Tucson Festival of Books #1

Once a teacher — or a bookseller — always one. I’ve been out of the book-selling world and children’s literature loop for 13 years now. If I’ve ever had any real expertise, it was in children’s books.

So when the magnificent Tucson Festival of Books (http://tucsonfestivalofbooks.org/) began two years ago, I had to be part of it. For the 2011 festival I’m chair of the memoir/history/biography committee. We’re all volunteers and our little group — one of around 25 subcommittees of the parent authors committee — are knowledgeable about local history, well-read and passionate about books.

I invited many of my author pals to participate in the 2011 festival but didn’t get very far (I’ll talk about the ones who are coming another time).

Me, I’m still a fervent child of the ’60s, but am willing to let younger folks march, sing “We Shall Overcome,” and like this morning on my way to work, yell out the window to kids and  teachers standing on the corner of River Road and Dodge, holding up peace signs and cheering.

“Hey you guys, yay social activists!” Right after I said it, I thought, “Hmm…maybe they don’t know what a social activist is. A teachable moment. They were young.

At a journalism conference I attended in June, I met a newspaper editor from Minneapolis. I told him about the upcoming third annual book festival on the University of Arizona campus and he gave me Mark Rudd’s e-mail address. Who, you ask? Rudd is the author of “Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weathermen.” I get to moderate “Right on! Far Out! Looking Back at the ’60s.” Look it up.

To be continued at a later date…

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One Response to Tucson Festival of Books #1

  1. Hi, Sheila,
    Welcome to the blogging party!
    Love the design of the page – great Southwest Sheila colors.

    Here’s my testimonial to the public: anyone who works with you is guaranteed to have lively, substantive, reflective conversations about things that matter. They’ll be richer for the material that comes from these exchanges.

    Keep talking!

    Anne Sibley O’Brien, children’s writer & illustrator

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