I attended the festivities last weekend of One More Page Books and More, a shop that just opened on the border of Falls Church and Arlington, Va.
What? No, your ears are not suffering from waxy buildup. Or maybe they are. Either way, you heard me right: An independent bookstore just OPENED.
It’s a bright space, where the center racks can be removed for author events like the one last weekend, which featured kid authors Jacqueline Jules, Wendy Shang, Marty Rhodes Figley and Fred Bowen. (Adult authors visited the night before, as the store does offer more adult books than children’s; they also offered a chocolate and champagne tasting to cover the “more” part of their title.)
They had a great turnout and everyone — the owners and the customers — was committed to making it work. But to really make it work, people are going to have to show up on Monday mornings, not just big-event weekends. Cross your fingers, spit twice, or do whatever you have to do to wish them luck!
This weekend also featured a meeting of my DC Kidlit Book Club, started a few years ago by Susan Kusel. It’s a huge group now — 70+ members, I think, though usually only 12 come on any given day. Except for yesterday, when we had about 30. (Did anyone count?) The discussion this week was Newbery and Caldecott winners, and that always brings out a crowd. Lots of impassioned people in one place, librarians and artists, book buyers and bloggers, writers, moms and reviewers.
Speaking of awards: Cybils winners were announced today. These are the book awards from the blogging community and they’re given based on literary merit and kid appeal. Pleased some of my favorite books got the top honors this year (I’m talking to you, Origami Yoda! And you, Zapato Power). And I’m pleased that I’ve now got a handy list of more favorites-to-be.
I’m teaching fourth graders about journalism and newspapers on Mondays, a volunteer project I sort of fell into. It’s been fun for the most part, though something has gone wrong each and every time. I’ve taught at the college level and I’ve worked as a sub in pre-school before, but this is my first time working with elementary kids, save my own. I’ve been scrambling before each session, mostly to do things like removing Little Fockers ads from the newspaper. Censorship, I know, but if you’re with a bunch of fourth graders and they see an ad like that, your whole class is going to be derailed. The good news is that it’s inspirational, given that I’m trying to write about kids this age. The bad news: In fourth grade the kids still have really good vision, which means if you miss a Little Fockers ad that’s the size of a postage stamp, someone is still gonna see it.