Monday, March 29, 2010

6 Things I learned in Bologna + 2 Book Giveaway

Last week I went to Bologna, Italy to attend the SCBWI pre-Bologna symposium and the Children’s Book Fair. Here are a few things l learned:

1. Lauren Oliver (author of BEFORE I FALL) should sing on Broadway

I am beginning to suspect that Lauren is the Meryl Streep of publishing. You know, the type that can do everything (including walking in 6 inch heels), and do it enviously well? As we walked the streets of Bologna, Lauren broke into a rousing rendition of the The Little Mermaid’s Part of Your World and we sang Part of Your World (Reprise) together. Then we sat in her hotel lobby and drank French tea (packaged in cashmere sachets) while Daniel regaled us with stories of his childhood chasing rats (don’t ask).

Another day, Daniel, Ann and I met Lauren for dinner together with her agents Stephen Barbara (a rock star of publishing) and Hannah Gordon Brown. It was excellent food and conversation (see Lauren’s recap) if not a tiny bit frustrating to be sitting at a table with 2 of the 3 people in the whole world (besides Lauren) who have read Lauren’s forthcoming dystopia DELIRIUM and listen to them rave about it when I won’t get to read it for such a loooooong time. She did share some tidbits on her WIP (a middle grade fantasy) and it sounds amazing (of course)!

Lauren Oliver, me and Stephen Barbara

2. Some 12 year olds are not as innocent and sheltered as we would hope

Author Ellen Hopkins spoke at the SCBWI symposium and shared letters from her readers that would break your heart. She advised us not to write down to teens. Don’t sanitize your stories. YA is a hungry market, and what they hunger for is authenticity.

Ellen shared a startling statistic that she became aware of while researching TRICKS – the average age of a prostitute in the US is 12 years old. Not every 12 year old comes from a happy family, and even those who do may feel empty inside, and yearn for someone to understand what they are going through.

Ellen’s not afraid to court controversy in order to give her readers what they want. She talked about how Karin the Librarian won an author visit with her for her school in Norman, Oklahoma and how a parent forced the school to cancel the event on the eve of banned books week (the venue was changed). The story was picked up by the national news media, and sales of Ellen’s books soared.

Me and Ellen Hopkins

3. Richard Peck can do a hell of a “mean teacher” face

Author Richard Peck also spoke to us at the SCBWI symposium, and told us the reason he got into writing fiction at the age of 37 was because he realized he wasn’t reaching students the way he wanted to by being a teacher. Was it because his students were terrified of him? His “mean teacher” face does rival the famous author photo of Shel Silverstein…so it’s possible!

Here are a few nuggets of his wisdom:

- Stories should move in a straight line with hope at the end.

- Make your character jump in the deep end…you can protect or create a character, not both.

- Dialogue is best written standing up – it improves the pace. Get up and act out every one of your scenes.

- No one ever grows up in a group.

Richard’s new book, coming in October 2010, is called THREE QUARTERS DEAD. It is paranormal horror, a deadly serious story about those two inter-reacting killers: distracted driving and peer-group allegiance, a story about a girl with a cell phone in one hand and the steering wheel in the other.

4. You never know who you’ll see walking around the Bologna fair

Two years ago, Scott Westerfeld was the author-to-spot. This year, I saw Cassie Clare and Kristin Cashore. Though I didn’t get to chat with Cassie, Ann and I spent a few minutes with Kristin at her Italian publisher’s stand. When I gave her my card, she said she knew my blog (*squee*) and she tucked in into this fab photo album she had with her FULL of pictures of her new nieces.

5. If you want books, you better stay until the last day

Reps at the Bologna fair are so busy, they actually have appointments on the last day (unlike in Frankfurt). I saw beautiful copies of AS King’s PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ, Linda Gerber’s TRANCE, and Lesley Hauge’s NOMANSLAND, and I had to walk away from them. I did, however, get a copy of Mary Hooper’s new one FALLEN GRACE and Maggie Stiefvater’s LINGER.

