Walk through a door that leads to a different place every time.
Those of you who know me understand that I’m no book nerd. Don’t get me wrong – I love books, I like to read, and I’m grateful for everything that reading and libraries and schools have given me in my life.
But being a recovering reluctant reader leaves me with some of the old challenges with books and the written word. I still find myself gaging the length of a book I’m considering reading and the amount of time it’ll take me to finish it. It can be pretty hard for me to get to THE END before the library wants their book back. I also tend to lean on friends who are readers to get the low-down on popular books that I know I won’t have time to read.
What I’m saying is, I get the reluctance and struggle that some kids have with books and reading. Like a lot of teens these days, I fought the devil on my shoulder that said reading didn’t matter so why try anyway, while the truth was that I’d fallen behind at some point and was too embarrassed and scared to try and catch up.
I was lucky to find a teacher who was so passionate about his subject that I couldn’t help but catch the excitement and start reading. So, I found a reason to put in the effort and it opened up new horizons for me. There’s a whole world of interesting stuff out there – and how many trillions (probably more) words written about it. I’m grateful that I plugged in.
So, this weekend we get to put on our second-annual Teen Lit Fest at our local library. Last year, I worked with the librarians to have the book release party for “The League of Delphi: Book I of The Delphi Trilogy”. This year, two generous authors are joining me – Megan Shepherd and Steven James – to talk about their YA books. I’m also holding the official book launch for “The Delphi Deception: Book II of The Delphi Trilogy.”
To make sure kids show up, we’re repeating a very effective trifecta from last year: Free food; Free prizes; and EXTRA CREDIT. If you’re planning a teen event, I strongly recommend asking area teachers to offer extra credit for attending. It really brings them in!
Whenever I visit libraries, I love how even the most distracted kid will tune in when an author starts talking about books. Last year’s group was great – over 120 teens. We had a blast and I’m looking forward to this year’s event too. I hope that we authors can inspire any teen to get excited about books – and maybe even driven to write them someday.
Look for updates and photos next week!
Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.
3 other great things about Teen Lit Fest:
- Free pizza for the teens means free pizza for the authors (if there’s any left).
- The kids don’t realize that we tricked them into coming to the library.
- Imagining what they tell their friends they did on Saturday afternoon.
Chris Everheart is a recovering reluctant reader turned award-winning author of books for young readers.
Read his YA thriller described as “unputdownable” and “will draw in even the most reluctant readers”:
A lone teen. A suspicious death. An ancient conspiracy.