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: 9.30.23
In which Robbi has loved her best life and we are one child shy of liberation.

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The Daily Minute: 9.29.23
In which the bus is heading to Cox Diesel Repair and Fabrication for a tuneup.


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According to Goji, it’s Bring Your Dog to Work Day. He’s trying so hard, but his stories are dull, with tedious descriptions of sniffing and snorting, endless dull stretches of napping, and inevitably concluding with the protagonist consuming large bowls of tasteless brown nuggets with reckless disregard for common politeness or personal well-being. Also, he’s terrible at typing. ...

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The Daily Minute: 9.18.23
In which Robbi is sized up by her secret admirer.

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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!