I went to the Teen Book Festival today in Rochester. It was awesome! I was able to attend author presentations by Linda Sue Park (When My Name Was Keoko), Matt de la Pena (Ball Don’t Lie, Mexican Whiteboy), and Sharon Flake (The Skin I’m In, Money Hungry). They were all great! It was nice to get to see the authors up close and personal, and I’ll definitely be going back to school to brag to my students. I really wanted to see Ellen Hopkins and David Levithan, but I knew their sessions would be overloaded, and since it was a book festival for teens it was only fair to let the teens have the seats. I was so glad to see how many avid readers were there! I was able to get David Levithan to sign my copy of The Realm of Possibility. I seriously felt like a devoted groupie to a rock band – I absolutely adore that book, so it was really cool to meet the author and have him sign the book for me.
I was also able to have Sara Zarr sign my copy of The Story of a Girl. They’ll join my two other autographed books (from Laurie Halse Anderson) on top of my whiteboards at school, where I can proudly display them but students can reach them… I’m now determined to get the same kind of festival started in Syracuse. If Rochester can do it, so can we!