professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Teens and books

My faith in the fact that teens DO read was reinforced big time this weekend. I was invited to be a part of the first (annual, I hope) Montgomery Teen Book Festival sponsored by a local school district's librarians (way to go, Conroe!). Sine it was the first of its kind here, no one was sure what to expect. But, if you build it, they will come was the theme for the day as hundreds (maybe more) kids streamed into school on a Saturday afternoon to listen to authors and others talk about writing and books and reading.

Lois Duncan, the keynote speaker, received a standing ovation from the kids after her presentation. She answered tons of questions from her audience, obviously huge fans of her books. Autographing lines wound around the cafeteria as kids vied for signatures from Duncan and the other illustrious authors: Terry Trueman, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, Vivian Vande Velde, Alex Flinn. Michelle Gorman, author of GETTING GRAPHIC, was also on hand to conduct workshops.

Wow, what a day. I must admit I dragged myself there, complete with sinus infection and swollen eyes (how pretty a sight!), thinking no one would come to a session about new books. But they did! Kids ranging from 4th to 12th grade were there. We talked books; they asked for recommendations and recommended a few for me as well.

What a day it was. So, next time I hear some naysayer talk about the dearth of readers out there, I have a comeback.

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