6. Even though Italy & Germany are both part of the EU, you still need a passport to fly by plane between them

Well, not that Germany cares, since I managed to fly to Italy with no problem whatsoever. But when Ann took the earlier flight on Thursday, she called to tell me that they had checked her passport 3 times, and that Lufthansa reps told her one could absolutely NOT fly without a passport. So, I spent my last day in Italy on a train to Florence to visit the US consulate. I got to pay $100 to get an emergency passport with 3 months of validity (which of course means more headache later, when I have to get a whole new passport and German residence permit). The kicker? I was not asked even ONCE for my passport at the airport and boarded my flight without incident. Next time? I’ll bring my passport no matter what.

And guess what I have for you?!

I have a signed hardcover of Lauren Oliver's BEFORE I FALL and a signed hardcover of Ellen Hopkins TRICKS for one lucky reader anywhere in the world!

This contest will remain open until April 3o, 2010 at 11:59 PM CST. To enter, just leave a comment on this post that lets me know you've read at least some of it. "Filler" comments (i.e. "I want to win") will not be accepted as a contest entry. I'd also appreciate it if you'd tweet a link or post this contest in your blog sidebar. Thanks for spreading the word, and good luck!


Weronika Janczuk said...

Would love to get a copy of either one of those books, so I'm excited.

I have lots of reactions to this post.

First off, average age is twelve years? I don't want to think about that.

Second, I couldn't be more jealous that a) you're there! at Bologna! or b) that you met some of the most wonderful people out there - a favorite author of mine and an agent I admire.

Sheesh. Hope you're having the time of your life!

Jessy said...

I can't believe the average age of a US prostitute is 12. This is horrible, I had no idea.


Jessica Love said...

This was a great post, and I an green with envy that you got to go to this and hang out with such amazing authors! I'm shocked by that statistic about prostitution. So sad. But there really is something about Ellen's books that speaks to teens, so she knows what she's talking about!

Alison's Book Marks said...

Can I just say how jealous I am that were went to Bologna!!

I love the last part of Richard Peck's nuggets of wisdom: no one grows up in a group. Oh, isn't it painful when we're reading a YA book and *feel* how awfully lonely these characters are? He's right though!

I flew through Linger, you're going to love it! I can't wait until I can talk about it!!!

(I would have commented even without the contest - as you can tell, I had lots to say - but feel free to enter me!)

Raíla said...

Oh, I'd love to get a hardback of BEFORE I FALL, since I only have an ARC.

It seems to be SO great to meet authors. I've never met any, so... I'm super excited to read Cassie Clare's next book, since I've only read CITY OF BONES.


Kelsey said...

I liked what Ellen Hopkins said about not writing down to teens. I can tell she doesn't after reading her books! I loved her books Crank and Glass, but I haven't gotten the chance to read Tricks. But I would LOVE to and review it on my blog. I would also like to review Before I Fall. I've heard nothing but good things about the book!

Thanks for the giveaway! I tweeted to help spread the word:


Christa said...

Oh, those books both look awesome, although I must confess I've seen a lot of buzz about Before I Fall & would especially love an autographed copy. ; )

And as far as your passport debacle: Isn't that the way of it? If you hadn't gone to the trouble of getting the passport, you would have had trouble leaving the country, right? Murphy's Law & all that. : )

PS I tweeted:

Travis said...

It's awesome that you got to talk with Kristin! I would have loved to meet Cassie too. The fair sounds like it was uber fun!


Leanna Elle said...

Ah, I'm kinda jealous that you got to go to Bologna, but I am planning to go Rome soon, so not totally jealous. I won't be going to a book fair though, so no free books for me.

And you got a copy of Linger. This, I am supremely jealous of!

I will just go tweet your contest now. :)

Aarti said...

No need to enter me in the giveaway, Lenore! Just wanted to say that it is so awesome you got to attend this and do so many amazing bookish things!!

