner who loves to read, needs help with ABC’S)
  78. Pria’s Brother (sweet 5th grader, very honest)
  79. D’Andrea Leaonora (5th grader, very sweet get along with everyone, did project on Beyonce)
  80. Priscilla (the 5th Grade)
  81. Kathy
  82. Kelly (very sweet girls, met mother and father)
  83. Aissata
  84. Monctor (met mother whose name rhymes with Drama, both very ambitious students)

9 November 2009

I got to the library a little late.

And when I got there the kids were too involved with their homework and on the computer to notice that I came late. We found a table and soon as we sat down the drama started!

James came. He was the first one who sat at the table. He was doing math, the subject he is a genius in and begin to ask me if his answers were right.

Next to me was Joseph. He took out his reader and we read a story together about a girl who wanted to join a musical band. She could play the drums really well but the band wouldn’t let her join. When we finally finished that story, Janisha came.

She had finished the little bit of homework she had and was ready to talk or read! I couldn’t read with her and Jospeh. We (Joseph and I) had already started a chapter book titled The Secret of the Painted House by Marion Dane Bauer. I offered her to read a long with us but this little one was in her own world. She went and got another book titled The Ghost Sonata by Gilda Joyce.  As if the queer book we were already reading wasn’t enough.

At the same time James and Janisha were getting into mischief. It made me wonder what was their purpose of sitting at the table? For me to continue to correct them and tell them how to behave?! When Janisha  and Joseph left, along comes Taitiana.

She sits beside James. And they can’t really sit still or be nice to each other.

The librarian came over once to talk too. They just kept acting up.

Then Mel-Mel came. He wasn’t really being bad. Just cracking jokes. I got him to practice his alphabet sounds and read some words with me. This worked until he got into a fight with James. At that point I just left.

I go to the library to help children who are serious! Not those who want to spend their time playing. The librarian took over from there.Computer Time

I’ll be there

I went to the library but didn’t stay long. I only read to one little boy and his family. The other children were on the computer and didn’t want to get off. The little girl I normally see did not come. Now, she would actually get off the computer so we both could read. Those children today? They were content on the computer so I left.

I walk around for a while and took some pictures. Can you believe there are still Obama signs up?! I know, we would never get over it. There are also Michael Jackson signs up all over the place. Its only fitting that I would talk of someone who according to the media has lived a sad life before I mention the movie that I just watched.

I just saw the movie Seven Pounds and am feeling a bit mixed up in side. I wanted to cry but didn’t. I couldn’t even feel happy. I just leaves you in the middle of emotions. The director, Gabriele Muccino is amazing. He should write a book.  He summed the movie up when he said “two people with so much death in them.” I like the movie but hate the fact that he committed suicide. I was hoping Ben would end up with Emily. Thank God its not a true story!