By Katherine Heit
I know I’m not in Kansas anymore…
Welcome to the tale of a girl who, despite all of her family’s expectations, actually made it to New York and started her new job at Greenwillow. Not that they didn’t believe in me—they just didn’t believe in my ability to get on a plane with all of my things, fly across the country by myself, and get to my summer housing without getting robbed, attacked, or lost.
Despite their lack of faith, I made it to my first day at Greenwillow with only one missed subway stop and two wrong turns, and it’s been (mostly) smooth sailing ever since. From my first moment with Greenwillow—the welcome lunch featuring true NY pizza, where I was regaled with tales of the values of Costco and buying things As Seen on TV—I knew I’d picked the right place to be this summer. Especially when I realized Greenwillow is publishing Anna Was Here, a book about a girl who moves to Kansas (my home state) and battles the threat of tornadoes (everyone here was very interested to hear about our survival tactics).
And while the reference to The Wizard of Oz is an easy one (and one that I hear frequently) I do find myself feeling a bit like Dorothy, picked up and thrown into a new environment where everything seems to glitter. Or, at the very least, the Amelia Bedelia chapter books do. I’m not sure how my coworkers fit into my own version of Oz, but I think they all get to play the wizard—producing magical books that seem effortless but hide a lot of hard work and late nights behind the curtain.
Whatever their roles, they truly have made my time at Greenwillow incredible. I found myself smiling as I answered fan mail, staying late to finish cataloguing shelves just because I love being surrounded by so many beautiful books, and eagerly devouring the Rae Carson books over the weekend as I waited to return to the office on Monday morning. And while these things probably make me sound like the biggest of nerds, for me working for Greenwillow has been a daily confirmation that this is what I want to do with my life.
My time with Greenwillow has come to an end, but I know I won’t forget these people or the time I spent here and I really couldn’t have asked for a better summer.
Katie Heit is heading back to South Bend, Indiana, for her senior year at Notre Dame. Good luck, Katie–we’ll miss you!