NovelNetwork book club manager Michelle Thomas exudes passion in all of her endeavors. She regularly schedules author visits for her Virtual Book Club and posts book blogs and reviews often. We learned from Michelle, “I found out about NovelNetwork through Kate Quinn’s website! When my book club decided to read The Rose Code, I went on her website to see if she ever attends virtual events; her website led me to NovelNetwork. Glad it did!” So are we!!

Michelle is an educator who teaches (mostly) freshmen at Harrison High School in Harrison, New Jersey. On the lookout for creative and meaningful content to keep her curriculum fresh and relevant for her students, she reached out to NovelNetwork in search of YA authors, which we happily directed her to, and which led to her interest in Jeffrey Blount’s YA novel, Hating Heidi Foster. But alas, there was not sufficient funding to bring enough of Jeffrey’s books to her classroom, so the book was shelved.

Fast forward to Adventures by the Book’s Super Book III multi-author extravaganza which took place on February 26, 2022 at the beautiful San Diego Public Library, where Jeffrey Blount was one of the author panelists. During the event, we shared the story of this beautiful high school teacher and her desire to bring Jeffrey’s YA novel to her students, and by the end of the event, our amazing adventurers did what they do so very well, they generously donated enough books for Michelle’s class! A huge and heartfelt thank you to each and every one of the donors for making this story possible!

The books were promptly ordered and delivered to Michelle, who structured an in depth teaching plan of relevance for her students and the class began reading. The icing on the cake came with a virtual classroom visit by Jeffrey Blount, scheduled through NovelNetwork, who graciously and generously agreed to make himself available around the classroom schedule.

It all came together so very beautifully, and we recently received this note of appreciation from Michelle:

Dear Jeffrey and Patrons of Novel Network,

What a wonderful experience you’ve created for my students at Harrison High School! I’m going to let my students’ appreciation speak for itself through the letters you’ll find if you keep scrolling through this document! I’m excited to continue a reading journey with Novel Network and a yearly meeting with Jeffrey as I’ll share Hating Heidi Foster with my students until I retire! Thank you for fostering a love of reading with students. You’re all such a blessing! 

With permission, we gladly share the beautiful group photo and thoughtful personal notes prepared by Michelle’s class here. Please take a few minutes to read them all…you’ll be inspired!

Michelle, your passion and gift for teaching is apparent and your students are so very lucky to have such a caring and dedicated educator in their lives.   We believe they’ll remember you “Ms. Thomas” long after they graduate as a teacher who made a difference for them.  Their letters and perspectives are refreshing and encouraging reminders of the hope we have in the next generation(s).  Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful photo and touching letters of thanks and for giving us permission to share.

Jeffrey, you inspire!

Follow Michelle on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/doorkeyreader.

Book clubs and educators, we have an exceptional list of young adult authors available for virtual classroom visits, including Jeffrey Blount. Visit NovelNetwork.com and start planning!