Thursday, August 27, 2015

Throwback Thursday Post: Meeting Raina Telgemeier (Three Times in Three Different Places)

My first year at grad school, I was able to attend the annual Horn Book awards in Boston.  I'd still be able to attend now, but back then I was able to attend for free. One of the authors there that year accepting an award was Raina Telgemeier. I didn't know much about her at first, and then I glimpsed the graphic novel adaptations of The Babysitters Club, and I realized I had heard about them before.

The book which won her the award was her autobiographical account of her childhood and teen years spent dealing with her dental woes (as well as sibling squabbling, mean girls at school, and an earthquake). I bought the book, and got it signed by her, but it wasn't until the next day or so that I sat down to read it.

That book instantly became a favorite. Everything about it was relatable in some way.

When I got my job at the school, I promoted it to any kid who'd listen to me. It had been shelved in the health section (because of all the dental-related content) and I ended up switching it to the graphic novel section, and displaying it often. Its popularity soared, and we've had to buy several additional copies and replacements. We even have the book translated into French. We've purchased her other books, including Drama and the companion to Smile, titled Sisters, And more than the books, I've now attended three of Raina's signings: Boston, MA, Portland, ME and Montreal, Canada.

me and Raina in October 2012 in Portland, Maine

Today I saw on my Facebook feed that there is a collector's edition of Smile available, so I know it's going on my "to buy" list. I'll need something to tide me over until her next novel, Ghosts, is released next fall.

Some people might wonder why I'd bother seeing an author more than once, but each event was its own adventure, and even though she talked about Smile each time, there were different anecdotes and tidbits she shared, and audience members ask (some) different questions each time. I have my own, well-read copy of Smile that I take to each signing, so it's been signed three separate times now.

EVERYONE who reads this should go check out Raina's page, if you don't already know of her"

No comments:

Post a Comment