I have AMAZING news, Riptides: Diary of a Wimpy Kid author, Jeff Kinney, is coming to Manhattan Beach! He will be visiting {pages} a bookstore next Tuesday evening for a special fundraising event for Access Books

What: a fundraising event for Access Books to raise money for financially disadvantaged school libraries in Los Angeles

Perks: meet The Man himself; get signed copies of the Diary of Wimpy Kid DVD; raffled drawings by Mr. Kinney; box sets of his series; pizza and cookies! He'll sign copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid purchased from {pages}.

When: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 5:30pm

Where: {pages} a bookstore: 904 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Cost: $50 per child (accompanying adults are free, but must wait in the courtyard during the presentation as space is limited; ticket price is tax-deductible)

Buy Tickets at: http://accessbooks.net/events/fundraiser-jeff-kinney

We had such a FANTASTIC visit with Jonathan Auxier last Friday! His presentation about his book Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes was so entertaining and engaging; the kids got a kick out of his yo-yo tricks, his "experiment" about using all of your senses, and his wonderful way of talking about reading and writing. He's truly dynamic, theatrical, and oh-so-likeable!

Thank you to our fourth and fifth graders for being an attentive and enthusiastic audience. A special thanks to the teachers for allowing me to take time out of their busy schedules to have our first library-hosted author visit. And I can't forget to thank our volunteers (students and teachers) who were good sports and volunteered to be "guinea pigs" for Jonathan's demonstration about using our senses.

Jonathan extends his thanks to those students who went out and purchased his book. He and his wife also said this was the one of the best school visits they've had! We were lucky enough to be his last school visit in Southern California before he and his wife moved to Pittsburgh.

All of the pictures from the day are posted at Ms. Yukari's flickr site. Here are some pictures from the 4th grade presentation:

After the 5th grade presentation Jonathan visited the students in Mrs. Lindsay's class to talk about the writing and editing process. It took him four years to write the book and he went through 20 drafts before the book was published! We also got news that he's currently working on two news books, one of which is a sequel of sorts about Peter and Sir Tode's adventures post-Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes.
And some other pictures from Jonathan's day at Robinson, our short visit to {pages: a bookstore}, and his signing at Mysterious Galaxy after school (that kid is my son, who was dressed up as Sherlock Holmes for Halloween):
Sorry the following video is sideways; I'm still trying to figure out how to rotate it. In the meantime, please turn your head to the left to watch Jonathan doing one of his amazing yo-yo tricks (I think it was called the Jedi Mind Trick). His, "See, they like it!" comment at the end is directed at his wife, who isn't impressed with this trick for some reason!
If you don't know anything about Peter Nimble, I suggest you check out the book trailer:
I am so excited to announce that author Jonathan Auxier will be visiting our school on Friday, October 28! Jonathan is the author of Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, one of my favorite books of the summer.

He will be making a presentation to fourth grade (8:45~9:40) and fifth grade (10:45~11:30). The fourth graders are already becoming familiar with Peter Nimble because I am reading it aloud to them during library time. They love it and don't want me to stop reading it!

We will not be selling the book through school but if you would like to purchase a copy you can get it at the following stores. Whatever store you choose to go to, I suggest calling ahead to make sure there are copies in-stock.
If you purchase a book and would like Jonathan to sign it, please bring me your book by Thursday afternoon (October 27). I will mark your book with a Post-It so that Jonathan can sign it to your child and so that I can return your child's book by the end of school on Friday. Unfortunately, because of time constraints, we are not able to have Jonathan sign books while students wait.

Jonathan will also be signing his book at Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach that afternoon at 3pm.

Bridge to Books is at it again! They're hosting another fantastic event with a great lineup of authors.

So much attention has been given to why boys stop reading, but what about the boys who continue to love reading (my son is one of them)? What about the boys (whether readers or non-readers as youngsters) who grow up to be fantastic authors? They're bringing them all together at The Why Chromosome: Why Boys Do Love Books event on Sunday, October 30 at Mrs. Nelson's Toy and Book Shop in La Verne.

Six authors will be presenting and signing. Half are Middle Grade (MG) authors and the others are Young Adult (YA) authors: Andrew Smith (YA: Stick), Greg Van Eekhout (MG: Kid Vs. Squid), Allen Zadoff (YA: My Life, the Theater and Other Tragedies), Jonathan Auxier (MG: Peter Nimble & His Fantastic Eyes), John Stephens (MG: The Emerald Atlas), and G. Neri (YA: Ghetto Cowboy). Click here to read short bios about the authors. This is a great opportunity to talk to them about their own experiences as readers and then as writers.

You can still purchase tickets ($17.50 each for admission, a swag bag, and snacks), and I hope you do -- I'll be there as one of the photographers, and I know that Mrs. Snively from the Grand View Library and Mrs. Jones from the Pacific Library will also be there.

One of my favorite events of the year as a librarian is the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association's annual Children's Books and Literacy Dinner. This was my third year attending and it was fabulous for a number of reasons: all of the district library media specialists and the high school teacher librarian attended, author Eve Bunting sat at our table, I picked up quite a few books and had them autographed, and I got to meet a twitter friend in person (Alyson Beecher, principal of San Rafael Elementary School).

I think the highlight for the MBUSD library staff was sitting with Eve Bunting. She is nothing but gracious and kind. I met her for the first time at the 2009 SCIBA dinner and she was generous enough to pose for pictures with Mrs. Snively (Grand View librarian), Mrs. Kalenik (MBMS librarian), and myself. This year was no different (see pictures below). Mrs. Jones (from the Pacific library) asked Mrs. Bunting how many books she's written; according to Mrs. Bunting, her husband keeps track of the number but she thinks she's written about 280 books, with seven more in the works this year!
During the dinner several authors spoke about their most recent book or how they became authors. The night was emceed by Young Adult (YA) and picture book author Cecil Castellucci, and the guest speakers were YA author and National Book Award winner Judy Blundell, middle grade authors Brandon Mull and Dr. Cuthbert Soup, and YA author (and high school teacher) Andrew Smith. Cecil even sang a song about how great children's literature is!
Publishers gave away books by the authors in attendance. After the dinner we're given an opportunity to get our books autographed. Experienced dinner attendees come prepared with their own bags because we receive so many free books. I even saw a lady pulling a folding cart on wheels! 

I picked up a copy of every book, ranging from picture books to middle grade fiction to young adult fiction. A few of the books I received will go into the Robinson collection. (Sorry, I paid to attend this year's dinner so I'm keeping most of the books.) Many of these books aren't for sale yet, giving attendees (and their students and children) a chance to read books before they hit shelves.

<-- Here's the stack of books I brought home. Pretty impressive, isn't it? My son was particularly excited about Brandon Mull's new book, A World Without Heroes (Beyonders Book 1), which I had Mr. Mull autograph for him. I also had two pictures books autographed for my daughter.

I can't wait for next year's event ... I'm also considering attending the SCIBA children's literature brunch in the fall (Sisters Grimm and NERDS author Michael Buckley will be there!).