Spotted! Author Visits
When I moved to Evanston from New York City I guess I thought my life would calm down a bit. New York City’s all about the publisher previews, the author events, the crazy dinners for big name authors and illustrators, and it is clearly party central. And for the most part Evanston is calm. Quiet. There’s a gigantic lake big enough to drown whole states just down the block from my library and bloodthirsty peregrine falcons tearing pigeons to shreds outside my window, but otherwise the action is slow. At least that’s what I thought before I realized that Chicago (which sits just below Evanston) is basically another party central. Author dinners? We got ’em. Gigantic book festivals like Book Expo? Check and check, mate. Add in all the booksellers, the fact that the American Library Association is based here, the active SCBWI networks and the existence of groups like the Center for Teaching Through Children’s Books and . . . . no. No, I am not any less busy. In fact, I seem to be busier.
Last week a couple authors came to town. Good ones too. One traveled from Britain and three from parts not-Chicago. One came to Chicago and three came to my library. So in tribute I give you . . .
This would be David Walliams posing while I do my best possible Stephen Colbert imitation. Walliams is one of those celebrities-turned-children’s-book-writers but because he’s British and can walk down the street (in America) without getting mugged by fans, it’s cool. If you are a fan of Little Britain then he will be familiar to you as he was one of the stars. On this occasion he was in the States promoting his latest book Demon Dentist. Of course I like him because of the first book of his I read years ago. Do you remember The Boy in the Dress? It came out in the States in 2008 and while it had a somewhat pat ending it was an interesting novel discussing cross-dressing (not transgender issues, which have only recently been addressed in middle grade fiction) in ways that I’d not seen in a book for kids before.
Not long after I was at my desk when I got a message from author Greg Neri. He was in town and wanted to know if I was available to meet with him and some other authors? But of course!
From left to right that’s Elana K. Arnold (THE QUESTION OF MIRACLES), Beth Fantasky (ISABEL FEENEY, STAR REPORTER), some librarian, and Greg Neri (TRU AND NELLI). Apparently they were in town doing a tour of Evanston schools. Random and delightful! I was so pleased they came by to say howdy and now I’ll be reading all their latest books. And stealing Elana’s coat. Possibly not in that order.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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