Thursday, 1 May 2014

Amazing Near North Forest of Reading Author Tour

With Belle and Natalie, North Bay. Photo credit, thanks to Rebecca Upjohn
Wow, that was exciting! I've just come back from three days in North Bay and Parry Sound, for the Ontario Library Association Near North Forest of Reading tour. In the course of 3 days we saw almost 3,000 kids from all over Northern and Eastern Ontario. Day one was in lovely Nipissing University, with the great Sid Bobs from CBC Kids as our host. There were over 1500 kids there!!
Day two was held in Parry Sound at their high school, with an only slightly smaller crowd of 1200 kids in attendance.
1500 kids at University of Nipissing, North Bay, photo Joanne levy
A gargoyle finger puppet the kids made,
photo Rebecca Upjohn
The kids were fantastic and so excited to meet the team of authors, and we were just as excited to meet them. My presentation partner Rebecca Upjohn and I ran four presentations where we talked about research and imagination in fiction and non fiction. Kids hid in a tent to imagine what it would be like to hide for 9 months (Rebecca's book, The Secret of the Village Fool, is about hiding from the Nazis), and I played the gargoyle shuffle on a borrowed guitar and got to see kids dance like gargoyles. I'm also really very honoured to say that my book, The Gargoyle at the Gates, was selected the Near North Festival of Reading Regional Winner for the Silver Birch Express category. I was so surprised and delighted!!! Thank you North Bay and Parry Sound, and thank you Ontario Library Association! And of course, a million thanks to the volunteers, librarians and hard working OLA staff who made it all happen. Also, I'd just like to add that the authors I met on the tour were all wonderful and lots of fun, and Meredith Tutching is a very, very good driver (as is Joanne Levy).
You can also read my interview with the North Bay Nugget here. Keep reading, everyone!
The author crew, with thanks to Joanne Levy for the photo.
Left to right: Melissa Marr, Kelly Armstrong, Kari-Lynn Winter, Maria Birmingham, Rachelle Delaney,
Pat Bourke, Joanne Levy, Jennifer Lanthier, Michael Glassbourg, me, Rebecca Upjohn

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