In an effort to celebrate Franki Sibberson’s birthday, her friends (and I feel so blessed to be counted among them) have decided to send her thanks for all of the things we’ve done and experienced because of her spirit and encouragement.

I didn’t have to think too hard about what I’d write about Franki. I have a zillion things I could write about but the one I kept coming back to was the very first thing that came to my mind: when she sent me a package of books in the mail.

This was at the beginnings of my classroom library and I think I’d signed up with the ARCs Float On website and not long after, I got a package in the mail from Franki.

There as a quick note, a couple of YA books, and a Fancy Nancy pen that was sparkly and so much fun I squealed. (For the record, even though it doesn’t write anymore, the pen still is in my desk at school because it makes me smile every single time I see it.)

I am positive I’m not the only person to be surprised by a package in the mail from Franki.

I think of this often when I look at how much my classroom library has grown since then. I look at the books I’ve picked up at conferences and I think about how fortunate I’ve been. And I think about how Franki paid forward a few books she’d gotten to me.

Recently I’ve seen a few requests for books – a brand new library opening, a friend wanting books to give away at a training, a teacher who wants to start her own classroom library. I didn’t have to think about what I’d do because I could remember how important it was to get those first books from someone else, that little investment in what I wanted to do.

I’ve been paying that original kindness and generosity of Franki forward – to those projects and others – always with a smile at the memory of that first package.

Happy birthday, Franki. :)


7 thoughts on “#IfNotForFranki

  1. Oh, do tell me how I can find the site. I have some books that maybe someone would like to have! So wonderful and kind. Thanks, Cindy for more insights into Franki. I, sadly, don’t know her and only heard her briefly in Boston at NCTE. But I am on the trail. I do get her blog, though! Maybe I need to read Choice Literacy more often. Any thoughts?

  2. Cindy–thank you so much for this kind post. You are all such amazing friends. I am such a lucky girl! So glad we connected over our love for great books! What better way to make a friend. Thanks so much!

  3. It seems only right that the story of the two of your revolves around books. It’s one of the first things I consider when I hear either of your names. Of course, the sparkly pen makes it even more magical.


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