May 8, 2008

Jerry Spinelli Live

He's great. He told us that the suitcase full of books thing from Maniac Magee was based on a true event. When asked how often he writes he answered slyly: "Whenever my fourteen grandkids let me." The best thing he said, though was that he "doesn't play the reading level game." Many writers write books for a certain age level and his kind of go all over the place. "I don't write books for kids," he said, "I write books with kids in them." It's probably why his books are so popular with so many, adults included. He lets the story tell him how to write the book. His new one is called Smiles to Go and is apparently about a boy who is both a skater rat and a science geek. I, of course, had to have it. I'll post about it again after I read the thing. One woman asked about the "sense of unease" that seems to permeate his books and if that was purposeful. "That's life," he said with a smile.

Kathy from Library Stew was there. But she's one of those good kids who sit up front and get their book signed right away then bolt. I shouted at her as she ran by me (further back in the line, of course) but not hearing me, I didn't get to speak to her personally. She might have a better picture when she posts. Mine didn't turn out well.

I'm not surprised she didn't hear me. The new Little Shop of Stories has terrible acoustics and on top of that Rick Riordan of the Percy Jackson series was doing a raucous signing event on the level below us. It was hard to even hear Mr. Spinelli. Those folks need to stick to one event at a time!