What We’re Reading: Meet author Jack Gantos at the inaugural ‘True Lit’ Literary Festival!

whatreading FPL

By Lolly Greenwood, Director of Youth and Outreach Services, Fayetteville Public Library

jack gantos book, croppedNewbery Award winning author Jack Gantos is coming to Fayetteville!

The Fayetteville Public Library, Fayetteville Public Schools, Fayetteville Education Foundation, the University of Arkansas and The Montessori School are partnering to present True Lit, the first ever Fayetteville Literary Festival.

The four-day event will be held September 5th through 8th, 2013.

Jack Gantos will be the keynote speaker for this inaugural event. He will also:

  • Deliver an author talk and creative writing exercise to the Fayetteville schools 4th grade Young Author series and the Sophomore Blair Lecture series.
  • Be the featured speaker at the U of A Literacy Symposium for teachers.
  • On Friday evening, September 6th, Mr. Gantos will be at the Fayetteville Public Library to present an author talk, free and open to the public.

Jack Gantos is the author of over forty books for children from the Rotten Ralph picture books, collections of Jack Henry short stories, upper elementary and middle school Joey Pigza novels, teen novels, Love Curse of the Rumbaughs, Desire Lines and a memoir, Hole In My Life.

His novel, Dead End in Norvelt, received the 2012 Newbery Award and the Scott O’Dell award for Historical Fiction. In addition, his works have received the Newbery Honor award, Printz Honor, Sibert Honor, National Book Award Finalist Honor and he is the 2010 recipient of the NCTE/ALAN award for his contribution to the field of Young Adult and Children’s Literature. His most recent novel, From Norvelt to Nowhere, was published in 2013.

The character in the Rotten Ralph books is a cat, a bright red cat that plays jokes on his human family. He is a truly, rotten, loveable, mischievous critter!

rotten ralph

Joey Pigza, the main character in the Joey Pigza books, longs to be a normal pre-teen, but diagnosed with ADHD, he often struggles to balance his desire to behave and the alternative. He loses control, but never loses his heart.  He is a loveable, disaster prone hero dealing with real life issues.

Dead End in Norvelt, features a main character named Jack Gantos, who lives in a real town built during the Depression. At the time of the book, the town is dwindling as people move away or pass away. Jack spends his summer vacation paired with a feisty, old neighbor who writes the obituaries of people who founded this dying town. Jack’s job is to type the obituaries. This is a laugh out loud, dead funny depiction of growing up in an small town where the past is present and the future is unknown.

Please join us September 5th through the 8th for True Lit, Fayetteville’s Literary Festival and meet this amazing author. It is very exciting and quite an honor to have a writer of this caliber in Fayetteville.

Lolly, FPL croppedLolly Greenwood (pictured, right, in her amazing office) is Director of Youth and Outreach Services for the Fayetteville Public Library. She has been with the library 19 years and is involved in the planning and implementation of youth programming, collections and services both in the library and out in the community.

“Miss Lolly” develops the juvenile film collection, the Read Aloud collection and the Picture Book collection and leads preschool storytime. In the community, she is involved in the development and delivery of Reading Roadshow, a volunteer-driven storytime experience for youth in Fayetteville pre-kindergarten classes, Head Start, and Richardson Center;  the development of a Kindergarten readiness tutoring program that is delivered at the Fayetteville Head Start Centers; and all other opportunities in the community that promote Fayetteville Public Library.