Lowdown on the Teen Book Festival

April 2nd, 2007 by cathy

Wow. Talk about amazing and crazy.

I was one of Svetlana’s helper bees. We had to make sure that she was comfortable and had enough water, that she knew where she was going, and that she didn’t get attacked by rabid teens. I knew that it would be a little crazy, since I do know how you guys are when we get a new manga, let alone meeting the artist! She was very easy going and put up with a lot more than I might have been able to. She even wore one of the teens’ hats for a second!


Here’s some images of the group of teens I worked with. They were CRAZY! One of the girl’s had a huge bag full of sugar: cookies, candy (including a gigantic bag of pixie sticks) and a 3 liter bottle of soda. However it was a lot of fun hanging out with them too.

cat grrrl

They spent quite a bit of time singing songs… some of which I knew.
when teens attack!

I think the mixture of sugar and adrenaline may have had an adverse affect on them.

peace out yo!

They were all smiles the whole day, making it a lot of fun to work with them.

red carpet for the authors

Yes that’s them in the corner, a big pile of blue t-shirts… we put out a red carpet for the authors, and when they came to Fairport High School in their HUGE limo…

author limo

and we all SCREAMED at the top of our lungs. By the end of the day I did’t have much of a voice left. It was SO much fun.

Lauren Myracle and Cecil Castellucci

Here’s a picture of Lauren Myracle and Cecil Castellucci.

Unfortunately the lighting wasn’t always the best, so I didn’t get too many good pictures. :( Although I did get this great picture at the end with most of the volunteers in my group with Svetlana. Svetlana was quiet, but a lot of fun to talk to. She was very laid back, and knew all the manga and anime the teens were talking about and when they started singing some of the songs from the anime, she could sing along to quite a few of them.

group photo with Svetlana

All the authors were super nice. And they were all down to earth. Not at all like the scary stories you hear about actors. I listened to Tamora Pierce and Cecil Castellucci.

Tamora and her husband both spoke. They played off each other nicely. Bantering about in a fun lighthearted way. You could tell very quickly that they bounced a lot of ideas off each other. Tamora was full of stories and spoke in a very conversational way. I was so happy that she wasn’t scary or awful. Sometimes I worry that the authors I really like are actually mean or nasty. You can get your hopes up and then in a couple of sentences your joy at meeting an author/actor can be dashed.

Cecil read from her book, Queen of Cool. I could have listened to her all day. She read with such enthusiasm. Sometimes author readings can be up in the air. They could be great writers, but lousy when they read out loud. It was not at all like that with her. She talked about how being cool all depends upon perspective. You could be really cool in one group or situation and then totally not in another situation.

She also talked about her family life, and how we might think that it would be awesome to be the daughter/son of a rock star, but once in that situation it could be annoying or bothersome. Cecil was the daughter of two researchers. I thought that sounded really great, but she had a different perspective; the crazy hours, the expectations, her parents’ idea of fun.

The whole experience was exciting. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was exhausted by the end of the day, but it was well worth it, and I can’t wait until next year.

One Response to “Lowdown on the Teen Book Festival”

  1. adrienne Says:

    I love how you revved up your official TBF shirt. 🙂

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