Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sara Zarr visits Seward

I had the privilege of spending the day with author Sara Zarr on Monday.  She is on a tour of the Midwest to celebrate the release of her new young adult novel, How to Save a Life.  Sara's books deal with issues real teens face--without the vampires, werewolves, and dead-girl narrators of many of the YA books these days.

Monday morning, Sara spoke to a group of 8th graders at Lincoln Lutheran Middle/High School in Lincoln.  From that presentation, we learned that Sara prefers pen to pencil and Mac to PC.  And that her four published novels are not the only books she's written; the first three were for "practice."  Sara shared the inspiration for her books, where some of the characters originated, and other bits about her novels.

Thanks, Sara, for having lunch with me and a couple of friends who are interested in writing and who love YA books.  After lunch, Sara saw a bit of Seward and enjoyed a nap at the Liberty House Bed & Breakfast, before presenting to a group of 9th graders and seniors at Seward High School.  Mr. Kolterman even got an autographed copy of How to Save a Life!

Those who attended Sara's signing at Chapters Monday evening had the pleasure of an informal chat with her.  Katelyn, who's even listed in the acknowledgements in How to Save a Life, drove out from Lincoln for our event.  One of the book's narrators is a teen girl who grows up in Omaha before moving to Denver.  Sara traveled to Omaha to check out the city as a setting for her book and met Katelyn there.  It was fun to hear about that experience!

We have a few remaining copies of Sara's books in the store.  Her latest is receiving starred reviews all over the place, and her first, The Story of a Girl, was a National Book Award Finalist and very deserving of the award.  I look forward to more from her!  If you'd like to follow Sara, check out Sara's blog,

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bob Shea Visit Oct. 13, 2011

St. John kindergarteners
enjoying the books.
Bob with his books.

Bob signing books at Chapters.
We had a great visit from author and illustrator Bob Shea yesterday! Bob spent the afternoon visiting kindergarteners and first graders at St. John's and Seward Elementary School.  The kids wanted him to read all of Dinosaur's books and ROARED along with him! They loved learning how to turn jelly beans into dinosaurs, birds, and a whole party of other animals for a "Jelly Bean Animal Dance Party." Stop by Chapters or the bookfair at St. John's to see a dance party drawing.

After dinner at the Cafe on the Square, Bob entertained a great group of kids and their parents at Chapters with his Dinosaur books and another Dance Party, before signing copies of his books. We still have a few signed copies of his books if you missed out yesterday. Thanks, Bob, for a ROARING good time!

Dinosaur vs. the Potty was a favorite.
Bob drawing the dinosaur.