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The Busload of Books Tour Reaches Alaska

By Avery Castellani

On July 22nd, our author and illustrator super-duo visited the Meshik School in Port Heiden, Alaska, to give their BoB assemblies for one of their most unique audiences yet. With only twenty students and five teachers among them all, Meshik is the smallest school on the BoB Tour. They are also the last (but certainly not the least) stop the bus will be making around the country... for now.

This is a monumental occasion for Matthew, Robbi, and their entire family, of course. They've been on the road now since late August of last year and have now officially visited and inspired students and educators from every state in the country. Matthew described the experience of visiting the Meshik school as local fishing boats returned in an Instagram post, saying "It was a gift to spend time with these wonderful folks, to see this distant, wild, beautiful landscape, to witness the joy of a community reunited after a month apart. To get a broader sense of who and what this country of ours encompasses."

But just because the tour is "over" doesn't mean our work is done. Once the Meshik school's survey responses return to us in humble Chestertown, we'll officially have all of our data, but the research team has wasted no time getting a head start on delving into what we already have. Through expanding our literary library and connecting with a stellar team of BoB tour teachers (from all different time zones!) for their anecdotal feedback, we've been busy examining the impact of these school visits for students, staff, and administrators alike. It is our hope that this process will open up new avenues of possibility for authors and the schools they impact, as well as a greater understanding of that impact and student literacy throughout elementary school.

All of this to say, stay tuned! We as a team have a lot of exciting work on the horizon and hope you're as eager to see it come to life as we are.



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