My second time in Tennessee took me to two schools in one day and the Knoxville Children’s Festival of Reading the next day.
The first school was a Jewish day school, where the setup enabled me to take this photo of two juxtaposed symbols which, to me, each speak of peace:
The other school was an Episcopal day school, so it was a day of unity.
The festival was the morning after rain, and held on a field, which had turned to grassy muck, which meant the one pair of shoes I brought was the wrong pair of shoes. Luckily, that was the only downside; the crowds were fun, I received a special gift, and I sat on a panel with people whose work I admire.
Deborah Diesen, Bob Shea, Jarrett Krosoczka,
moderator Julie Danielson of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast,
Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, me
During that panel, a girl in the audience asked us a question I found profound: how do we as adults relate to the kids we write for?
I wish I could say my answer was that I stuck out my tongue, but it was not that clever. Whatever I did stammer out was heartfelt, but still a real missed opportunity on that one.
If you have ever wondered what a panel of authors looks like the night before the panel, mystery solved: