Talking to Ms. Urban was the concluding activity for the book. To prepare for her visit all of the students read the book (either paper or electronic), discussed the book with their classmates, evaluated and blogged about the book based on a rubric similar to the one the Newbery Committee uses, and wrote questions to discuss with Ms. Urban.
During and after the visit the students were buzzing with how much they enjoyed the visit. This was particularly nice to hear since realistic fiction is not the preferred genre of most of the students, they are mainly fantasy and historical fiction fans. This lead to a wonderful discussion in class about why a rubric is so important to the Newbery Committee.
Thank you Linda Urban for taking time out of your schedule to talk to and inspire the students at Gwin Oaks Elementary.