Thursday, May 10, 2012

Jack Gantos Waits For His Car, Someone Gets Arrested, and Other Famous Author Sightings


We were THERE last blog, and now here's more of the LA TIMES Festival of Books at the University of Southern California!

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This is an iconic building. Why? Because when I was a senior at USC I fell down the stairs inside the building, that's why.


Oops. No digressions! Back to the book festival.

It's always great to see Lauren Myracle, who is alive (despite her AWOL website), and find out what kind of trouble she's gotten herself into. The last time we saw her, at the National Book Festival, this happened . .

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Wouldn't you know it? We had to bail Lauren out yet again . . .


After, we headed to the Diesel/Scholastic booth where we ran into National Book Award Winner and newly minted LA TIMES Book Award winner Pete Hautman . . .


BTW, Pete is a genius. Most authors I know get TONS of emails from students asking us to do homework or write book reports. Check out Pete's free book reports . . .


Other authors signing for Scholastic included Libba Bray and Maggie Stievater . . .

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After my book signing, the next author showed up -- Lin Oliver!!!


While Lin and I gabbed, Peepy made new friends . . .


Marc Brown was on the Target Stage . . .


And there was a crowd for this author . . .

(Um. It was "Real Housewife" Bethenny Frankel who wrote a novel?)

In the green room we admired the spread and gabbed with Aaron Hartzler, who moderated many of the YA panels, the prolific Cecil Castellucci, and Australian author Tristan Bancks . . .

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For our second day at the USC Civic Engagement booth, I read from BOBBY VS. GIRLS (ACCIDENTALLY) . . .

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Then a boy who was there to get an autographed copy of STANFORD WONG FLUNKS BIG-TIME (USC gave 100 of my books out for FREE), volunteered to help me. While I read, he acted out a part . . .

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It was so wonderful to be back at USC as an author. When I was a student there, I only dreamed about writing books. And now that's what I do!

In addition to books and authors everywhere, there were also films. We saw the new Stan Lee documentary. Here's the trailer.

After, we ended our book fest in a Newbery-esque manner. Mary Casanova and I were waiting for my car . . .

(That photo is not from the book festival. I was so busy talking to Mary, I forgot to take her picture. So the one above is of me with Valerie Tripp, on left, and Mary when we were in the Caribbean last winter.)

Who should we see (also waiting for a car)? Behold! It's this year's Newbery winner, Jack Gantos!


We reminisced about the first time we met eons ago at the Booklist Humor Forum at ALA in New Orleans. Here we are with Mo Willems and Jack's daughter . . .


And now, KidLit Jeopardy! question of the day: What do these three authors have in common?

Answer: Dubai. Excuse me? Yes, Dubai. Jack spoke at the American School of Dubai last year, Mo spoke there this year, and I will be there next year! Squeeeee!!!!


CLICK HERE for Publishers Weekly photo essay of the LA TIMES Festival of Books!


Disclaimer: No proofreaders were harmed (or even used) in the creation of this blog.

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