The last few days have been an emotional roller coaster – which is saying something for a writer since everyday is an emotional roller coaster!

I ran into a former student yesterday who was doing several amazing things with her life – making me reflect on my life choices and if I’ve made the best ones.

Then I ran into another former student today. She’s a senior in high school, works, run cross-country, is taking a couple of dual enrollment courses and is one of the happiest people I’ve ever met. I worked with her in elementary school and she was one of the hardest working kids back then, instilling in her a very strong work ethic. Reading was SO HARD for her – but she never gave up on herself.

We started talking about the books I’ve written (specifically the crypto series) and why I started writing them: for my students who needed something they could read, but also wanted to be seen reading.

She flipped open Under Sapphire Skies – saw the larger font, more white space on the page, and the easier language…she looked up at me, “You wrote this for me.” In middle school she WAS the girl who had to read ‘elementary’ books that her mom highlighted…but wouldn’t be caught dead with.

Tears popped in my eyes – she’s the reason I wrote them (even though I wasn’t teaching her at the time) – and everyone else who has ever struggled to read. I asked her if reading was still hard and she said it was, but she still used every single strategy we ever taught her and was making straight A’s!

So, thank you to everyone who has ever put a book into the hands of a child – you never know where it will take them or what something ‘for them’ means.

About Heather Hamel

Growing up with horses is a little girls dream come true. Heather’s dream in life was to be a horse trainer - how dreams change - sort of! She moved to the wonderfully historic town of St. Augustine, Florida and was a historic tour guide and a ghost story teller while putting herself through college to become a special education teacher. After graduating, she felt the pull of horses in her life again. That's when she met Kobi! She learned quickly that when you own horses you become a part time vet, part time nutritionist, and full time equestrian. She wouldn't change a thing! In addition to being completely obsessed with her herd, she still teaches and tutors students with learning disabilities, and more specifically, dyslexia.
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1 Response to Validation

  1. Anna Hamel says:

    That is so great.

    Have a great day! Anna


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