Earlier this week, I attended the biggest Scholastic Book Fair in the country – absolute heaven for a book geek like me!
This is just part of the set-up at the amazing Montclair Kimberley Academy in New Jersey, which is celebrating its 125th birthday this year. There were SO many books, and Scholastic brought in authors to speak to the students each day. I was one of the featured presenters, along with Trent Reedy, Lisa McMann, Loren Long, Matthew Reinhart, and Dav Pilkey.
Because this whole part of New Jersey was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, I wondered for a while if this scheduled event would happen, but the Scholastic folks assured me that the school had power, even though most of the families’ homes did not, and the book fair would be a welcome break from storm clean up. I knew there were lots of people in this area who couldn’t even think of getting to a book fair, though, so I checked with a Newark Red Cross shelter to see if they could use some books and things for the kids. They said yes – and told me they sure could use some socks and sanitary napkins, too – so I loaded up my suitcase with books and notebooks…
…then stopped at the store to buy sanitary napkins and lots and lots of socks on my way to the airport. I can only imagine what the TSA inspectors thought of my stuffed-to-bulging bag full of books, socks, and feminine supplies. I had the chance to drop it all off at a shelter not far from the airport in Newark and spend some time talking with the coordinators there, who were still friendly and smiling a week after the storm.
There were plenty of smiles to go around at the book fair, too. I loved chatting with these kids about books and reading and their own writing, too. Many were working on stories of their own and were eager to tell me about them.
Thanks, Montclair Kimberley Academy and Scholastic, for a wonderful book fair day!