The 2014 Boston Book Festival involved a lot of discussion of the boundaries between realism and fantasy. Somewhere along those boundaries, Curious George and Llama Llama paraded around Copley Square; Gregory Maguire sang in character as Baba Yaga; and my eight-year-old self grinned like a fool at her copy of Hello, Mallory, now signed, personalized, and inscribed BSC 4-ever!
The “Middle Grade: Journeys Near and Far” panel featured Paul Durham, Laura Godwin, S. E. Grove, and Ann M. Martin, with host Rachel Keeler. Debut authors Grove and Durham talked about their writing journeys as well as the journeys their characters take, and Martin and Godwin played off each other in describing what it’s like to write together. Apparently, one of them is more like The Doll People’s cautious Annabelle, and the other is more like adventurous Tiffany. Not to speculate, but I know which author on the panel has said shy baby-sitter Mary Anne is based on herself…
Friend of The Horn Book (and Simmons Center for the Study of Children’s Literature director) Cathie Mercier hosted “YA: Reality, Meet Fantasy,” featuring A. S. King, Scott Westerfeld, and Meg Wolitzer. Did you know that Scott Westerfeld wrote three interactive Powerpuff Girls novels? I do now, and I also know that he’s hilarious, that Meg Wolitzer is really down-to-earth, and that A. S. King believes YA is such a vibrant community because “teenagers haven’t been shut up yet.” (In a good way.)
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go brag to all the other eight-year-olds about my celebrity encounter.