Latest Additions (but not really)

This week I need to bump our regularly scheduled Latest Additions posting so that I can rave and rage a little bit. First I need to rave! Megan and I were lucky enough to catch Michael Grant at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Legacy Village last Wednesday… it was an awesome experience!! Mr. Grant was incredibly good-natured about the small turnout and sat down with four of groupies to chat. So. Much. Fun! We got to ask some questions about his writing, the Gone series, his new series, and stuff in general, here are some of my highlights:

• No, the Gone books are not a just a dream someone’s having. (Thank goodness! That would have annoying, right?)
• He loves to watch the television show House, partly due to how well they execute their complex plots.
• There are talks in progress to make the Gone Series into films or, even better, into a TV series! (The filmmaker was talking about aging the kids to 16 and up, but that would take so much of the impact out of the stories. Selfishly, I hope the TV show works out.)
• He loves the covers his English publisher puts on the Gone books -and they *are* nice! They’re very simple but with a mysterious element, less obvious maybe?
• He doesn’t believe in writer’s block. He believes the story he’s writing is always evolving in the back of his mind and sometimes it’s the random occurrences in his own life are what changes the entire direction of the plot.
• And his new series is meant for a slightly younger crowd and has a more humorous tone. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m looking forward to a good laugh or two!

And for the rant? It’s that time of year again, when all Americans should take a moment to appreciate and defend our Constitutional right to read, write, and discuss any and every topic imaginable in a public forum. Officially it’s Banned Books Week but I prefer to call it the Freedom to Read Week. I’d like to think that someday people will stop challenging books because they don’t agree with the ideas inside the book but instead will allow others the freedom to read whatever they want and make their own decision on what they’re taking away from the book. Or to even use a book with a controversial topic as a way to open a dialogue with someone with the opposite viewpoint? Wouldn’t that be nice? The American Library Association has even more information about the topic if you’re interested, which I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t be… So I encourage you, along with all the other Librarians and publishers and all people who love to share ideas— we all encourage you to pick up a banned or challenged book and read it proudly in as public space as you can find! Or talk about it with anyone and everyone you see! Select a classic, a book from the 1990s, or the 2000s, and enjoy every last page! With all these great books to choose from I know I’ll be indulging in a little extra reading this week, won’t you join me?

— Stacey


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