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      A BLOG FROM FACEBOOK by Kate DiCamillo

      katecThis morning I woke up thinking about a fifth-grade boy who came through a signing line at a bookstore in North Carolina.

      I signed his copy of Despereaux and he said, “My teacher said fifth grade is the year of asking questions.”
      “Really?” I said.
      “Yeah,” he said. He took out a notebook. “Every day we’re supposed to ask someone different a good question and listen really good and then write down the answer when they’re done talking.”
      “Oh,” I said, “I get it. I’m someone different. Okay, what’s your question?”
      “My question is how do you get all that hope into your stories?”
      “That’s not a good question,” I said. “That’s a great question. Let me think. Um. I guess that writing the story is an act of hope, and so even when I don’t feel hopeful, writing the story can lead me to hope. Does that make sense?”
      “Yeah,” he said. He looked me in the eye. “It’s kind of a long answer. But I can write it all out. Thanks.”
      He picked up his copy of Despereaux, and walked away—writing in his notebook.
      This was years ago.
      Why did I wake up this morning and think of this child?
      Maybe because this is a time to start asking good questions, a time to write down the answers, a time to listen to each other really well.
      I’m going to get myself a little spiral bound notebook.
      I’m going to listen and hope.

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