The Day She Decided to Become a Writer
by Matthew
November 23, 2021

Since launching the tour, we’ve been getting messages from friends sharing stories of the impact author visits had on their own development as readers or creators.

I especially like this story from our friend Danielle:

“When I was six years old, the author of a popular book series came to visit my school. I had always loved books, but it was the first time I understood that PEOPLE wrote books. They didn’t just appear! This was so magical I’ve never forgotten the exact moment this dawned on me while listening to Suzy Kline’s talk, and I still have my signed copy of Horrible Harry and the Green Slime. It was the day I decided to become a writer, because it was the day I realized that it was even a possibility. These visits make a difference.”

Whenever Robbi and I go into a school—in addition to creating a fun and exciting few hours for the students and teachers—our ultimate hope is to plant seeds that might lead to reading, writing, drawing, creative thinking, self-empowerment, collaboration, or all of the above.

Do you have memories of author visits from your own elementary school days? Or other assemblies that stick with you all these years later? If so, please share!

Looking back, I can’t remember a single one. I’m not sure whether that’s a function of my school not having the funding to bring anyone in or because my memory is generally terrible. Or maybe all of the above.


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The Busload of Books Tour is a year-long project to promote literacy and raise awareness of the challenges facing our nation’s public schools.

Author/illustrator duo Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr (that’s us) and our four kids will spend the 2022-2023 school year traveling the country in a school bus/tiny home, visiting Title I schools in all 50 states (plus DC), and giving away 25,000 hardcover books to students and teachers from underserved communities.

As we travel, we will be blogging, vlogging and posting frequently to social media. All of our content will be appropriate for bringing families and students along on our ultimate road trip.

The latest on Instagram:

The Daily Minute: 2.21.24
In which, 35 training sessions later, Jasper is ready to pilot the big cart.

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Robbi and I are heading to your fair city on Sunday for a busy week of back-to-back school visits. We’ll be doing many presentations, various lunches, several dinners, and an evening meet-and-greet. (This is where you come in.)
Should you care to meet us or greet us or give us a hug, we’ll be at the Glenside Library in Glendale Heights from 3:30-5:00pm next Tuesday night (Feb 27), meeting and greeting and hopefully seeing you.

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The Daily Minute: 2.20.24
In which Robbi is on strike, Jasper shows no mercy, and Dumbles holds strong opinions we cannot comprehend.

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The Daily Minute: 2.19.24
In which we are scheming and dreaming of fewer hats and no joy.

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Whoever you are, take your seat on the bus!

Our adventure is your adventure. Our country is your country, too. Follow along with us!