Smith Elementary students recently enjoyed a virtual visit from award-winning, bestselling, Austin-based author Chris Barton.

Barton met with 3rd through 5th grade students to read his book, “What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?” The story is about Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and how she persevered through adversity to give a voice to the voiceless and to fight for civil rights, equality, and justice.

“Students were pumped to hear Chris Barton read his book aloud. A 2020-2021 Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominee, this book is inspirational and packs a powerful message,” Andrea Mendoza said, Smith Elementary Librarian. “The vibrant illustrations created by Ekua Holmes really brought the book to life. We are so grateful our upper grade students were able to learn about one of Texas’ most influential leaders, Barbara Jordan, and pick Chris Barton’s brain about what it’s like to be an author.”

Barton also met with Pre-K through 2nd grade students. For the younger audience, he read his new book “Firetruck vs. Dragon,” which entails a plot surrounding a “would-be rivalry, turned friendship.” 

Mr. Barton offered insight into his writing process and inspired students to write themselves. Ms. Dimmitt’s students also illustrated their own versions of one of Chris Barton’s story characters, Mighty Truck.

Author, Chris BartonPhoto of  a truck drawn by student