Author Event: Elizabeth Wein

Last night, I attended the author event for Elizabeth Wein at Once Upon a Time in Montrose. It is one of my favorite indie bookstores in the area and it has some awesome events. Alethea (@frootjoos), Thuy (@fishgirl182), and Kimberly (@thewindypages) joined me.

We were in the front row and felt like we were nearly on top of where Elizabeth was going to be sitting.

I had heard Elizabeth give her Printz acceptance speech in June and knew that she would be articulate, warm and funny. She began by sharing how her interest in learning to fly a plane was the impetus behind writing Code Name Verity and then Rose Under Fire.

She then pulled out a "personal gas protection bag" and several of the items that were part of her research.

Elizabeth explained that this was a replica of a manual that was considered so important back in the 1930's-1940's that it was considered a treasonable offense if you lost it. The funny story behind this book is that Elizabeth actually left it behind at a school visit and the librarian called her to let her know and reminded her that it was a treasonable offense.

This was an original map from World War II. Elizabeth is a self-professed map geek and uses them in every book she has ever written.

This escape and resistance map from 1940 is made from silk so that it would not make any sound or lose the image if it got wet. Of course, it can be turned into fashion wear if you get caught trying to cross an enemy line.

Elizabeth was rockin' some cool red shoes. I had to take a picture since I now want a pair.

In addition to cool shoes, Elizabeth explained about several pieces of her jewelry that either were made by friends or were given to her. Her necklace had a charm pendant of a Spitfire airplane. Though she didn't have this with her, she did mention that one of her friends had made Code Name Verity Barbie Dolls to represent Maddie and Julie.

I was so glad to meet Elizabeth and have a chance to hear her. Code Name Verity was one of my favorite books in 2012 and I am looking forward to reading Rose Under Fire.

Note: This was cross posted to Clever Bee

It's Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA - 7/29/13

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey. Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee from Unleashing Readers have adapted it to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books.

This week's edition of What are you reading?  Looks more like, what did you buy? or which events did you attend?  That's right.  Most of my reading time was filled up by attending book events.  Now don't get me wrong, I had a lot of fun at these events.  I saw friends at all of them.  I met knew friends too.  However, I did not get any real reading in this week.

Here is just a glimpse of each of the events...more to follow:

Monday, July 22, 2013
Once Upon a Time in Montrose
John Barrowman and Carole Barrowman

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Once Upon a Time in Montrose
Adventures Inbetween (Barbara Brauner, Elisabeth Dahl, Kristen Kittscher, James Mattson, and Jenn Reese)

Saturday, July 27, 2013
Barnes & Noble, Glendale/Americana
Summer of Y.A.

Check out the pictures on Flickr that Katie (@pocketofgreen) took at the event. She has some great candids.

Keep an eye out for more on each of these events...and until then, what are you reading?

You're Invited: Summer of Y.A. - Barnes & Noble at The Americana

Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm
Barnes & Noble at The Americana
210 Americana Way 
Glendale, CA 91210
From Paranormal Romance to Action-Adventure join us for a "speed dating" styled event where you can sit down and meet 11 up-and-coming YA authors. 
Jessica Brody (Unremembered)
Stacey Jay (Of Beast and Beauty)
Kathy McCullough (Who Needs Magic?)
Lissa Price (Starters)
Elizabeth Ross (Belle Epoque)
Sarah Skilton (Bruised)
Andrew Smith (Winger)
Ann Stampler (Where It Began)
Carol Tanzman (Circle of Silence
Allen Zadoff (Boy Nobody)
Don't miss this chance to chat with these talented individuals and have them sign your books! All of the authors' books will be available for purchase at Barnes & Noble, Glendale. The event is ticketed but tickets are free! Click here to sign up Purchases from the weekend of the event benefit Book by Book; event attendees can recommend which school or library will receive a Barnes & Noble gift card from the fundraiser -- the benificiary will be chosen randomly from all the school/library names submitted! The winning attendee will also win a gift card. You can also enter to win a gift card right now -- just for helping us promote the event locally! The only catch is you have to be able to come to the Glendale, CA store in person to pick up the prize. 
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The Wig in the Window Book Launch Party

After months and months of waiting for Kristen Kittscher's The Wig in the Window to be available for everyone to enjoy, over 150 people gathered together at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena to celebrate.  And celebrate we did. 

There were yin and yang cookies to celebrate the characters Sophie Young and Grace Yang.  The cookies were very delicious and made by Lara Fiedler. 

Colleen from Vroman's introduced Kristen Kittscher.  For a debut author, Kristen never appeared nervous.  She was charming, and funny, and very appreciative of all the wonderful folks who helped make the evening a reality. 

I loved that there was a dramatic reading of one of the passages from the book.  This was a very fun alternative to the traditional reading of a section of the book. It really made it come alive for everyone.

The "real life" Young and Yang were in the audience complete with wigs.  Along with the animated book trailer, Kristen showed the original interview video

Ingrid Sundberg didn't need a wig for the evening.  Her beautiful hair matched the cover colors of the Kristen's book.  Ingrid was working with Russell Gearheart who provided a photo booth for the evening.  For some amazing photos from the event, check out Russell Gearheart Photography's event page here.

I was so glad to have been a part of such a wonderful evening and to celebrate with Kristen on the release of her book. If you haven't added The Wig in the Window to your "to-read" pile, please consider picking up a copy at your local independent bookstore. 

Author Event - Pseudonymous Bosch & The Story Pirates

On April 2, 2013, Pseudonymous Bosch's newest book - WRITE THIS BOOK - was released.  To celebrate, Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena organized the event which was hosted at McKinley School.  This was definitely not your typical author event.  The Story Pirates performed an improvisational skit around the book.  For more information about the Story Pirates, check out their website.

The whole performance was done as an improv skit with suggestions from children who were in attendance.  I have seen various other improvisational performances before but I truly give kudos to the Story Pirates.  Incorporating the ideas of the young audience into the skit was not easy, but the performers were amazing.

Isn't this "plot map" fabulous?!  I want one. Part of the skit incorporated a lesson in various elements of storytelling.  The car moved around as those elements were mentioned.

Here is a short clip of the Story Pirates as they perform WRITE THIS BOOK...

Here one of the performers is encouraging the audience to provide suggestions for the next part of the skit.

As characters were added to the skit (thanks to the suggestions from the audience), clothing changes were made.

And made again...

And, well, again...

Here the Story Pirates turn their skit about WRITE THIS BOOK into a musical...

At one point in the improv, the topic of genre came up.  Below is a picture of a "genre wheel".  I so want one of these.  Brilliant way of creating one.

A student from McKinley came up and had a chance to "spin the wheel".  The genre selected was then incorporated into the skit.

At the end, the Real Pseudonymous Bosch arrived and set everyone straight. 

Here is Pseudonymous Bosch signing books.

Jax (she helped me write the review of WRITE THIS BOOK) & her friend Ella had a chance to take a picture with Pseudonymous Bosch.  Of course, pictures were taken in Bosch's trademark style. :-)

This was one of the best author events that I have ever attend.  Thank you to Pseudonymous Bosch, the Story Pirates, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Vromans Bookstore, and McKinley School for creating such a memorable event.

Enter below for a chance to win a signed hard cover of WRITE THIS BOOK by Pseudonymous Bosch.  a Rafflecopter giveaway