Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Brooklyn Book Festival 2010 ... with an NYPL Postscript

I was invited to present on a panel at Brooklyn Book Festival 2010, so I traveled to New York after a lovely couple of days in Lititz, PA. I promised to take you along, so here we go ...


Brooklyn Borough Hall. The place to to be on 9/12/10.
Rain does not daunt book-loving diehards.
Indie bookseller WORD Brooklyn was having a blast. Can't you tell? (L to R: Stephanie Anderson, Christine Onorati, Jenn Northington)
Susanna Reich, Mikki Knudsen, and Rebecca Stead chatting in the PEN booth during a podcasted series of conversations.
Susanna Reich (PAINTING THE WILD FRONTIER), Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (8TH GRADE SUPERZERO), and me after chatting about social justice, faith, and fiction in the PEN booth. Podcast coming soon.

What kind of sorry writer stalks and snaps a photo of an innocent reader browsing her book? I have no idea.
Nervously, I watched bestselling authors Kirsten Miller (moderator), Jenny Han, Sara Shepard, and Lauren Oliver during their panel, Happily Ever After. According to the Festival guide, their books feature "characters who are forced to relive their past and come to terms with haunting memories after committing terrible acts." I listened spellbound along with a packed crowd.
Time for our panel. Does everybody else look as nervous as I feel? Here's the official description: Making It. Mitali Perkins (Bamboo People), Francisco X. Stork (The Last Summer of the Death Warriors), and Kate Milford (The Boneshaker) bring tales of their characters’ extreme survival to the stage, from a teen soldier in Burma to an orphanage in Mexico to a girl in 1913 Missouri, who finds herself in the middle of a battle between good and evil. Moderated by Anjali Wason (Body Talk).
Big smiles after the panel. All went well.
The following morning I had a quick breakfast with the one and only Jennifer Hart, VP of HarperPerennial and fellow Lovelace aficionado. Next I met with Lee and Low, including staffers Hannah and Miriam (above), to talk all things social media and multicultural books.
With a couple of hours until my train back to Boston, where else to go but back to the library of my childhood? "Still love you after all these years, @NYPL," I tweeted, attaching this picture. The venerable institution kindly and promptly retweeted it, adding a "Thanks for the shout-out. Nice pic!"
Librarian Betsy Bird shows off the leather-bound book signed by Kid/YA authors who have meandered into the children's room. I also paid a quick visit to the original (stuffed) Pooh and company cherished by Milne's son, encased beyond Betsy's shoulder.
I didn't notice the building much when I was a kid. This quote by Milton was one of the many beautiful sights to mesmerize my middle-aged eyes, along with the painted ceiling visible through the window surrounding it.
Last but not least, I said hello to the Gutenberg Bible, Pooh's library mate on the third floor of the NYPL, and then raced to Penn Station to catch my train. (Wish I could show you a picture of LeBron James, but was too stunned to snap one as he sauntered off the Acela while I was waiting to board.)

Thanks, New York! And here's a bonus: a clip of Francisco X. Stork reading an excerpt of his newest novel. Enjoy.



6 comments:

  1. There's an original "Pooh" book in the children's room? Next time, I'm in NY, I have to see it.

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  2. David, it's not the book, it's Pooh. The real Pooh. In a case. Stuffed and bedraggled, but it's him.

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  3. I'm so bummed I missed you at the festival! Though everyone at NCLiterary was lucky enough to see your amazing presentation at BEA this year. I *loved* Bamboo People, and was so happy to be able to share it on the blog :)

    -Sara

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  4. Thanks, Sara. BEA still seems like a happy dream. What a privilege to be invited.

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  5. It was great to meet with you while you were here, and the Brooklyn Book Festival looks like fun—I'm sad I didn't brave the rain!

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  6. This post right here is why I need to move to NYC. I kno next to nothing about the NYPL but it looks beautiful, majestic and I want to see Pooh!

    Wish I could have atteneded your panel =/

    Thanks for including the video of Franciscio Stork reading from his latest book, he has a great voice :)

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