This week, an author and performer are united against censorship; two award-winning authors share laughter and insights; authors are red carpet-ready at a gala event; authors gather round the campfire; publishing staff get in the spirit of Dia de Los Muertos; and a debut author raises her own readers.

A Backstage Pass

Sir Elton John invited author Todd Parr to his Las Vegas concert on October 20. Elton John recently spoke out against a ban of 49 children’s books in Venice, Italy, including Parr’s The Family Book (Little, Brown), which is a favorite pick in the Furnish-John family. Backstage following the concert are Parr, Elton John, and Parr’s agent, Liz Stahler of SupperTime Entertainment.

Author Dreams

Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander (The Crossover, HMH) and Newbery Honor author Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming, Penguin/Paulsen) shared the stage at the Virginia Children’s Book Festival at Longwood University on October 16. Among the topics that the authors addressed were why they each chose poetry to tell their stories, how reading John Steptoe’s Stevie as children influenced their careers, and Tupac Shakur.

Some Enchanted Evening

Authors (from l.) Jon Muth, Dav Pilkey, Sonia Manzano, and Craig Hatkoff honored chairman and CEO of Scholastic, Richard Robinson (second from l.) in style at Goddard Riverside Community Center’s annual Book Fair Gala at Gotham Hall in Manhattan on October 27.

Now That’s Scary!

Symphony Space in Manhattan hosted a Halloween-themed event for Guys Read: Terrifying Tales (HarperCollins/Walden Pond) on October 25. Authors in attendance were Adam Gidwitz, Daniel José Older, Michael Buckley, Rita Williams-Garcia, Kelly Barnhill, and Dav Pilkey, who each read their stories from the anthology. The event was moderated by Jon Scieszka, editor of the Guys Read series. To complete the spooky ambiance, there was a “campfire” on stage, s’mores, and a costume contest. From left: Older, Williams-Garcia, and Pilkey.


Albert Whitman staffers celebrated the release of Roseanne Greenfield Thong’s and Carles Ballesteros’s picture book Dia de Los Muertos at their Illinois headquarters on October 28. In keeping with the book’s festive themes, they dressed in Day of the Dead-inspired costumes and snacked on treats like pan de muertos.

Home-Grown Readers

Ann Jacobus, debut author of Romancing the Dark in the City of Light (St. Martin’s Griffin/Dunne), celebrated the release of the book at Books Inc. Opera Plaza in San Francisco on October 8. The event was part of the store’s Not Your Mother’s Book Club series. Joining the packed house of fans were Jacobus’s own teenagers (seen here with the author). Proceeds from the event were donated to San Francisco Suicide Prevention, as teen suicide is a topic that the book addresses.