Saturday, March 8, 2014

I Met Jack Gantos!

You may have noticed a few Rotten Ralph books in my recap of February. While I do love to randomly read children's books (and they're placed right next to the checkout counter at my library, so I often - unexpectedly - come home with several), I read the Rotten Ralph books on purpose. :) The author, Jack Gantos, came for a visit and book signing! 

Jessica introduced me to him last summer, and I immediately read 3 of his chapter books. Dead End in Norvelt was probably my favorite, but they were all well written and made me laugh. 

On the posters announcing his visit, there were a few Rotten Ralph book covers. And being a crazy cat person, I was instantly intrigued. I can't speak for all of them (there are 20 books in the Rotten Ralph series), but the three I read were enjoyable. Ralph especially made me laugh when he hid in the mailbox with a water gun to ambush the mailman (typical cat behavior, right?).

Meeting Jack was lovely. He is so funny! I was nervous and interrupted him probably 5 times to gush but he just smiled. Maybe he's so used to dealing with all kinds of people that my terrible social skills didn't faze him. 

He signed my book with a drawing of a cat face (I didn't ask for that, but I love it!):
Afterwards, he gave a brief presentation/speech about writing. He spoke about keeping a journal as a kid and writing about all sorts of things, like his pet cockroach and the time his sister dared him to hit a wasp's nest with a big stick (spoiler alert: not a good idea). I love to hear people tell stories from their childhood, and this was no exception. And he's probably told these stories hundreds of times now, so they had a nice bit of polish ;) Speaking of polish, during the talk he also mentioned that he edits stories many, many times - like seven or more. I can't even imagine, especially at chapter book length. 

All in all, a fantastic experience! :)

Have you met any authors? Any authors you'd like to meet?


  1. I don't know Rotten Ralph books - we don't seem to have them here. Just looked up my local library catalog and no joy.

    I have met a few authors. Met several authors of children's and young adult's fiction through my work and have attended talks at libraries and book shops by authors. The sweetest one I met was Mark Zusak, author of The Book Thief. Such a lovely fellow.

    1. I've attended some author talks prior to this, but never got to personally meet and speak to the author. So exciting for a book nerd like me!

      I would LOVE to meet Mr. Zusak! He's one of my favorites :)

  2. I have met authors at library readings and library conferences. But in general, I don't like meeting famous people. I feel there's nothing I could say that they haven't heard before! I was quite speechless when I met David Suzuki at a book signing. The best author talk I've heard was by the youth author Jane Yolen. She is so smart and articulate!

    1. Hmm, I hadn't thought of authors as famous people, but I have to agree that they've probably heard it all. Maybe that perspective would've helped me not babble quite as much when I met Jack! :)

      I've never heard of David Suzuki - I'll have to look him up. And I have a few of Jane Yolen's YA books on my to-read list. Her books have a good rep :)

  3. Those books sound delightful. Of course, I'm an easy sell for anything where a cat is involved!

    BTW - I wanted to mention that I left a response to your comment on Dar's Pay to Pay post over on AnEcactingLife - I had a similar experience to what your husband went through and came up with a good solution to prevent it ever happening again.

    1. Thanks for letting me know - I close out tabs after the post's author responds, so I wouldn't have seen it! It's a great idea :)


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