Author Christine McDonnell Visits Craftsbury Schools
Author shares one of her books with students

On Monday, February 12, Craftsbury 4th and 5th grade students were treated to a visit by author and Craftsbury resident Christine McDonnell. Ms. McDonnell engaged students in a discussion of her recent book, Sanctuary, illustrated by Victoria Tentler-Krylov. Based on the actions of civil rights and social activist Kip Tiernan, who, in 1974, in Boston, opened Rosie’s Place, the nation’s first shelter for women, Sanctuary showcases how one person’s compassion can change the world for individuals in need. The students read Sanctuary in school before the author’s visit.

Ms. McDonnell, who is a librarian, educator, and former educator at Rosie’s Place, fielded students’ thoughtful questions such as, “How do you choose an artist for your books?” and “When you start to write a book, do you write about what you like, or do you have inspiration?” Ms. McDonnell shared her practice of free writing, where you “write and write and write and you don’t stop…you just keep trying to catch ideas as they are coming through.” Sharing her free writing journal with the students, the author encouraged young writers to jot down their ideas as a habit. Commenting on the revision process in writing, Ms. McDonnell had sage words to share. “If you think everything you write is so precious and that no word has to be changed, you will never succeed as a writer. You have to be willing to revise and take people’s advice.”

We are so grateful that Ms. McDonnell shared her time and craft with our students! To learn more about Christine McDonnell’s work, visit