Sure, I could've titled this post with a line from The Devil Went Down to Georgia or Georgia (On My Mind) or one of those other brilliant songs about the largest pecan producing state in the world. But that would've been so obvious! Instead, I grabbed a line from the not-quite-classic but super-fantastic song by The Presidents of the United States of America. Peaches...check it out!
I finally made my first trek down to Georgia to speak at Kennesaw State University's Annual Conference on Literature for Children and Young Adults. I really didn't know what to expect, but I came away extremely impressed by their program. Many of the attendees are studying to become English teachers and their passion for literature is absolutely beautiful. It gave me goosebumps (in a good way!) to know that in the very near future their passion will be dispersed throughout the United States.
My day began in a break-out session where I had the opportunity to discuss ways those future teachers could use my book in their classrooms. Then I took a trip to Kell High School and spoke to a group of students (which is, by far, my favorite part of being an author). Unfortunately, I was having so much fun that I forgot to take a photo of the group.
Then I went back to KSU to deliver my keynote speech.
But just before I took the stage, they announced that Thirteen Reasons Why was named an Honor Book for the Georgia Peach Book Award. They gave me a beautiful hand-blown glass peach award, which I'll show you a little later.
But first, here are the men and women responsible for this event...with a few authors mixed in.
And here I am with Lisa McMann and Helen Hemphill.
I was reading Lisa's book Wake on the plane ride over, and I can't wait to get some uninterrupted time on the flight back to finish it. And after hearing Helen discuss the historical inspiration behind The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones, that book is definitely going into my to-be-read stack.
Later in the afternoon, as I was on my way to hear Jacqueline Woodson speak, I ran into Ms. Woodson...and she recognized me! I know, it's not very cool to be star struck, but did you hear what I just said? Jacqueline Woodson recognized me!
So yes, for the time being, I do feel pretty awesome.
Well, it's off to bed now. Goodnight, Peaches.
Ms. Grove, the Media Specialist at Kell High School, just sent me the following photo from my visit to her school.
I think it's hilarious that, even though my presentation contains over 30 slides, I'm almost always photographed standing in front of Vanilla Ice! Seriously, go back up to the photo of my presentation at the university.