carolyn mackler’s visit & a holiday in the forest

BH and I scurried down from the tundra to Syracuse last night to listen to Carolyn Mackler talk about her writing and her experiences with having her books challenged and banned.

That’s my friend and fellow author Ellen Yeomans on the left, Carolyn, and me with the goofy face.

Carolyn gave a terrific speech that including reading some letters from readers that moved me to tears. She’s had to deal with terribly nasty challenges, but she’s handled them with grace.

It was also very nice to finally meet my LJ friend freakfest! An unexpected delight was the presence of a group of students from Chittenango High School. Several of them remembered me from my school visit four years ago. It was really nice hanging out with them. I would love to see more area high schools sending interested groups of students to this library’s annual Banned Books lecture. It is a whopping teachable moment.

While Speak is at position #65 on the ALA’s Banned Book List for 2006-2007, Carolyn’s book, The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things sits a few spots above it, and has made it to the Top Ten a few times. No author ever wants to have their book challenged or banned, but it provides us all with a tremendous opportunity to revisit the principals of the First Amendment and continue to fight for our guaranteed rights as Americans.

Which is more important now than ever.

And speaking of attacks on the Constitution…. I still think the bail-out bill gives too much authority to the Treasury Secretary, and not enough accountability.

But I am not going off on a political rant today. (Shocking, I know.) Today is the birthday of my youngest daughter, Meredith, aka The OfficeMouse, aka Daughter #3.

A rare photo of Mer sitting still.

Happy 21st Birthday, darling girl!