Cecelia said...

Traveling can be tricky...except when it's not. Glad you got home without mishaps, and had such a fabulous (at least that's what it sounds like...) time in Bologna! I want a sandwich, just typing that name... *grin*

I'd also love to be entered for the two books! Thanks for the chance to win!


also adding this to my blog sidebar.

Diana Dang said...

Oh when it comes to prostitution, most of them comes down to poverty. There's a lot of it in Toronto and many other parts within big cities in Canada. I need research on homelessness and it's pretty devastating.

I haven't read Ellen's novels but I'm curious. :)

Anonymous said...

Kristin Cashore knew of your blog?! that is so awesome. That must have felt really great when she said that :)

Jennifer M.

Staci said...

Now you just lived my entire dream day!!! I love Hopkins and Peck!!! I have Lauren's book on my shelf right now so I'm sure after reading it I would so love to meet her!

Michelle Santiago said...

how awesome is it to meet authors and form those connections and in bologna to boot! i'm jealous. #2 is a surprising read. that is very sad. thanks for this giveaway. please count me in!

Ali said...

Sounds like you had an exciting and memorable trip!

That's tragic, about the child prostitutes. Then again, I doubt most of those children are hanging around the house reading books? I personally know quite a few 12-13 year olds who scarcely know what a prostitute is. Not that they need to be written down to, by any means, but they certainly don't need to be reading "authentically" detailed sex scenes, either. (I'm not saying that's what Ellen Hopkins was implying--just my own little tangential rant, I guess).

Emily said...

Sounds like you had a terrific time!

Richard Peck is coming to my city soon, and I'm so excited to hear him speak. I absolutely agree with everything he had to say.

And what a sad statistic about prostitutes. I have a 12 year old sister, and I can't even imagine her being involved in something like that.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Wow, Lauren Oliver does sound sickeningly amazing. Not cool. haha I'm so excited for Linda Gerber's Trance.

lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

bermudaonion said...

Oh my gosh, what a terrific event!! I heard Richard Peck speak at SIBA and he's a hoot. His new book looks like something totally different for him. Since I already have Before I Fall, I'm not going to enter.

lanna-lovely said...

Richard's writing tips bit, I totally want to try the dialogue thing... but then I realised, I wouldn't remember the stuff I came up with and I can't walk and write at the same time. Damn. =P

All of these books are now on my wish list.


Priya said...

You're so lucky you got to meet so many great authors! I read A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck - his new book sounds exciting, but really different from his previous ones!


avisannschild said...

Wow, average age is 12 years old? I'm having trouble processing that since that would mean there are lots of prostitutes who are younger than that...

Sounds like you had a fabulous time! Too bad about the passport though.

I also already have Before I Fall, so no need to enter me.

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

I think I am green even on the bottom of my feet - I AM SO JEALOUS! ;o)

12? 12?!!! Wow. I recently participated in a writer/blogger Blog Scene entry and you had to write a MG love scene. Nothing explicit, but enough where your young MC knew what acts were occurring. This was not easy - to be able to stomach this type of scenario takes very special people. Especially in writing. I cannot imagine the reality of it.

Also, I am extremely jealous that you ran into Cassandra Clare...*sigh*

Oh & Three Quarters Dead looks awesome as well!

oh yeah- lol- great contest!


Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Zibilee said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful time on your trip, and got to meet some amazing people! And I have a hard time swallowing the fact that the age of the average US prostitute is 12. How can that be? That is just beyond scary and sad. And I love the fact that you did a duet of a Little Mermaid song with Lauren Oliver, that is wonderful!

Off topic, I would love the chance to be entered in your awesome giveaway. The books sound exciting!

Melissa @ Mel's Books and Info said...

I heard Richard Peck speak a few years ago at the Butler Children's Literature Conference in Indianapolis, IN. He is a fabulous speaker and very entertaining. I was surprised by the paranormal aspect of his new book, his books always seem so real to me, but I admit I am intrigued. I will definitely have to check it out.

