Banned Books—and a Band

Sonia Sones’s 2001 novel What My Mother Doesn’t Know (S&S) is number 31 on the ALA’s list of Top 100 Banned/ Challenged Books between 2000 and 2009. To celebrate that distinction, Sones took part in a "Join the Banned" event during Banned Books Week at the Santa Monica Public Library, where visitors (like Sones) could have their photos taken with their favorite banned books. The event, which was funded by a grant from the Freedom to Read Foundation, featured readings by several authors, including Sones, as well as a performance by a Harry Potter-inspired "wizard rock" band, The Remus Lupins.

Carle Honors Return

The annual Carle Honors, hosted by The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, took place last Thursday evening at Guastavino's in New York City. The awards, which first began in 2006, recognize those dedicated to the support and creation of picture books. Seen here (l. to r.) are Ruth and David Macaulay, along with Lisa and Chris Van Allsburg, co-chairs of the awards. Macaulay (The Way Things Work) received a 2010 Carle Honor (from Van Allsburg), along with art collectors Kendra and Allan Daniel, the SCBWI's Stephen Mooser and Lin Oliver, and sculptor Nancy Schön.

Titcomb and Minor Ride the Rails

Musician/author Gordon Titcomb and artist Wendell Minor appeared recently in Essex, Conn., to promote their new picture book collaboration, The Last Train (Roaring Brook/Porter, Sept.), which is based on Titcomb's 2005 song (in a starred review, PW said, "this stunning book both celebrates and eulogizes the golden era of railway travel"). The October 2 launch event was held at Essex Steam Train and Riverboat, which runs riverboat and steam-powered train rides for tourists; here, Whitcomb (l.) and Minor sign a copy for a young railroad fan. In fact, Minor used Essex Steam Train's Locomotive No. 40 as the inspiration for one of the trains in the book.

On the Road with Cinda Williams Chima

Author Cinda Williams Chima is currently on tour for the second book in her Seven Realms series, The Exiled Queen (Disney-Hyperion, Sept.), which follows last year's The Demon King. The tour kicked off with an appearance at the Learned Owl Bookshop in Hudson, Ohio, after which Chima traveled to Minneapolis for a stop at Wild Rumpus (Chima, at right, shows off one of that store’s many animals with bookseller Drew). This past week, Williams visited St. Louis and Cincinnati, as well as cities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She'll be in Michigan this weekend for the Michigan SCBWI Conference, followed by stops in Chicago and Austin (for the Texas Book Festival), with appearances later this fall at the World Fantasy Convention and Rochester Book Festival.

Rockin’ Joplin in Wisconsin

The Little Read Book in Wauwatosa, Wis., hosted a launch party last week for Ann Angel's Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing (Amulet, Oct.), a YA biography of the iconic singer. The store sold out of its copies of the book during the event, which was followed, appropriately enough, by 1960s themed "Back-to-Woodstock" karaoke at a nearby bar with prizes awarded to the best Janis "soundalike." As evidenced by this photo from the bookstore event, fans of all ages came out: (l. to r.) fan Colleen Lukitsch, Little Read Book owner Linda Burg, Angel (seated), and the Pierquet family, who brought their daughter, Quin.