Wordstock: a gift for Portland's bookish families
I ran into Sarah Hart, a friend whose husband is the director of the annual Wordstock festival, yesterday. She was brimming with enthusiasm, and it was all for her son: 'I have to get him to Laini Taylor!' she said, checking the guide I had open to Saturday's schedule. I made a note of it; soon, my children will be reading young adult fiction, and Sarah's son -- and other teenagers like him -- at Wordstock this weekend are key to discovering the next great kidlit gems.
The Wordstock festival, a fairly new entrant into the Portland fair-festival-convention-happenin' scene, is a gift for bookish families like mine. This year's focus on young adult fiction is particularly great; the Target Children's Stage is packed with talented authors that will surely be the devotion of our kids in years to come. A day's ticket for an adult is only $5, and children 13 and under are free. Here are a few highlights you may want to check out today:
11 a.m. -- Eric Kimmel and Amy Costales. Eric has written 100 books, and his mythology-focused children's books like Anansi and the Magic Stick are 'funny' and silly' and beautifully illustrated. Amy is the author of Abuelita Full of Life, a bilingual and multicultural author whose book is described as 'sweet' and 'gentle.
Noon -- Nicole Rubel and Chris Dudley. Chris is a former NBA star who wrote Chris Dreams Big, about his childhood struggle with diabetes. But I'm more excited about Nicole, whose Rotten Ralph series about a naughty kitty is very popular among young children.
1 p.m. Jennifer Holm, Matthew Holm and Addie Boswell. Jennifer and Matthew, a brother-and-sister writing team, write the Babymouse series, of a "a sassy young mouse who dreams of glamour, excitement, adventure, straight whiskers, being queen of the world," targeted at grade school-aged girls. Addie Boswell is a Portland author and artist who has written Rain Stomper, a book that looks a little like an updated version of Ramona Quimby.
2 p.m. April Henry and Sundee T. Frazier. April is a local celebrity: a best-selling author of mysteries for teens and adults. Sundee has written Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It, an award-winning book about a biracial boy who loves science.
5 p.m. Heather Vogel Frederick. Heather's Mother-Daughter Book Club series is very popular and Heather says it "fills her need for a daughter -- I've got two boys!"