Did Kristin Cashore say anything about any future books? I loved Graceling and Catching Fire and can't wait to read whatever she writes next.

I Tweeted too!

Lawral the Librarian said...

1) I usually hate women who can look graceful in 6 inch heels, on principle, but I don't think I can hate Lauren Oliver.

2) So much of what Ellen Hopkins says is depressing (12! really?). I'm glad she talked about what Karin went through with that author visit though. Reading Karin's posts on the YALSA listserv was so disheartening.

3) I cannot wait to read AS King's new book! How did you walk away?

Thanks for the recap and the giveaway!

Beth Kephart said...

this might be your best post ever.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I love the "mean teacher face" being a teacher myself. I have the "teacher voice" and it comes out sometimes when I'm not at school - like at the mall when kids are messing around! Not good. I also love his advice: "Stories should move in a straight line with hope at the end." That I will remember!

Library Cat said...

Hello Lenore...
I am so jealous (like everyone else), but I need to know what you do to get to go to Italy!!

I am so excited that I just read your post - two reasons:
1. I just got an ARC of She's So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott and I will use some of your criteria to review the book when I finish reading it.
2. Tomorrow I am "attending" a webinar "Sensational summer reading: Programmin tips and titles for children and teens" and I might listen for your authors and ideas...helps me be more involved.

Authenticity is something I have heard mentioned frequently in relation to YA literature. It seems to be the more important aspect for teens. They want to be seen as "real" - and who doesn't?

Thanks for having a wonderful contest.

Amelia Rainier said...

You're so lucky you got to meet Kristin Cashore! Ahhh, how exciting! I would love to meet her.

And I adore singing disney songs.


Sandy Nawrot said...

Holy crap, my daughter is 12 so that statistic is frightening. I have some conflicted feelings about what she reads. She can certainly handle YA, but I find that she is really pretty turned off by foul language. She seems to enjoy the books that allow her to learn about growing up without all the trash thrown in. I love your synopsis! It sounds like so much fun! Please consider me for one of those books - thank you!

rnawrot at cfl dot rr dot com

Liviania said...

This sounds like it was a lot of fun! I'm excited about Richard Peck's new novel, as he was a favorite of my elementary school years.

I'm sorry about your passport! I've been learning to carry ID everywhere, but I'm bad about it. (I enjoy going out with nothing but a set of keys, which can cause difficulties.)

throuthehaze said...

Wow, 12 yr old prostitutes? That is just incredibly sad.
It sounds like you had a lot of fun in Bologna though!

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

The Book Guru said...

Going to school as a child and youth counselor was one of the most rewarding, hopeful, and devastating things I ever did. What some children and youth have gone through at such a young age really makes me grateful for pretty much everything in my life. I am glad you had such a great time!

holdenj said...

What a great recap~! Richard Peck's been around awhile now, it doesn't surprise me he can do a good "mean teacher" face! And I love your remarks with your personal interactions with some of these authors that I've really come to admire! You got to see "Cassie" Clare! See pics! Take pics! What a wonderful time.
Thanks for the opportunity to win.

angie said...

Wow! What an experience and it seems like you picked up some good advice. I guess you never really think that 12 year olds are so much older than they used to be. Sad thought. I like the fact about Lauren is the Meryl Streep, even though I am a little jealous;) I would like to be good at one thing:)
I tweeted
email bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

Unknown said...

(Don't enter me--I've already got both books :) )

Just wanted to say: how cool! I wish I could have been there--it sounds amazing!

Linda said...

It figures, you go to all the trouble and expense to get the passport and didn't need it. Sounds like a very eventful trip!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like an amazing trip! I'm so glad you've had fun. And thanks for the giveaway. I'd love to get either of these books.

I'm particularly excited to hear that Delerium sounds like it will live up to everyone's high expectations. Just from reading about its premise, I was really excited about it (being a fan of dystopias and all), so it's great to hear that the few who've already read it are gushing. I can't wait!

