Thursday, April 26, 2012

World Book Night, Theme Week Round-up & More

There so much to share right now I'm almost not sure where to start, but let's start with my experience as a "book giver" for World Book Night.

Monday was World Book Night, and this was, of course, the first year that the United States participated. I was so honored to be chosen to be a book giver and I hope I was a good representative.

I was fortunate enough to get my first choice of book titles to give out, which was THE BOOK THIEF. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend doing so. It's classified as a young adult novel but it's powerful no matter what your age.

Being that I opted for a young adult novel and I use to teach young adults, I wanted to go to a school to hand out my books. In my school district many of the children come from families with low socioeconomic backgrounds, poor reading skills (for many English is not their native language), and homes with no books.

I spoke to a few teachers and the principal before starting my distribution. No one knew about World Book Night before this, so I was happy to be sharing the information with them. After I explained the celebration to one teacher, she just beamed and said, "that book is PERFECT for this." I also took a bag of my own books to leave in their teachers' lounge, free for the taking.

I stationed myself outside the school as the day was ending and the dismissal bell ringing. It was windy and chilly but that didn't dampen the mood.

At first a few kids were timid about accepting a book. One asked, "is it a Bible or something?" Valid question considering how many people come to my front door wanting to sell their religious beliefs. When they found out I wanted to give them a best-selling novel and they could keep it for themselves, they were a bit overwhelmed. Their smiles and excitement were so rewarding. I could have handed out books for hours like that.

I loved one young boy who said, "hey! Get your read on, y'all!" My hope now is that the book makes a difference for at least one person who took the coveted prize home on Monday. This is an experience I will be able to cherish forever. My thanks to the World Book Night USA committee for allowing me to be a part.

And of course we need to wrap up the Heroes & Villains theme week from last week. We, as readers, definitely favor our great heroes over the great villains. That may be why we love crime fiction so much...we're looking for the heroes to take care of the crime around us. Anyway, once again, Harry Bosch took the tournament beating out Professor Moriarty almost 3 to 1.

Congrats to Naomi from The Drowning Machine whose bracket submission was almost perfect all the way through. She is the grand prize winner of the bracket contest.

In the "Who Am I" Contest, we had perfect score submissions and the drawing for the prizes resulted in  Juli S. and Kim R. taking home the prizes. I'm compiling their winner packs to ship off to them.

The correct answers for that contest were:
1. Jonathan Grave
2. Dick Moby
3. Jonathan Grave
4. Lucas Davenport
5. Aimee Leduc
6. Napoleon Bonapart "Bony"
7. Hector Lassiter

Thanks to everyone who participated in that contest! I have a couple more winners to notify from drawings based on comments left throughout the week. I'll be getting in touch with those winners as soon as I take care of the two bigger contests.

My hearty thanks go out to the bloggers who particpated:

Naomi at The Drowning Machine
Les at Classic Mysteries
SuziQ at Whimpulsive
David at The Paley Center

I know obligations can get in the way of making commitments to things like this, so their participation really means a lot. I hope you were able to take some time to stop by their respective blogs.

Also, many, many thanks to the authors who contributed to this week:

Craig McDonald
Brad Parks
Steven Forman

Their fun, creative posts really added a special something to the celebration of heroes and villains. Also thanks to all the authors who participated by giving their characters' theme songs.

So this post is growing crazy out of control, so I'll add just one more part and then call it quits for today. Last Friday I went to get my hair cut - no don't run away, this really is book related. The salon was having a big Earth Day celebration, so I thought it the perfect time to leave my Emma book. What am I talking about? Well the "Where is Emma" promotion of course.

Dana Kaye of Kaye Publicity and Jamie Freveletti came up with this great promotional idea for Jamie's book, RUNNING FROM THE DEVIL. A slew of books were released to people across the country to "leave" somewhere. There's a sticker on the book that says, "if you find Emma, post to her Facebook page." And there's a community page "Where is Emma" where people are posting where they left Emma and where they found Emma. If you find her and post to the page, you can win prizes. Such brilliance! I love it.

So, I left Emma at the salon. I hope someone finds her, reports her and READS her!

Happy Reading to you all!


bermudaonion April 26, 2012 at 8:29 AM  

I'll be posting about my WBN experience tomorrow, but I had a lot of people ask me if my book was religious. I had so much fun, it made me want to go buy a ton of books and stand on the street corner and pass them out!

Naomi Johnson April 26, 2012 at 8:42 PM  

Thanks for all you do, Jen. I hope I can do better for next year's theme week. And whatever the bracket turns out to be, assuming there will be one, I'm shooting for perfection next time!

kathy d. April 27, 2012 at 2:00 AM  

Congratulations for doing what you did during WBN. It's terrific that you gave out The Book Thief to young people.

I haven't read the book, but just the act of giving books out to young students is wonderful. I'm actually crying reading about their reactions. Not only were you giving them each book and inviting them to read it, but you valued each of them and gave them something precious of their own.

What respect it shows for them.

I am thankful to you for doing this, and wish that I could do it, too. It would give me great pleasure -- as I'm sure it did to you -- to give books out to young people and show them that you care and respect them and want to encourage their appreciation of something so cherished, books.

I wish we could all do something to oppose the book banning -- of all things Latino -- in Arizona.

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