Getting Bookish in Boston

The fourth annual Boston Book Festival took place Saturday, October 27, with free events scattered across the city. Several of the events were geared toward children and teens, including a panel entitled “The Future Is Now,” which featured (l. to r.) authors Gabrielle Zevin, M.T. Anderson, Cory Doctorow, and Rachel Cohn. The panel took place at the Church of the Covenant, with the writers discussing the not-too-distant futures imagined in their books—from the restrictive, crime-ridden world of Zevin’s Because It Is My Blood to the issues of hyperconnectivity, intellectual property, and cloning that feature, respectively, in Anderson’s Feed, Doctorow’s Pirate Cinema, and Cohn’s Beta.

Massachusetts Teens Publish Anthology

Over the summer, a group of Massachusetts students studied creative writing with authors Victoria Bosch Murray, Jennifer De Leon, Adam Stumacher, and Becky Tuch as part of the three-week long Grub Street Fellowship. Last week, they self-published an anthology of their own work, One Day We Rise and We Are Everywhere, on the Espresso Book Machine at Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Mass. “We’re extremely proud of the 19 high-school students who have produced such poignant, polished work during the Grub Street 2012 Summer Teen Fellowship,” said Eve Bridburg, executive director of Grub Street, an independent writing center. Here, some of the young writers sign books. Clockwise from l.: Noah Jallos-Pruffer, Sara Blouin, Robert Auld, James Robotham, Paolo Martins, Jacob Miller, and Tiara Vasquez.

Chasing the Blooz Away in Brooklyn

Debut author Caron Levis celebrated the release of her picture book Stuck with the Blooz (Harcourt, Oct.), illustrated by Jon Davis, at a launch event at Brooklyn’s Greenlight Books on October 20. Levis read from the book—about a girl who tries to shake a blobby blue manifestation of her bad mood—and gave out coloring sheets and glittery Band-aids to attendees. PW’s review of the book praised Levis’s “impressively light touch,” calling the story “a tribute to... sharp thinking.”

A ‘Rebel’ with a Cause... to Celebrate

In Candice Ransom’s middle-grade novel Rebel McKenzie (Disney-Hyperion, June), the eponymous heroine takes part in a beauty pageant sponsored by the Frog Level Volunteer Fire Department in Frog Level, Va. The town is a real one, and for the last 40 years, its volunteer fire department has been hosting an annual parade and festival. Ransom took part in this year’s celebration on October 27, documenting it in photos on her blog. With some help from some enthusiastic fans (her nieces and great-nieces), Ransom promoted Rebel McKenzie as “the first novel ever set in Frog Level,” and even took part in the parade, as seen here.

Getting in the ‘Spirit’

Writer Gary Golio and illustrator Rudy Gutierrez met up on October 26 to launch their new picture book Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey (Clarion, Oct.) at a party at Village Bookstore in Pleasantville, N.Y. Here, Golio shows off a copy of the book, which follows the musical and spiritual searching of piano great John Coltrane. The combination of music and picture book biography isn’t new to either man—Golio’s previous books include When Bob Met Woody: The Story of the Young Bob Dylan and Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix; Gutierrez, meanwhile, recently illustrated rapper K’NAAN’s autobiographical When I Get Older: The Story Behind “Wavin’ Flag.” Photo: Laurel Golio.

A ‘Lovely’ Launch Party

Debut author Amy McNamara celebrated the release of her YA novel Lovely, Dark and Deep (S&S, Oct.) with an event on October 24 at Brooklyn clothing shop Ruby Moriarty. In the novel, Wren Wells attempts to recover from the car accident that killed her boyfriend by escaping to her father’s isolated studio in rural Maine. McNamara lives in Brooklyn and has an MFA in poetry; although Lovely, Dark and Deep is her first novel, her poems have been published in various journals.