We bought Riordan's newest book, The Red Pyramid, that came out this week along with a companion book to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. My brother is 6, and is just learning about the Percy Jackson books, but came along with me anyways, more to spend time with his big sister than to meet an author. I appreciated that he was willing to humor me, so that I wasn't a lone adult amongst a sea of children. The Michael C. Carlos Museum and my local children's bookstore, Little Shop of Stories, sponsored the event on the Emory campus. They always bring the coolest people into town.
Then we waited... a lot... especially to a six year old. Rick started speaking around seven and told us about his new book. My little brother was all ears. More exciting to him was when Riordan asked the audience questions and called on him, out of the hundreds of kids there. He was glowing! After speaking for about 20 minutes, we waited for our turn to get our books signed.
Here is what was really awesome. Riordan took time to look every kid in the eye and talk to them. When we got to the front of the line, he answered more of my brothers questions and signed all of his books (along with more than a few of mine). When we walked away, my brother clung to his new book. He didn't want to let it go and kept looking at the autograph. Then he said the most wonderful thing...
"Will you read this to me?"
My brother is an excellent reader, but this was the first time that I saw him really excited about a book. He wouldn't put it down and said that he was going to hide it in a very safe place, which is big talk when you're little. He wanted me to read more to him. He wants to meet more authors. He wants to visit the museum and see mummies and learn about the Greeks! There was so much excitement in his little face... isn't that what Children's Book Week is all about? Getting kids to fall in love with reading? Making them get excited about a book or an author?
Which bring me to my point... How are you going to celebrate Children's Book Week and what is your favorite children's book? Our Peachtree staff are going to be visiting local schools to read to kids. I get to go to a career day on Friday to talk about books! We are also giving away a book on the Write for a Reader Blog. Check it out to find out what book!
Happy Children's Book Week Everyone!!!
P.S. I would also like to give a huge THANK YOU to Hyperion for being so awesome and bringing Rick Riordan to Atlanta. You may just have made a lifetime reader out of my little brother.