professornana (professornana) wrote,

  • Mood:

some new books and some upcoming events

Finished two galleys this week as I flew to and from Columbia and Atlanta and home again. THE LIBERATION OF GABRIEL KING by K. L. Going explores the friendship between Gabe and his best friend Frita. Both live in a small rural Georgia town where the KKK is alive and well in the summer of 1976. Gabe and Frita have graduated from 4th grade. Gabe has been prevented from attending the ceremony by two schoolyard bullies. Frita tells Gabe thiat summer should be spent, not preparing for fifth grade classes, but preparing to face their fears, including the two bullies. Thus, begins a summer of facing down fears. Some fears are small and rather insignificant; others are more truly frightening. Going, who won a Printz Honor Medal for FAT BOY RULES THE WORLD, proves she is not a one-hit wonder, nor a predictable author. Her new novel aims at younger readers (though readers who found interest in THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM, 1963 and MISSISSIPPI TRIAL, 1955 interesting will certainly be drawn to this book and THE LEGEND OF BUDDY BUSH as well) and takes us back in time to boot.

Also read PROM by Laurie Halse Anderson (SPEAK, FEVER 1793, CATALYST). Our unlikely protagonist is more likely to drop out of school before graduation than she is to spearhead an effort to save the school prom after one of the teachers absconds with the funds kids have raised for the event. Anderson, never an author to settle for an easy story with a simple, straightforward solution, instead challenges readers' prejudices and assumptions, allowing them a rare glimpse into the mind of a young woman who is wholly real and entirely realized. It is refreshing to see something new from this incredibly talented writer.

Finally, got my flyer for the 38th annual Children's Book Festival in Hattiesburg, MS, in April featuring Kevin Kenkes, E. B. Lewis, Esme Codeil, Kathi Appelt, Avi, Wil Clay, Betsy and Ted Lewin, and Rose Anne St. Romain (and a workshop by yours truly). For information on registration, visit

BSP coming here: I will be doing some all day YA seminars in the spring for Staff Development Resources. March finds me in the Big Apple in Newark and Long Island. In April I travel to the Windy City and to Minneapolis. For more info about coming to see me to heckle.........
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