I'm proud to have been a part of the 2018 Mississippi Book Festival. This was my third festival, and they just keep getting better. This year, with Ellen Ruffin's magic touch, there was a kick-off event at the fabulous Pass Christian Books. Our panel of kids' writers signed books and spoke a little about our books and then had the most fabulous dinner with Margaret McMullan and her family.
(Dinner was shrimp and grits. And a yummy dessert called Bayou Bites.)
I had breakfast early Friday morning at the bookstore and it may have been the best breakfast I've ever eaten. The tea! The view! Surrounded by books, I was fortified for the day ahead.
(side note, I spent a lot of time as a little girl on Mississippi's Gulf Coast, including a week in Pass Christian at Camp Kittiwake. The little town is so beautiful now.)
First stop, with my new buddy, Rose Brock, who edited a book I can't wait to read. She and I headed to the schools in Bay St. Louis.
I spoke to two groups (over 200 kids!) at the Bay Waveland Middle School. (Can you guess this item from my Junk Poker shoebox?)
Thank you, Emily, for playing Super Hero Librarian. Really had a fun time.
(Loved the t-shirts worn by many! The tech and lighting guys saved the day!)And the winners were...
Next, Stone County, Mississippi. Thanks to Kathryn Lewis and the McMullan Family Foundation, and of course, Ellen Ruffin for making this day happen. The pictures from Perkinston Elementary School speak for themselves. I had a ball talking to these fourth graders.
Signing books and reading books!
Now, on to Jackson, to the Book Festival!
(A different Middle Grade group was moderated by Clara Martin.
Photographed by Ellen Ruffin.)
I got to moderate this panel of Mississippi-connected Middle Grade Authors. Jo Hackl, Deborah Wiles, Jimmy Cajoleas.
Somehow Linda got left off the above photos,
so here's a wonderful picture of her with James Meredith!
Loved the Picture Book Panel, and especially hearing Irene Latham and Charles Waters speak about CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR. The Book Festival folks gave a lot of copies of this one to Jackson school kids. So many great things about this Festival.
(I've blogged about their book, and you can read it here.)
The book Swag
The Booksellers! Lemuria Books, the best.
Another thing I love about this festival. Being with friends and family. This year I didn't take a single photo of my family. But they were there!
I did take a picture of the supper my best friend forever, Ivy Alley, provided one night. I told her all we needed was "cheese and crackers."
(Friday night she'd served me and our friend, the fabulous writer Minrose Gwin, fried chicken-- including a small side of chicken livers as per my request, zucchini fritters, and I forget what else yummy was on the plate. Because, no photo.)
I did take a picture of my "cheese and crackers." Ivy is a fabulous hostess. There was caramel cake, a gift from my brother and sister. Thanks, Jack and Jane!
On Sunday, I visited the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
This quote seemed appropriate for the weekend.
Recap by the numbers: 300 kids, 2 schools, 1 bookstore, more-than-I-care-to-count fabulous meals:
A small sample:
Shrimp and Grits
Bayou Bites and brownies
Vegetable plate (field peas and turnip greens!)
Biscuits for breakfast, twice, with bacon
Bread pudding AND pecan pie
Dinner at Saltine with family
"Cheese and crackers" supper