Laurie Halse Anderson! Sponsored by The Red Balloon Bookshop & The St. Paul Public Library! Exclamation Point!

Laurie Halse Anderson! Sponsored by The Red Balloon Bookshop & The St. Paul Public Library! Exclamation Point!

 

Figure 1. Me, Laurie Halse Anderson & Amy Oelkers of the Red Balloon Bookshop

Figure 1. Me, Laurie Halse Anderson & Amy Oelkers of the Red Balloon Bookshop

 

Yesterday, I met Laurie Halse Anderson at a reading that was sponsored by the Red Balloon Bookshop and St. Paul Public Library. Amy Oelkers, event manager at Red Balloon, asked me introduce Laurie Halse Anderson and though I was intimidated by this – I’ve never introduced anyone before! I’ve never introduced another author whose books I’ve LOVED SO MUCH before! – of course I said yes.

(ASIDE: Introducing someone is harder than I thought. You can’t make it all about you and get all fangirly about the author. But you also can’t be all stiff and boring and just rattle off their awards and stuff.)

To get to the point, Laurie Halse Anderson is a very nice person, you guys. Super friendly and kind. And her talk was marvelous. Candid and real and personal. I have always known that she writes to young adults from a very big-hearted intention, but hearing her speak in person, you could feel that, too. That sounds super corny. But I really believe it, as I’ve read so many of her books (did you know she’s written over 25 books? picture books and historical thrillers and nonfiction books and young adult and middle grade…) and you can feel that emotional truth, how much she wants to give young people a place to connect and nod their heads and feel like someone understands them and sees them.

Also, she’s very funny. I like that in any kind of verbal presentation. Make me laugh and I will eat out of your hand.

Also, I met Amy Oelkers of The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul. She organizes events for the shop and she and I had been talking on Twitter about…well, I can’t even remember. The kind of junk one blabbers on Twitter about, I suppose. Anyway, I was happy to meet her and Holly Weinkauf, the shop’s owner, because I thought the event itself was very enjoyable (Harriet Island Pavillion, yall: it’s very fancy!) and I love their shop. The Red Balloon has been a kidlit institution in the metro area for years, but many people think of it as shop for just children’s books and picture books; since assuming ownership of the shop in 2011, Holly has expressed much interest in expanding the shop’s YA customer base, which is obviously a move I consider positive.

(Aside: Along with an ARC for The Impossible Knife of Memory, Amy wisely tossed in an ARC of Veronica Rossi’s Into The Still Blue as an incentive for me to do the introduction. There are many routes to my heart and not all of them include Norman Reedus – I’m such a fan of Perry!)

 

Figure 2. The Impossible Knife of Memory is BEAUTIFUL. Go read it now! (I'm saving Perry until I get the other two Morris finalists finished...)

Figure 2. The Impossible Knife of Memory is BEAUTIFUL. Go read it now! (I’m saving Perry until I get the other two Morris finalists finished…)

 

(Blast From The Blog-Past Aside: PERRY!)

On top of all that goodness, I was able to meet many librarians and teachers at the event, which is always very enjoyable and delicious because you can dork it up about your favorite books forever and never feel self-conscious about it. That is key when you are me and are bad at mingling with people you’ve just met. Another nice aspect of this event was that 20% of the sales went to the St. Paul Public Library and being a giant library fan, this pleased me a lot, too.

Anyway, a big thank you to Red Balloon, the St. Paul Public Library and Laurie Halse Anderson for a great event.

 

Figure 3. Do not worry, Norman. There are like 476 routes to my heart which are all named after you and...Ugh. I am full of PURE CORNOGRAPHY today you guys.

Figure 3. Do not worry, Norman. There are like 476 routes to my heart which are all named after you and…Ugh. I am full of PURE CORNOGRAPHY today you guys.

 

 

 

 

One Comment

  • Matthew MacNish on Jan 13, 2014 Reply

    I just started my first Laurie Halse Anderson book last night (SPEAK–and yes, I know–way overdue) and I was up until midnight, finishing the first 120 pages or so. Hard to pin down, exactly what’s so great about it, but it’s absolutely fabulous. Without question.

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