Know What? Tweens Read!

Last weekend I had the honor and pleasure to be a featured author at the annual Tweens Read book festival in Pasadena. Sponsoring it was the magical indie bookstore, Blue Willow Books in Houston.

At the reception before the event, I met or reconnected with fellow authors I admire and adore. There were times when I felt like an excited tween myself, and many in our middle grade posse echoed the sentiment. Perhaps it was because authors got to ride a school bus to the bookstore:

author prison bus

Or perhaps it was because we got to write on the walls! Here I am, adding my signature right below Chris‘s:

graffiti Jenn

Or maybe it’s because we got a little silly.  Jonathan Auxier and Greg Leitich Smith were up for shennanigans:

Jonathan Me Greg

The next day was game day. Look at the crowd! Something like 1500 readers were there. They were the best part of the event.

The Crowd

Also … cupcakes! Cupcakes with our books on them!


I had a lot of fun on my panel with Varsha Bajaj, Karen Harrington, Jenni Holm, Varian Johnson, and Natalie Lloyd. The questions asked by the readers in attendance really kept us on our toes. I even got to meet a special tween I’d corresponded with earlier in the year.

Huge thanks go to Blue Willow and all of the educators, volunteers, and parents who made it happen. If you haven’t made it to this festival yet, be sure to attend their next.

There were so many great anecdotes, pieces of advice, and words of wisdom, one could … well … create a book. I shall leave you with this gem from Jacqueline Woodson’s keynote: “Everybody has a story. And everybody has the right to write that story.”

And everybody has a right to read those stories and make them part of their own life experience.

Thanks for reading, tweens!



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