This year our 5th and 6th Graders welcomed Monica Edinger, children's book author, blogger, and 4th Grade teacher, for a book talk. Ms. Edinger spoke about her recent children's book, Africa is My Home, which was inspired by the her own experience in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone. The story takes place in 1839, when a 9-year-old girl named Margru is taken captive in Sierra Leone and put on board the Amistad. After older slaves aboard the Amistad gain control of the ship, Edinger tells the story of Margru’s long journey home, enhancing her fictionalized narrative with primary sources like news clippings and engravings. As my 5th Graders were deep into their own Historical Fiction unit in Writers' Workshop, Ms. Edinger's visit was a perfectly timed treat. My students had been learning about Kenya, gathering historical details and developing composite characters, and listening to Ms. Edinger discuss her writing process, the research that went into her book, and her experiences working in the historical fiction genre were enlightening. As any writing teacher knows, it's always fantastic and inspiring when our students can hear from, and ask questions of, published authors. Since Ms. Edinger is a veteran educator, she was an absolute pro with our students, reminding them of the hard work and sweet rewards that come to dedicated writers!