Books and Books, our community’s independent bookstore, works year round to bring authors into local schools. Last week we had the extraordinary pleasure of being part of The Endangered Authors! Tour.
The game show style presentation involved four talented YA authors: Adam Gidwitz, Curtis Jobling, Geoff Rodkey, and Jacqueline West. All four have their own take on “creepy” and were well matched. Penguin Young Readers Group, with the help of the Story Pirates, created an interactive presentation that required teams of students to save their author from a terrible fate.
Forty of our students, divided into teams, read a book by one of the authors. The students had a few weeks to read the book independently and then were given classroom space before school for team meetings. Students reviewed the book and created any props they wanted to bring to the contest.
On the day of the event, there were 200 students in the audience and the teams representing each author. Many children never have the opportunity to meet one author and our students were meeting four! Actor Peter McNerney hosted the game show. He was masterful at managing the middle school age group and hysterically funny – not an easy balance to obtain. Each author had time to share information about themselves and their writing before the teams answered questions about their books. Fortunately, the groups were well prepared and all of the authors lived to write another day.
For students and teachers, author visits are like meeting an old friend and a rock star simultaneously. There’s an reader-author connection because of our love of the novel- a sense already knowing the writer and- a sense of awe in finally getting to shake hands with them.
Before and after the show, Adam, Curtis, Geoff and Jacqueline talked with the teams, took pictures and inspired many children to read for pleasure and develop their hobbies. After all, that’s what they did; and look how well it turned out for them!
I am including the author websites below. They are touring until the end of April and, if they aren’t in your town, follow their adventures on their websites or “Like” their Facebooks pages so you can keep up with them. And, of course, read their highly entertaining novels- they are a sure thing!
Adam Gidwitz www.adamgidwitz.com
Curtis Jobling http://www.wereworldbooks.com
Geoff Rodkey www.geoffrodkey.com
Jacqueline West www.jacquelinewest.com
If you are in the Miami area, Books and Books in Coral Gables has autographed copies of the novels. Be sure to “Like” Books and Books on Facebook to be alerted about upcoming YA author events at all of their locations.