I've just returned from this fabulous event in Palm Beach Gardens, and am honored to have been invited to participate. I met most of these authors,
and schlepped home many of their books. I was lucky enough to be on this panel with Danette Vigilante and the renown Sharon Draper. Here's a news clip of the panel.
DANETTE VIGILANTE - Vigilante grew up in the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn, New York. In fifth grade, her teacher wrote a simple sentence on the back of her report card which changed her life forever: “Danette needs help with her reading.” Soon after, Danette began visiting the library and grew into a reading machine. Writing books became the next step in her journey. The Trouble with Half a Moon is her first middle grade novel. Vigilante is an SSYRA 2012-2013 nominee. READERS: Grades 5-8, Danettevigilante.com
SHARON DRAPER - Draper’s books have received numerous literary awards, including the ALA Coretta Scott King Award, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, Best of the Best, The Parent's Choice Award, the Children's Choice Award, the IRA Young Adult Choice Award, and the Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. Copper Sun was selected by the US State Department and IRA for the international project called Reading Across Continents. Draper has been honored at the White House six times. Draper travels extensively and has been on television and radio programs throughout the country, discussing literature, reading and education. Out of My Mind was the 2011-2012 Sunshine State Young Reader Award winner in both the 3-5 and 6-8 categories. Readers: All ages sharondraper.com
On the flight home, I read Sharon's book, Copper Sun, about a 15 year old girl, kidnapped from Africa in the 1700s and sold into slavery in America. As exhausted as I was from doing 3 programs at a middle school, driving an hour and a half to the airport in Fort Lauderdale, experiencing a two hour delay, and arriving in San Francisco just before midnight (or 3 a.m. Florida time), I still read it cover to cover on the flight. I don't often say this about a book, but I could not put it down.
Oh & the OMG part:
LOST IN THE RIVER OF GRASS
WON THE SUNSHINE STATE YOUNG READERS AWARD FOR 2013.