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July children’s literature events

Here’s a selection of children’s literature–related events coming soon in the greater Boston area. Are you hosting or attending other events this month? Let us know in the comments!

Tomorrow, July 2nd, at 7:00 p.m., Ammi-Joan Paquette (Nowhere Girl) will sign her new YA sci-fi thriller Paradox at Porter Square Books.

Holly Thompson (Orchards, The Language Inside) will lead “Young Adult Novel Workout,” a four-day seminar on crafting and revising YA manuscripts at Grub Street Monday-Thursday, July 8th through 11th, from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Topics will include character, voice, and dialogue; plot, tension, and pacing; and themes, motifs, and imagery. On the final day of class participants should bring a work in progress to workshop with the class. Class fees are $185 for Grub Street members and $205 for non-members.

Author/illustrator Joe McKendry (One Times Square, Beneath the Streets of Boston) will give a talk and an art demo at the Brookline Public Library’s Putterham Branch on Tuesday, July 9th at 3:30 p.m.

Students entering grades five and up can study the craft of writing with YA author AC Gaughen (Scarlet) on Thursdays, July 11th, 18th and 25th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Hingham Library. Registration is required; contact the library at 781-741-1405 or to reserve a spot.

Holly Thompson will also lead a one-day Grub Street workshop entitled “Story Seeds for Young Adult Writing: Preserving, Sowing and Growing YA Story Ideas” on Friday, July 12th, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The class will focus on finding inspiration for YA fiction and nurturing those ideas into full-length works. Class fees are $50 for Grub Street members and $65 for non-members.

In conjunction with its exhibit “Seriously Silly: A Decade of Art and Whimsy by Mo Willems,” the Eric Carle Museum will hold “Mo Films! Mo Books! Mo Fun!” on Saturday, July 13th. Mo Willems and Paul Gagne of Weston Woods will host screenings of Willems’s short films at 1:00 p.m. (registration is full; if you’re interested in attending, call 413-658-1126 to be wait-listed). The celebration, with activities and book signings throughout the day, is open to the public and free with museum admission. Curator Nick Clark will lead a gallery tour of the exhibit on Sunday, July 14th at 1:00 p.m. A companion exhibit entitled “Don’t Pigeonhole Me!”, featuring Willems’s non-illustration art, will be on display at the R.Michelson Galleries in Northampton until August 30th.

On Tuesday, July 16th, at 6:30 p.m., Joe McKendry will speak about the Boston subway, America’s first public subway system, based on his research for Beneath the Streets of Boston. The event will be held at the Boston Public Library’s South End branch.

A full-day professional development seminar on “The Whole Book Approach in Action” will be held at The Carle on Friday, July 19th. The morning session, “The Whole Book Approach,” will be led by Emily Prabhaker from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; the afternoon session from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. will be led by Megan Burch and is entitled “Exploring Book Design.” Fees are $70/general and $60/members for both sessions, $40/general and $35/members for one session only.

The Carle will screen the short film Pig Tales (based on picture books Pig Pig Returns by David McPhail and Little Pig Joins the Band by David Hyde Costello) at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 20th. After the screening, author Jeanne Birdsall will moderate a conversation between the two author/illustrators. A book signing will follow. The event is free with museum admission.

Sleep Like a TigerPamela Zagarenski, illustrator of the 2013 Caldecott Honor book Sleep Like a Tiger, will be the guest of honor at a special storytime at the Carle on Sunday, July 21st, at 2:00 p.m. The storytime will be followed by a book signing.

Author Ellen Potter (Olivia Kidney series, Slob) will discuss her new intermediate novel Otis Dooda, Strange but True at the Brookline Public Library’s Coolidge Corner branch at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 20th. Potter will lead a mini-comics activity and sign her books. The event is co-hosted by the Children’s Bookshop of Brookline.

Leila Howland will sign her debut YA novel Nantucket Blue on Wednesday, July 24th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Burlington Barnes and Noble.

Author/illustrator Jeff Mack (Good News, Bad News) will lead a picture book–making workshop for children ages 8 to 11 on Wednesday, July 24th, and Thursday, July 25th, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Carle. Class fees are $60/general and $50/members. Pre-registration is required. Mack will also read Good News, Bad News and The Things I Can Do at a special storytime at 2:00 p.m. on July 25th (book signing to follow).

The bi-annual Simmons Children’s Literature Summer Institute will be held from Friday, July 26th to Sunday, July 28th at Simmons College. The “Love Letters”–themed weekend will consist of lectures, “professional connections” small-group discussions, and book signings; the long list of presenters includes M.T. Anderson, Jeanne Birdsall, Jack Gantos, Daniel Handler, Maira Kalman, Jo Knowles, Lois Lowry, Wong Herbet Yee, and Simmons ChLit faculty. Fees for the institute are $500 for general public, $375 for alumni, and $300 for current students. Enrollment is limited.

On Saturday, July 27th, author/illustrator Steve Light (Zephyr Takes Flight, Trains Go) will read from his published books and tell a special “storybox story” with his box of props. Light will speak about his process and share his sketchbooks. The event takes place at 2:00 p.m. at the Carle Museum and is free with museum admission.

Also on July 27th, at 3:00 p.m., guest curator Barbara Elleman will lead a gallery tour of the exhibit “The Caldecott Medal: 75 Years of Distinguished Illustration” at the Carle Museum. The exhibit features “high quality prints drawn from more than 30 Caldecott Medal books.” Following the tour, Elleman will speak and show a short film on the life and work of Caldecott Medalist Virginia Lee Burton. The tour and presentation are free with museum admission.

The Edward Gorey House’s 2013 special exhibit, featuring original art from the “three volumes of moral instruction” in Gorey’s Vinegar Works boxed set (The Insect God, The West Wing, and his best-known work, The Gashlycrumb Tinies) is open now through the end of the year.

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

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