What is your favorite thing about school visits?
I love to watch students’ faces when they learn about all the cool characteristics that birds of prey possess. It’s fun to watch them dissect pellets to see what owls eat for dinner, and to see in my exciting video presentation how falcons hunt, how snowy owls defend their territory, and how bald eagles and osprey battle for the same fish.
When are you most creative?
I am most creative first thing in the morning. I roll out of bed, pour a cup of coffee, and go straight to my desk in my little backyard studio. Often, it’s still dark, and I can hear screech owls calling from our fir trees.
What book are you currently reading?
I’m reading The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate, which is a splendid and poignant book about a captive silverback gorilla. I’m also reading Susan Orlean’s Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, a fascinating book of literary nonfiction about the famous German shepherd of films.
Lots of students are gearing up for spring break, do you have any book recommendations?
I’d recommend Crenshaw, also by Katherine Applegate, and Flyaway by Helen Landalf. The first opened my eyes to the plight of homeless and/or poverty-stricken children, and the second is a wonderful coming-of-age story in which wildlife rehabilitation really helps a teen girl work out personal issues with her mother.
About Melissa Hart
Melissa Hart is the author of a middle-grade novel, Avenging the Owl (Sky Pony, 2016) two memoirs–Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family (Lyons, 2014) and Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood (Seal, 2009), and numerous K-8 books for Teacher Created Resources including the best-selling 101 Ways to Love a Book. Her essays have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Women’s Day, Hemispheres, Orion, High Country News, The Advocate, Brain Child, Mothering, Writer’s Digest, and The Writer Magazine. She teaches nonfiction writing for Northwest Institute of Literary Arts MFA program and creative writing for Laurel Springs, a distance-learning high school based in Ojai, California. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband and daughter, four cats and an adventurous terrier.
To schedule a visit with Melissa, contact us today!