It was even more than I imagined and two days was not enough time to cover it all. Choices had to be made with second and third ones waiting in the the wings if lines were too long. The venue for Mitch Albom, author of "Tuesdays with Morrie'' was 600 people. Mitch Albom is an American best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, dramatist, radio and television broadcaster, and musician. His books have sold over 35 million copies worldwide.
Let me tell you I barely squeaked in getting a seat in the last back row. Quite a crowd! I was impressed at how humble Albom seemed discussing his literary career. You might be surprised to learn that Albom has become quite a philanthropist the past decade establishing several charities. After the hurricane in Haiti he organized a team of people to go there to open an orphanage, school and deliver medical supplies. Albom continues to make monthly trips to Haiti to overseer the operations. He feels the best way to continue Morrie Schwartz's legacy is by the example he sets in his own life.
I quote from page 43 "Tuesdays with Morrie."
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
Later in the day I made sure I allowed plenty of time in case there was another long line to hear three very famous children's authors talk about their memoir books. I had just finished Katherine Patterson's new book "Stories of my Life" and was quite excited to see her in person.
"Stories of My Life" are Patterson's personal stories that have inspired her children's books
starting with her childhood life in China with her missionary parents, to living as a single woman in Japan, to raising four children in suburban Maryland with her minister husband. Her stories are candid and rich with humor.
Just check this resume. She is an author best known for children's novels. Four different books published 1975-1980, won two Newbery Medals and two National Book Awards. She is one of three people to win the two major international awards: for "lasting contribution to children's literature" she won the biennial Hans Christian Anderson Award for Writing in 1998. For her career contribution to "children's and young adult literature in the broadest sense", she won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial from the Swedish Arts Council in 2006, the biggest prize in children's literature. She was awarded the 2007 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature. She was the second U.S. National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, 2010–2011,and she received the Laura Ingalls Wilder medal in 2013. Her most popular book is "Bridge to Terabithia". She has written 30 books in 40 years.
In this photo Katherine Patterson is signing books. Next to her is Jacqueline Woodson and her son Jackson. While Woodson signed books her son signed post it notes to put on the cover of the books. It was quite cute.
Jacqueline Woodson was the recent recipient of Newberry Honor Book Award for "brown girl dreaming". It is a memoir-in-verse that makes the readers feel they are experiencing the author’s childhood right along with her. Most notably of all, perhaps, we trace her development as a rising writer, from her early love of stories through her struggles to learn to read through the thrill of her first blank composition book to her realization that ‘words are her brilliance.’ The poetry here sings: specific, lyrical, and full of imagery.