Where was I headed next? Why, here . . .
I was in Kent, Ohio for the Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth . . .
Fun Fact: I lived in James Thurber's childhood home in Columbus, Ohio for a month when I was the Thurber House Children's Writer-in-Residence!!!
Oops. Digression noted. Back to the conference! It began on Thursday evening with a food-filled reception . . .
(Above: That's E.B. Lewis sharing dessert with his favorite Peep.)
It was followed by dessert and storytelling, and a speech by the amazing Alma Flor Ada . . .
After our book signing, we got to meet Arnold Adoff, author and husband of Virginia Hamilton . . .
Since there's alway room for more food, middle school teacher Dawn Sullivan, E.B. and I piled into teen services librarian Christina Getrost's car . . .
Then we headed to a famous local hang out -- Ray's . . .
As you might guess, we discussed literature, physics, and whether the man at the next table was Jeff Bridges or Mickey Rourke. Actually, Dawn and E.B. debated this. Christina and I debated over which was better, the regular fries or the sweet potato ones. (The man was neither Mickey nor Jeff, and we were at an impasses over the fries.)
(Photos not to scale.)
The next morning I was driven to the conference by Christina in her Star Wars Millennium Falcon Saturn complete with mini space vehicles hanging from the window . . .
Kent State Dean Stanley T. Wearden welcomed us and I delivered the opening keynote . . .
(I always find it interesting that like birds on a wire, people in auditoriums spread out so they are equidistant from one another. This happens in elevators, too, but never on airplanes. There is always someone sitting next to me.)
Alma was presented with the 14th Annual Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, which she generously offered to share with Peepy. . .
The other recipient of the award was Julius Lester, who was Skyped in for his acceptance speech . . .
Later in the day, I visited the May 4 Memorial honoring the students killed and injured at Kent State by the National Guard on May 4, 1970. Perhaps many of you remember this iconic photo. The photographer was a undergrad and it won him a Pulitzer . . .
During thirteen seconds of carnage and confusion, National Guard members killed four students and injured many others . . .
Two students died in the parking lot and now there are markers where they fell . . .
Here's more of the memorial . . .
In other news, a ten-year old girl read my Kanani stories and was inspired to raise money to help the endangered Hawaiian monk seals. You can read about here HERE.
And here I am talking about Kanani and the monk seals . . .
NEXT BLOG: More conference, more books, some squirrels, and an inside look at this . . .
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