Fuse #8

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Every year children's librarians, educators, and what have you, pile into the New York Public Library's Humanities and Social Sciences Library (better known to the rest of the world as The One With the Lions) for Book Fest. Book Fest is a day of listening to a group of children's authors who've a particular talent for speaking at length. I've only been to two, but thus far I've yet to see an writer speak there that wasn't blessed with a silver tongue.

This year, however, a usurper has moved into town. A usurper by the name of the Yale Child Study Center. It has a party of its own to throw and devil take the consequences. Here's how it describes its event:
Nine of Britain and North America's best-known children's book authors will join forces with six of Britain and North America's most distinguished child analysts to present a day-long conference entitled “Fear and Fiction: The Power Of Children’s Books and The Inner Life of The Child”, a theme which highlights the feelings and concerns that children and adolescents are trying to cope with in today's uncertain world.
Booga booga.
Actually, it sounds kind of cool. Especially when they list the line-up:
Scheduled to speak at the conference are children’s book authors David Almond, Chris Crutcher, Neil Gaimon, Robie H. Harris, Lois Lowry, Pam Munoz Ryan, Martin Waddell, Mo Willems, and Jacqueline Woodson. Speaking with them will be six child analysts, Judy Yanof (Boston), Karen Gilmore (New York), Alicia Lieberman (San Francisco), Nick Midgley (London), Arietta Slade (New York) and Jenny Stoker (London).

Keynote speakers will be Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked, and Stephen Marans, Ph.D., of Yale University Child Study Center, author of Listening to Fear.

Wow. They mispelled Neil Gaiman's name and everything. Guess it's a good thing he's not the keynote speaker.

The event takes place at the Bank Street College of Education, just down the street from me. Neato. Less neato is the fact that the whole kerschmozzle was originally scheduled for the exact same date as the aforementioned Book Fest. Poor planning on somebody's part (I'm glaring at you, Bank Street), don't you think? Fortunately NYPL decided to be big about it all and just push back BookFest until February, or some such nonsense. Of course, I could be wrong about this. Maybe Bank Street let NYPL know about this right from the start. Bank Street? Care to comment?

In any case, if any of you happen to be interested, the Yale event is $150 a pop. Looks fun.


At 4:58 PM , Blogger Jennifer Armstrong said...

Drool indeed. It sounds fantastic. Alas, I will be in Philadelphia or somewhere like that on said date, doing some kind of, you know, publicity thang.

At 5:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Susan Raab told me about the Yale/Bank St. conference, thinking that I would want to attend the event. I replied, "but that's when NYPL's conference is supposed to take place!" Sandra and I mulled it over and polled our book discussion leaders, searched the calendar for alternative dates at the Bartos Forum, and ended up moving Book Fest to Feb. 3. Watch for news of our great line-up!

At 11:51 AM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Can do, will do, and will post accordingly.

And for those of you who don't know, that last comment was by Margaret Tice, Coordinator of Children's Services at NYPL. In other words, the top of the top. And she reads my blog! Yay!


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