All families at Horizons partner schools are invited to take part in Maret School's annual Build-A-Book program, which will take place on Saturday, March 10, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Jerdine Nolen, author of many popular children's books, including Balloon Farm, Raising Dragons, and Calico Girl, will inspire young readers, writers, and illustrators as she talks about her books and writing process. Following her presentation, students and families will enjoy Build-A-Book activities and refreshments in the Atrium.

The program is free to all.


Jerdine Nolen.jpg

I was born in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, and raised in Chicago, Illinois, along with five sisters and two brothers. My siblings and I had a lot of fun, and we had a lot of fun together. Growing up in a large family you always have someone to play with. You could always get a good softball game going. Or, Red Rover, which was one of my favorites. We also loved going on exploring expeditions around our home. Even then, I had a wild imagination.

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing and collecting words. My Mother encouraged me to do that. She was eager to hear my new list of “favorite words.” Cucumber was a word I preferred above the rest. Then, one day, I became smitten with the word chutney. “Chutney, chutney, chutney.” I would chant that one over and over again. I even made up a little chutney dance to go along with the chant.

Writing is fun work. I love it. It takes patience to get the right story. Once you have the story idea, it is important to revisit and revise the work to make it the best that it could be. It is like sculpting or wiring the pieces together in a way so the words on the page have enough life—they could stand up and walk around all on their own. That is why my motto is, Hold fast to your dreams as you would your balloons!

--Jerdine Nolen

Read more about Ms. Nolen on her website




Maret School
3000 Cathedral Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008


10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.