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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? Book Tour (Part 8): Final wrap-up, what I learned, what I'd do differently, things I learned to have with me at all times | Main | WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? Book Tour (Part 6, New Jersey): Allentown Public Library, Monmouth County Library and an interview with Renee Fertig »

WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? Book Tour (Part 7, New Jersey): Learning Community Charter School, WORD Bookstore, and board gaming

For an index of all my WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? Book Tour recap posts, see

With found object art that Learning Community Charter School students helped me create and name! Photo: Charlotte Kreutz.

The last school I visited during my Where Are My Books? Book Tour was Learning Community Charter School in Jersey City, NJ. The LCCS is an independent public charter school "dedicated to using an innovative integrated approach to achieve the intellectual, social and emotional development of all students."

Thanks to Charlotte Kreutz, who is the Special Projects Coordinator at the school, for making me feel so welcome:

I had great fun chatting with the school's first- and second-graders:

Photo: Charlotte Kreutz.

Also really enjoyed doing a drawing demo and making some found object art with the students. Love the names that they came up with for our two characters: "Uh" and "Uh-Huh." :-D

Photo: Charlotte Kreutz.

Had some fascinating conversations with some of the students as I signed books. LOVED how keen they all seemed to be about books and reading!

Because I had no more visits scheduled that afternoon, I had time to visit with my board gamer friends Geoff and Susan Engelstein:

Thanks to the Engelsteins for their hospitality, for dinner and for playing Finca with me! If you're interested in board games, I encourage you to follow Geoff on Twitter -- he's a game designer, co-hosts a podcast about board gaming and is also a contributor to The Dice Tower.

The next morning and on the last day of my book tour, I visited WORD Bookstore in Jersey City.

SO wonderful to meet WORD's children's book specialist, Arielle Milstein. I love her enthusiasm and energy! 

The store was packed with parents and their kids, and Arielle seemed to know ALL OF THEM. What a wonderful community! 

Storytime at WORD Bookstore (Jersey City, NJ). Photo: Marcie Colleen.

My board gamer friend Gil Hova dropped by to say hi; he lives in the neighborhood. Thanks also to my friend Marcie Colleen for coming to my Storytime! Marcie, for those of you who don't already know, did the wonderful Teacher's Guide for WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? and my other book projects, but also has several children's books coming out from HarperCollins and Scholastic (yay!). She is incredibly supportive of other children's book authors/illustrators and is just as delightful in person as she is online.

Thank you, Marcie! And thanks for the photos, too. :-)

Drawing a WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? squirrel at WORD Bookstore (Jersey City). Photo: Marcie Colleen.

 And then it was time to head back HOME.

Next and final post coming soon: Final words, what I learned, what I'd do differently next time.


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