"We are living a public life on a global stage, the ones who can express themselves best, will be heard." -Laura Hill, Author The Great Story World Mix-Up, co-creator #whatisschool

Read the books I write with my children.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Making Dreams Come True



Author Laura Hill
by Laura Hill

Last week I attended Book Expo America. This is the largest gathering of publishers, authors, agents and industry insiders who come to educate, do business and generally mix with book buyers, teachers, librarians, fans, bloggers and press. It’s a pricey endeavor but well worth the venture. This is because at Book Expo business is not just being done.  Dreams are being launched, heroes are being met and determinations about the future of our most powerful creation, sharing stories with words, are being decided.

For any fan old or young, an opportunity to meet your heroes, in this case literary heroes, is a dream come true.  I watched as a tween girl dressed in Olympus garb approached Rick Riordan, the author of the international bestselling Percy Jackson series. Her voice shook as she told him her name, then she started to cry.  John Rocco, who creates the amazing cover illustrations for Rick’s books was nearby. He put his arm around the girl’s shoulders and steered her in for a picture. 

It was a moment where a dream came true and I felt almost voyeuristic in my observation.

Selfies with author Rick Riordan and cover artist John Rocco
When my co-author daughters join me at Book Expo, they are not only meeting heroes, they are learning the ropes of a business they may very well play a part in.  It is amazing to watch as they hand their business cards to publishers and talk shop about our upcoming titles, speaking in schools and how we create our illustrations. My youngest, at 8 years old is the bolder one, introducing herself as an author, shaking hands and asking questions.  I watched her skip off on her own and come back with the card of Vell Sweeny, author, publishing veteran and co-owner of a new press.  After talking with my daughter a few minutes, I knew she had met someone who would be a good fit for our books.

Co-author daughters at Book Expo America
It’s important for children to have dreams and to have opportunities to get close to those who inspire, intrigue and shape their worlds.   It makes their hope real.  When I speak in front of a crowd of students I know what they are thinking. They are looking at my daughters and thinking, that girl is my age, if she can make her dreams come true so can I.  I give them a formula; an idea that is self empowering and let them know they can indeed make their dreams come true.  And this is the thought I want to leave you with today.

You, as teachers, parents and influencers, have the opportunity to fan these dreams and ignite inspiration or to squash them in a heap of shattered confidence.

With Dork Diaries Author Rachel Renee Russell, Kate DiCamillo, Jan Brett and Capstone
As we turn our focus in education from a model that developed skills for an industrial age to one that is creating skills for an undefined future we need to embrace curiosity, experimentation and discovery.  And we need to help children find their talents. If we show students that anything is possible, anyone is accessible and any dream obtainable if they are willing to go the distance, we will be raising a generation of great thinkers and innovators. And who knows, a student you teach today may be traveling through space to other worlds tomorrow.  You’ll never know if you don’t try. 

Inspire, dream, connect, do it today...what have you got to lose?



Laura Hill is an author and producer known for helping children find their talents and getting their ideas into the world.  To find out how you can bring her programs to your school email Laura Hill or tweet @candylandcaper.

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