Blog Tour: Guest Post with Leslie Bulion

Hello, hello! If you're here following the Peachtree blog tour of The Universe of Fair, then welcome! Feel free to make yourself and home and poke around the corners of this blog - I hope they're not dusty, and that you find something to make you come by again.

Tuesday, I posted my review of The Universe of Fair, Leslie Bulion's fun middle grades read. Today, I'm happy to hand over the reins to Leslie herself, who has taken a trip down Memory Lane and is sharing a bit of her science-y past with us ...

The Science of Encouragement
Like Miller in The Universe of Fair, I’ve loved science as a kid, and I still do. Early on I had engaging and creative science teachers who egged me on, beginning with our elementary school science-on-a-cart, which in my memory was mostly field biology—thanks, Mr. Beaver! Fast forward a bit to ninth grade biology, a class that became the stuff of legend when our brave soul science teachers carted twenty-some-odd fourteen year olds to Fire Island National Seashore for a week. We arrived by boat, slept dorm-style in the ranger station, and lived in and studied the marine ecosystem, hands-on, all day long.

One of our teachers offered crack-of-dawn bird-watching. Each morning as the sun rose over the ocean, Mr. Soviero would introduce new friends: the red-winged blackbird, the rufous-sided towhee (drink-some-teeeeea!), the brown thrasher. While I was falling in love with birding, I also fell heartlong into a peer group of kindred spirits in a way I never had in school before—a joyful week on every level.

When we returned to civilization we were required to present an individual study project. I still (mostly) remember a particular group’s Dr. Pepper jingle take-off: Poison ivy, so misunderstood. If anyone would try you, they would sure itch good! During those years and many beyond, I never imagined myself a writer. So funny to me now that this bit of personal history connects me with the inimitable Anne Lamott’s beloved
book of writing advice, Bird By Bird. Unlike Anne’s night-before brother, I spent weeks rendering each Fire Island bird I’d seen in colored pencil drawings on four-by-six cards. My science teacher had already created a devoted birder, but he wasn’t finished encouraging me. He took my bird cards to the Fire Island ranger station, where the rangers hung them in their nature center for visitors to see. Bird by bird, card by card, my drawings ringed the inner perimeter of the small building, igniting in me a life-long enthusiasm for sharing science with others.

Thanks, Leslie, for a great post. And I love that you had a science teacher named "Beaver" -- that. is. awesome! You've now got me drifting down Memory Lane, remembering the patient science experts who indulged my so-very-bookish queries about stuff ...

And now, if you've read my review, you know I hinted about a giveaway ... Well, here it is! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form, and you're good to go. I try to keep things nice and easy, but I would like to point out that this giveaway is for US residents only. Also, if the randomly selected winner does not return the announcing email within 48hrs, a new winner will be drawn. I'd hate to have to do that, but gotta keep things fair. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I hated science while I was in school. However, I have a wonderful science teacher friend. He is the science teacher every parent wants their child to have. He has animals and creatures of all kinds in his classroom. He takes his vacations to marine locations. He takes his students to Oakland island and other great biological and marine/oceanography type locations. If he had been my teacher, who knows, maybe I would have lived science.

  2. I'm not very fond of science myself. My classes at school were boring, maybe if I had a teacher like Mr. Beaver (love that name, too!!) or Mr. Soviero I would have enjoyed it more. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. I hated science when I was in school! The older I get, the more fascinating I find it, though. :)