Archive for the ‘book festival’ Category

Join us on Saturday for the Young Readers Pavilion outside at the Harlem Book Fair!

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I need to reboot my brain. On Thursday morning I submitted my chapter on magic in NYC parks—it still needs work, but it was time to let go so that I could turn my attention to the five other projects I hope to complete this summer. On Thursday afternoon I ordered a final proof of One Eye Open and started the e-book conversion process. I’ve had “coming soon!” on the Rosetta Press blog for over a year now, and I think it’s finally time to let the book live, warts and all. That night I started working on my slideshow for The Hummingbird’s Tongue; I’ve been invited to attend the inaugural Nevis Book Fair on July 27, and this time I’ll be presenting before children and adults. The director of library services kindly helped me find a guesthouse in town, so I’ll be spending another week in Nevis at the end of the month. That got the wheels turning—I’m supposed to be working on The Deep (Nyla’s story), but instead I’ve been designing a logo and blog for Black Dog Arts. Ultimately I hope to open an arts center in Nevis, but for now I think maybe I’ll start a nonprofit and try to collaborate with existing institutions on the island. Yesterday I heard from the SKN Culture office and my request to participate in the UNESCO Slave Route Project has been forwarded to the minister of education. Maybe I can meet some administrators while I’m in Nevis later this month. Once I get my letter of good conduct from the NYPD next week, my citizenship application will be complete—another thing I can do while I’m there. And since my friend Rosa will be in Antigua at the same time, I may be able to fly over from Nevis and inquire about my grandmother’s alleged institutionalization there. More digging…

Now I think I’m ready to turn my attention back to The Deep. Though I just started reading Leonard Pitts Jr.’s Freeman, so maybe it makes more sense to work on Judah’s Tale. The summer ends in six weeks! I was fussing and fuming about that fact yesterday, but it makes more sense to just get busy and make the most of the time that’s left. And accept that everything I hoped to accomplish this summer may get done later rather than sooner.


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I had a lot of fun at the last Read Out Loud event, and will be leading a poetry workshop based on Wish this time around. If you’re in Harlem, stop by! Here’s a message from the coordinator, Christine Petro:

We are growing more excited about READ OUT LOUD on this Saturday, December 3rd at PS 92. In addition to author appearances and book signings we have a full schedule of activities for children and youth (ages 4-13) and their parents. Among the highlights, Sesame Workshop is returning as an activity partner this year and Scholastic is the generous contributor of 1,000 books for our book giveaway.

Other activity partners include Barnard College, Bank Street School of Education and Columbia University, all running hands-on, literacy-based workshops, designed to engage families in the creative process of writing and reading. New York Public Library is on site to do library card sign-ups and a number of other institutions and organizations (20 in total) are taking part to encourage families to read and enjoy books. One exciting new component of the event this year is a Student Writing Gallery, which will exhibit high quality writing pieces from students in District #5 schools. Please check out the work of these young writers at the event!

Morningside Area Alliance holds this event in collaboration with Community School District #5, which includes 31 public schools in Harlem. Our host school, PS 92, the Mary McLeod Bethune School, is a welcoming and friendly learning environment, and we appreciate all the energy and resources they have contributed toward this event.

PS 92, Mary McLeod Bethune School
222 W. 134th Street
Between 7th Ave. (Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd) and 8th Ave. (Frederick Douglass Blvd)
New York, NY 10030
Main entrance is underneath scaffolding.

The nearest train is the C train at 135th Street/St. Nicholas Ave. or the 2/3 on 135th Street/Lenox Ave. There does not appear to be any planned service changes for these trains.
You may find street parking nearby, or the nearest parking garage is a couple of blocks away:
Deb Parking, LLC
300 W 135th Street (between St. Nicholas and Frederick Douglass Blvd.)


$10 flat rate for regular cars

$20 flat rate for SUVs

Rate applies from 6:00 AM – 12:00 midnight

Social Media
Follow our Twitter account @ReadOutLoudNYC and use hashtag #ROL2011 to tweet about the event. You may also “Like Us” on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Morningside-Area-Alliance/248322296888

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Children’s Book Fair
Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 12–4 p.m.
Image from Every-Day Dress-Up by Selina AlkoImage from Every-Day Dress-Up, by Selina Alko

Over 30 Brooklyn authors and illustrators will join us at this year’s book fair, featuring story books, picture books, and graphic novels. Come enjoy author readings, a game for children, and café service.

