This week, an author visits his old stomping grounds; summer reading gets off to a running start; the author of a series favorite meets his fans; an illustrator lends his talents to the community; an author celebrates with a royal book launch; and award honorees talk shop.

A Rallying Cry for Reading

Dav Pilkey, author of the Captain Underpants series, gave a rallying cry for reading with students from Burr Elementary School in Chicago during the Scholastic Summer Reading Road Trip. Authors and illustrators are traveling via a bus painted with characters from Scholastic books throughout May and July, visiting communities and hosting reading festivals across the U.S.

Last Stop!

Newbery Medalist Matt de la Peña and Caldecott Honoree Christian Robinson made a fitting, final visit on their tour for their award-winning picture book, Last Stop on Market Street, at Lincoln Acres Elementary School in National City, Calif., which Matt attended as a child. More than 600 students were present for the author and illustrator’s presentation, as well as community leaders. From left: National City councilmember and former principal of Lincoln Acres Elementary, Albert Mendivil; Christian Robinson; California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez; Matt de la Peña; and National City mayor Ron Morrison.

In the (Tree) House!

Readers lined up to meet Andy Griffiths, co-author with Terry Denton of the Treehouse Books, at Petoskey High School in Petoskey, Mich., on April 27. The event was hosted by Between the Covers in Harbor Springs, Mich. The author also visited Harbor Springs High School Performing Arts Center on April 28, meeting Harbor Springs students in first through fifth grades. The Australian author was touring the U.S. in April and early May to promote the latest book in the series, The 52-Story Treehouse.

Something Beautiful!

To launch the picture book Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood (HMH), illustrator Rafael Lopez painted a wall mural at the San Diego Cooperative Charter School in San Diego, Calif., on April 30. From left: co-author F. Isabel Campoy; HMH editor Jeannette Larson; Rafael López; agent Stefanie Von Borstel; and co-author Theresa Howell. Students, parents, teachers, friends, and passers-by all participated, and the event also featured homemade tamales, music, coloring tables, and readings by the authors and illustrator.


Author Meg Cabot celebrated the release of Royal Wedding Disaster: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess (Feiwel and Friends) with a princess party on May 15 at the Irving County Library in Irving, Tex. Joining Cabot as she spoke about her path to becoming a writer, were royal guests – many of whom donned tiaras.

Laying It on the Line

A gala for the annual Christopher Awards, which are given to books and other media that “affirm the highest values of the human spirit,” took place on May 19 at the Mutual of America building in New York City. Here, Alison McGhee (winner for Firefly Hollow); Margaret Quinlin, president of Peachtree (representing Don Tate for his book Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton); and Terri Fields (winner for One Good Deed), share some thoughts following the ceremony.