Laid Back

Four middle-grade authors hit the road this month as part of Houghton Mifflin’s Middle Grade Mania campaign. Marcia Wells (Eddie Red, Undercover: Mystery in Mayan Mexico), Faith Harkey (Genuine Sweet), Steven Arnston (The Trap), and Greg Trine (Willy Maykit in Space) made stops in Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Wichita, and Salt Lake City. Here, the authors chillax with fans at Concord Elementary School in Minneapolis. The visit was coordinated by Addendum Books in St. Paul.

There’s a Whale in My Bookstore!

Joyce Wan celebrated the release of her picture book, There’s a Whale in My Swimming Pool (FSG) at Books of Wonder in New York City on April 11. Here, Wan signs a copy of the book for two fans. In addition to meeting Wan and hearing her read, attendees also sampled cupcakes and whale-shaped cookies.

Join the Club!

Andy Griffiths entertained more than 250 people, including (seen here with the author) students from Townley Elementary School who formed an Andy Griffiths fan club, at the Irving Public Library in Irving, Tex. The April 11 event was part of Griffith’s three-week U.S. tour for the release of The 39 Story Treehouse (Feiwel and Friends), third in the Treehouse series, illustrated by Terry Denton.

Dear Pen-Pal

Michele Ervin’s fourth-grade class in Niota, Tenn., is taking part in a pen-pal project spearheaded by Renee Nicolo (front), a teacher at Niota Elementary School. Nicolo connected Ervin (back l.) with Karolee Martin, a teacher in the Middle East at the American School of Doho in Qatar, to have their students all read Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt, a novel told entirely through letters. Each student in Nicolo’s class is writing to a pen-pal in Martin’s class and the two classes will eventually connect via Skype.

On the Right Track

Paige Britt, debut author of The Lost Track of Time (Scholastic), celebrated the release of her novel at Book People in Austin, Tex., on April 4. At the event, Britt (r.) and her friend Jerry Romine dressed as characters from the book, Penelope and Dill.

Freeze Frame

Author Melody Maysonet’s release party for her YA novel A Work of Art (Merit Press) was an artsy affair. More than 60 attendees came to the Coral Springs Center for the Arts in Coral Springs, Fla. to meet Maysonet and have their books signed. Since A Work of Art features a character who is an artist, Maysonet also coordinated with three high schools in the Coconut Creek area. There were 35 art entries and the students’ creations were displayed at the event; attendees selected the winners. The party was also quite the family affair: here, Maysonet (second from l.), her sisters, and her mother transform themselves into a masterwork.