Participating authors and illustrators
Selina Alko, Ellen Bari, Artie Bennett, Cathleen Davitt Bell, Peter Brown, Melanie Hope Greenberg, Lisa Greenwald, Laura Lee Gulledge, Mike Herrod, Isabel
T. Hill, Tad Hills, Kate Hosford, Melissa Iwai, John & Wendy, Nancy Krulik,  Laura Ljungkvist, G. Augustine Lynas & Peter Vadnai, Meghan McCarthy, Torrey
Maldonado, Leslie Margolis, Matthew Myers, Johan Olander, Sean Qualls, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Fiona Robinson, John Rocco, Sergio
Ruzzier, Daniel Salmieri, Stephen A.Savage, Diana Schoenbrun, Steve Sheinkin, David Ezra Stein, Julie Sternberg, Colleen A.F. Venable, Dwight Jon Zimmerman

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Publisher’s Weekly did a nice report on the children and YA events from the Brooklyn Book Festival. We had such beautiful sunshine that weekend and now we’ve got days and days of rain…perfect weather for curling up with a book. I’m re-reading Andrea Levy’s The Long Song, which I didn’t especially enjoy the first time around but thought it would make a good addition to my neo-slave narratives course. The students did NOT like the first hundred pages; hopefully they’ll push on and search for meaning in the remaining 200 pages. I taught Wish last week—that was my first time teaching my own novel and it was a little uncomfortable for me. Do the students feel free to express their true opinion of the book knowing that the professor is the author? It’s easier to gauge an audience of strangers. At Thursday night’s reading at Outpost Lounge I was thrilled to meet a librarian who hosted my first author presentation back in 2009. I had connected with a group of literacy coaches and was invited to present Wish during their monthly meeting. I did a terrible job, if I remember correctly, but that librarian kept her copy of Wish and brought it along to Thursday night’s reading. We had a small, supportive group and we talked about the importance of asserting our voices in this distressing political moment—I read for Troy Davis, an innocent man whose voice was silenced by the state of Georgia earlier this week. Use your voice or lose your power—that’s how it goes in this country. Use it or lose it. I was proud to join the chorus of voices gathered by Toshi Reagon for the Word, Rock, & Sword festival.

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I didn’t sneeze once while I was out today and it was a glorious afternoon for a book festival. We had a great conversation about historical fiction, and it was a real pleasure meeting Judy Blundell, Nick Bertozzi, Victoria Sanders and TR (Tanya) Simon. There were lots of other authors on the plaza—I snapped a shot of Jacqueline Woodson and Christopher Grant. I even came home with a free BBF mug, which I promptly filled with honeyed tea…

Nick (with daughter Sabine) signing my copy of Lewis & Clark

me, Tanya, Judy, and Vicky

Jackie & Christopher

Don’t forget that you can see Jackie, Rita Williams-Garcia, and me at the Word, Rock, & Sword reading on 9/22. The festival actually starts today—check out the complete schedule here.

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I’m fighting off a cold with lots of tea and vitamin C—and finalizing my questions for the authors on my panel at the Brooklyn Book Festival (learn more at the BBF Facebook page). Hope to see you there!

1:00 P.M. Reimagining History. National Book Award winner and New York Times Bestselling author Judy Blundell (What I saw and How I lied, and Strings Attached), Coretta Scott King Award Winners, Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon (Zora and Me), and best-selling author Nick Bertozzi (Lewis and Clark) discuss what it takes to tap into and re-imagine unforgettable characters that bring us mystery and adventure wrapped in emotional and timeless settings. Moderated by Zetta Elliott, author of the novel A Wish After Midnight.

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I hope you’ll attend our panel if you’re in the tri-state area on September 18th! You can learn more about all the festival events at the BBF Facebook page.

1:00 P.M. Reimagining History. National Book Award winner and New York Times Bestselling author Judy Blundell (What I saw and How I lied, and Strings Attached), Coretta Scott King Award Winners, Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon (Zora and Me), and best-selling author Nick Bertozzi (Lewis and Clark) discuss what it takes to tap into and re-imagine unforgettable characters that bring us mystery and adventure wrapped in emotional and timeless settings. Moderated by Zetta Elliott, author of the novel A Wish After Midnight.

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We’ve had a heatwave here in NYC and I thought I might have pink eye but now I suspect I’ve just been sitting in front of the fan too long! My eyes are dry and I’m ready for a LONG nap but wanted to share some links with you before I hit the couch. My essay,Navigating the Great White North: Representing Blackness in Canadian YA Literature,” has been published in The Centennial Reader. Not sure where they got that video of the sad black girl reading a book, but I guess it’s a nice touch!

The Summer Blog Blast Tour is on, and Doret’s got some great interviews over at The Happy Nappy Bookseller—be sure to stop by and learn more about Neesha Meminger (Jazz in Love) and Ashley Hope Perez (What Can’t Wait). You can find the complete schedule of participating authors and bloggers at Chasing Ray.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jacqueline Woodson this morning—and THIS time, I made sure I had plenty of batteries. We talked for an hour and I can’t wait to transcribe the footage; stay tuned for a link to the interview once it’s posted on the Ms. Magazine blog (extras to be posted here).

Lastly, after two years of un-/under-/self-employment, I accepted a new position today that will enable me to teach in my field AND stay in my beloved Brooklyn! I also got invited to serve as moderator on a YA panel at the Brooklyn Book Festival…more on that to come. Time for a little shuteye.

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Just a final reminder that tonight is our Holiday Book Party at Daddy’s Basement Bookstore.  Dr. Brenda Greene’s Black Children’s Literature students will be holding their final class in the store, so don’t be dismayed if the place seems packed; we’ll start the readings around 7pm when the class wraps up.  And later this week, you can support one of the very few black-owned publishing companies, Just Us Books, by attending this great Kwanzaa party in NJ:

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