One School, One Book

Emmy C.

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As our One School, One Book this year it will be: Just One Thing by Nancy Viau.  Ms. Viau will be coming to our school on November 28th. And she will be at our Barnes and Noble Christmas literacy night that same night. Nancy Viau has a lot of other books like Samantha Hansen has Rocks in her Head and City Street Beat. Ms. Viau meets with many schools through visits, Skype® , and book-signings.

In Just One Thing there are some pages that you can doodle on. Most pages have doodles that go along with what’s going in the story.

About Nancy Viau

Ms. Viau is an author but when she isn’t writing she likes traveling, nature, and having some family time. Ms. Viau’s first children’s book was called: “Shaggy, the Dog” at age six! Then she went around town and sold some copies to neighbors for 10 cents! Ms. Viau went to West Chester University for Elementary Education. She has been a teacher, a counselor of after-school activities, and she was a manager of a health club. She likes educating kids about the writing process. She goes to many schools to talk about writing. Most stories she writes can relate to kids of all ages.  Ms. Viau spends some of her time at Rutgers helping aspiring authors.

My Interview with Nancy Viau


Who is your favorite character from all of your books?

My favorite character is usually one I’m working on right now—one that has not found his/her way into a finished book yet. I like how I can change things about the character because the story is still a work-in-progress. Today, that character’s name is Pruitt. He’s from an upcoming picture book titled Pruitt and Soo. My editor (she’s like my boss and you’ll learn more about editors in my presentation) and I are working together to bring Pruitt to life, emphasizing his motivation for protesting a quirky school rule and for (possibly) changing the world.

Are any of your characters in your books based on real people?

Yes, definitely! In Just One Thing! Anthony is a combination of many kids I know. When I first had the idea for a boy who couldn’t find his “one thing,” I talked to my sons and asked them what were the best everyday adventures they had, and did those things end up being what they were known for. One son liked soccer and football since he was a toddler. He is all grown up and still can’t get enough of those sports. Another son decided team sports weren’t his thing, so he experimented with many of the things Ant tries. That son has always been quite the risk-taker, and ended up serving in the military. And here’s a switch—it’s my daughter who’s the doodler and is awesome at art. See? Characters are based on real people but are mashed together to create a fictional one! Also, as a former teacher, it seemed to me that every classroom had similar personalities and I wanted to play that up in the book. For example: the girl who is obsessed with horses (or dogs or cats, etc.), or the know-it-all, or the one who can’t stop talking. I had to include these characters, and I bet you know real people who are just like them!


What author or book inspired you to write?

Many authors inspired me to write—Jerry Spinelli, Jeff Kinney, Dr. Seuss, and more. But my inspiration for writing truly began when I first fell in love with the written word as a reader.


What’s the hardest part of coming and speaking to schools?

Wondering … wait … do my shoes match today or was I in too much of a hurry to get out the door? Seriously, the only hard part is worrying about the technology I use. I am soooo scared that something will go wrong that is out of my control. As far as talking with kids, I’m a kid-at-heart so I’m never nervous when elementary school students are my audience.


What is your favorite part of coming to schools? 

I honestly look forward to hanging out with all of you (and your teachers)!  You inspire me as I listen carefully to how you talk, and observe what interests you, what makes you fidget, what makes you smile. When I come into a school, I love to pay attention to the whole atmosphere—the sights, sounds, smells. It takes me back in time to when I was a student and when I was a teacher.


On your website it said you like to travel, where is your favorite place to travel?

I don’t have a favorite, but I enjoy exploring any place I’ve never been before. It doesn’t matter if it’s a state or country, I want to find out all about the people there, what the food is like, and how it is different from my home and the other places I’ve visited.


Do you still have a copy of Shaggy the Dog?

 Sadly, I do not. They all sold! They were a big hit in my neighborhood! During my presentation, you will see a picture of the cover of Shaggy the Dog, but it’s only how I remember it; it’s not the original.



Remember to have your thinking caps on when Ms. Viau comes!


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7 Responses to “One School, One Book”

  1. Lori Degman on November 1st, 2017 6:27 pm

    Awesome interview!!

  2. Mrs. DeVoy on November 1st, 2017 7:55 pm

    I loved the book and when I finished it I realized how excited I am for her to visit. However, your article makes me even more excited. You did an AWESOME job Emmy!

  3. Haley on November 2nd, 2017 10:28 am

    I really liked the interview, it helps me learn more about her

  4. Mrs. Gansert on November 2nd, 2017 11:00 am

    Emmy – great article/interview! You really asked terrific questions and gave us a preview of what to expect on November 28. Excellent work!

  5. Joanne McIntyre on November 2nd, 2017 12:52 pm

    Great job on the article, Emmy! I am not familiar with Ms Viau’s books. I am going to read them now because of your article. Enjoy her visit!

  6. Mrs. Lizza on November 2nd, 2017 1:26 pm

    Thanks Emmy for teaching me about Ms. Viau!!!

  7. Jennifer Childs on November 2nd, 2017 5:22 pm

    Great job kiddo! Dad and I are very proud of you and think this is a great article. Can’t wait until Ms. Viau comes to visit.

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