This past week saw four great authors come to the Flying Pig. Our 15th anniversary celebration was in full swing. We kicked off with none other than Lois Lowry on Wednesday.
I had the pleasure of introducing Lois and I found myself almost at a loss for words and kind of choked up, which doesn’t happen to me often. Lois is one of my favorite writers, so it’s easy to get star-struck. The event was jam-packed and Lois was a delight. Our co-worker, JP, made a note for us to share in this blog. It was Lois’s advice for writers of all ages. “Write about what you wonder about.”
Lois was touring for her newest book, Bless This Mouse. The book is charming and Lois read the last few pages with great vigor, humor and a twinkle in her eye. Kids were laughing and parents loved it. I also enjoyed her telling the crowd that Jonas, from The Giver, is very much alive. She even has a shirt that says: Jonas Lives. I want this shirt.
Friday had me escorting Brandon Mull and Matt Myklusch to two schools for three separate presentations and then a store event. These two were troopers and lots of fun to hang out with. I always worry when I escort authors. I want them to be happy, be fed when they’re hungry, have the right beverages, and have enough down time. Sometimes it can be a challenge, but Friday was a breeze.
Brandon and Matt were new to each other, so we all were getting to know each other. One thing that I found endlessly entertaining was each author took turns riding shotgun. Matt called it first and then every time we got in the car, they would switch. This just killed me.
Brandon was touring in support of Beyonders: A World Without Hero and Fablehaven and Matt was speaking about his first two books, The Jack Blank Adventures, Accidental Heroes and The Secret War.
The kids loved their presentations. Each man spoke about not giving up on dreams. And both really stressed the importance of imagination. The 150 seventh and eighth graders really took this in as they sat intently listening. To have that many middle school students silent meant the message was clearly getting through.
Our last event of the week was Erica Perl on Saturday. Her newest book is When Life Gives You O.J. a charming book about a sixth grader, who has a “practice pet” made out of an orange juice container. The fun of this event was Erica herself. She’s an enthusiastic presenter who brings a lot of swag to give away. We had a practice pet parade (the local coffee shop saved several days of milk containers for us) and all the kids got prizes. Among the contestants were Lily, with her dog Purple Nose, whose skill was playing dead, so they won the prize for most dramatic. A young boy didn’t make a practice dog, but rather a rhino named LeRoy who won an award for best horns.
Perhaps the nicest moment of the whole event was Erica’s with a girl named Eva. This was Eva’s first-ever book signing and she took it very seriously. After I took her picture I asked if I could use it in my Publishers Weekly blog. She exclaimed, “Oh, my, Publishers Weekly!” And then she turned to her grandmother and whispered, “What’s Publishers Weekly?” A great week of events ended with a laugh.