Newbery Medal-Winning Author Visits Michigan Indies
July 10, 2002
Two independent bookstores in the Detroit, Michigan, area were
recently treated to a visit from the 2002 Newbery Medal winner,
children's author Linda Sue Park. Dressed in a traditional Korean
gown, Park talked about her writing, answered questions, and
autographed copies of her books at Halfway Down the Stairs
Children's Book Shop in Rochester, on Friday, June 28, and the next
day at Book Beat in Oak Park. Park won the Newbery, which is awarded
annually by the American Library Association, for her novel A
|Dressed in a traditional Korean
gown, Linda Sue Park speaks to an attentive audience at
Halfway Down the Stairs Children's Book
Both author events garnered good turnouts and the bookstore
owners only had rave reviews for Park's appearance. "Lots of people
showed up and bought books [for Park to autograph]," said Camilla
Mannino, owner of Halfway Down the Stairs, who said that
approximately 70 people attended the event (a large number for a
children's author event on a Friday evening at 7:00 p.m., she
pointed out). "People loved her," she said. "She was warm and funny.
She's very bright and has a lively mind." Mannino noted that Park
spoke for 40 minutes ("much longer than I could have hoped"), then
answered questions and spent almost an hour autographing stock.
Colleen Kammer, owner of Book Beat, told BTW that she had
rooted for Park's novel, A Single Shard, to win the Newbery,
which it did in January 2002. Having the author actually speak at
her store was a special occurrence, she said, especially considering
that the Book Beat is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
"She's a beautiful speaker, with great composure," Kammer said.
"People asked intelligent questions and responded well."
|Linda Sue Park poses with
members of the summer book reading group at Halfway Down the
Stairs Children's Book
Kammer noted that there were about 80 to 90 people in attendance
for the early Saturday afternoon event, including five local authors
and illustrators, the Detroit Free Press, and reporters from
two Detroit-area Korean newspapers. One of the papers even presented
Park with Stanley Cup-winning Detroit Red Wings memorabilia, Kammer
Park's appearance at both bookstores also offered a special
opportunity for two reading groups. A new summer book reading group,
which is composed of sixth grade boys and girls, had recently picked
A Single Shard as their first reading group book. They
attended Park's appearance at Halfway Down the Stairs Children's
Book Shop and "asked a lot of wonderful questions," said
The Mother/Daughter Book Club, whose members are in the midst of
reading Park's first novel, Seesaw Girl, came to Book Beat to
hear Park. "Everyone but two [members of the book club] showed up,"
Kammer said. -- David
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