Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Early Skinny on The 2009 AJC Decatur Book Festival

Daren and Tom held court last night at Eddie's Attic during the media launch of the 2009 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical. The presentation of the highlights of this year's festival just kept going and going, with each new announcement seeming to trump the previous amazing announcement.

"How," you may ask, "did this book festival held in little Decatur grow to become the nation's fourth largest?" Quite simply, there are great people behind the scenes who pour so much energy into the project.

To give you an idea of the creativity, breadth, and sense of fun that the folks who run the DBF bring to their tasks, this year will feature novelist and journalist Michael Muhammad Knight in a wrestling match with Abdullah the Butcher, followed by a reading. Singers Mary Chapin Carpenter, Caroline Herring, Kate Campbell, and Claire Holley will be performing a Centennial Celebration of Eudora Weltly's 100th birthday. Emory science Ph.D. candidates will be presenting their research in a format similar to that of a poetry slam. The list goes on, and it's not yet complete. You can get a rundown of the events at www.decaturbookfestival.com.

Little Shop of Stories organizes the programing for the Target Children's Stage as well as for The Escape. This teen stage will increase in length to cover two days of the festival.

I'll be blogging a lot more about the authors coming to DBF as the festival draws closer, but here are just a few of the highlights of the children's stage:

Kate DiCamillo - Her Tales of Despereaux won the Newbery Medal in 2003. In addition, she is the author of Because of Winn-Dixie, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and the Mercy Watson chapter books. Kate's new book is The Magician's Elephant. I just finished it last week, and fell in love. I reads like a classic fairy tale.

Jarret J. Krosoczka - We have absolutely loved his two Punk Farm books since we opened Little Shop. He will be releasing Lunch Lady, a graphic novel series for young readers, in July. It has already been picked up by Universal Pictures, with Amy Poehler set to star.

Eric Litwin and James Dean - The author and illustrator of Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes will be on stage. Mr. Eric is a very talented storyteller and musician. James is a local artist best known for his Pete paintings. This was our top selling picture book in 2008 and again (so far) in 2009. We're excited about Eric and James' success and thrilled to have them on the children's stage.

Loren Long - Loren is an illustrator with a long list of accomplishments, including the 2005 edition of The Little Engine That Could. He is the author and illustrator of the upcoming Otis, and will be the Grand Marshal of this year's parade.

Judy Schachner - The author of the Skippyjon Jones books returns! Judy came to DBF in 2007 and absolutley wowed everyone. We knew we had to have her back. Skippyjon Jones: Lost in Spice is due out this fall! We love Skippy. We love the books. We love Judy.

Jon Scieszka - A partial list of great books authored by Jon Scieszka (rhymes with Fresca) include The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Fairy Tales, Math Curse, Seen Art?, Time Warp Trio books, Trucktown books, Guys Write for Guys Read (editor), and Knucklehead. Jon, an enthusiastic advocate for reading, is also the Library of Congress' National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. He came to Little Shop a couple of years ago and we are thrilled he is coming to DBF.

Wow. Any one of these authors would have made this a great festival for families. Having each one here, as well as a long list of other writers and illustrators, will make for a phenomenal festival.

Keep reading this blog!

- Dave

1 comment:

Evan Scribner said...

I am currently writing a story on my blog, maybe you could even write a review on mine :P