No one grows up in a group: what an insight. Indeed!

Melanie said...

I love Richard Peck's advice to act out what you write. I think that could help me out a lot.

And I <3 Lauren Oliver's purse. So pretty! And big. :D

PJ Hoover said...

I always read your blog posts! And of course Kristin Cashore would know who you are!

Christina Farley said...

I just want to say I'm SOOOOO jealous! I almost went to Bologna but wow, the costs were crazy from Korea. I love your fun stories and now I must go read Richard Peck because I didn't know he was a teacher!

buddyt said...

I am well aware that the is a lot of human trafficking going on around the world and that it often involves very young children but it does seem to me that the average age of 12 sounds incredible. Do you know where this statistic came from ? If correct it would seem the US has a larger population of paedophiles than anyone has ever been aware.

What I found just as worrying was the issue of book banning that you mentioned. It is a very complicated question but my gut feeling is that banning something is not the answer to anything.

Lots of food for thought in your post.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Rachael(BookLove:Teen) said...

Wow I'm glad you had a fab time. Lauren Oliver + Dystopian= very happy me! I so wish I could talk to Kristin Cashore too! I am not shocked about the prostitution age, people should be way more aware of the problems going on in there own country. I'm glad Ellen promotes not writing down to teens!
I would love Before I Fall!

Squishy133 (Sas) said...

TWELVE?!? Wow. I never thought about children that age being into prostitution. I wonder, was it a choice or were they forced into it?

I wish we had awesome book fairs here in Australia, but we don't. Or at least I don't know about any of them! I may just have to move to Europe to get in on some of this book fair action!

Why do you have to make appointments, and out of curiosity, how do you make them? Are there phone numbers for a reception desk, I wonder?

I would love to win either of those books as they both sounds lovley and as per usual, we probably won't get them in Australia for the next 10000 years.
I'll leave a post about the contest as soon as I'm on my computer, as posting from the iPod touch is the biggest pain!

Sarah said...

Ah! Silverstein's infamous picture! I would love to see Richard Peck's scary teacher face.

Great contest. Thanks for the awesome prizes!

Sara said...

Sounds like you had a great time in Bologna! I'm sorry about the passport trouble, I've been told that all you need when you fly within the EU is an ID, but I'm always taking my passport with me to be on the safe side!

Hmm, writing dialogues standing up improves the pace? - perhaps I should try that! :P


Charlotte said...

That's great news about Lauren Oliver writing a mg fantasy!

Thanks for the contest--Before I Fall has been on my list for ages.

if08b025 said...

No surprise there that when a book gets media attention sales actually do soar (because people want certain books to be banned since they consider it an bad influence). I even dare say: that's the best thing that can happen to an author's book.

Think Salman Rushdie (Satanic Verses)
or even Harry Potter

I've been meaning to read Tricks as well, although I have to admit I'm a little scared of what the book might offer ... Anyway, it'll be an change of reading material in any case ...

Should I win, either book is fine. But if you insist on me picking one book in particular then it's definitely TRICKS!

Thank you.

Heather said...

I've wondered at times if some of the books my own 12 year wanted to read were too mature, but then I remember how when I was that age, I was hooked on V.C. Andrews! I'd rather her read and have the knowledge than not read and be oblivious to world in all the forms it presents.

WhatBriReads said...

That's so awesome and looks like so much fun! And I love Ellen Hopkins; she actually lives about an hour from me. :) But 12 year old prostitutes?? That's awful.

Heidi Willis said...

Wow! What an awesome trip!! I'm so jealous of all that great time you got to spend with those people!!

I don't know how I feel about getting too edgy with 12 year olds. I suppose I'm a bit of a prude that way. Not that I think there should be censorship, but personally, I still like to shelter my kids somewhat.

And much of the hardships of life I learned from books instead of personal experience. I'm thankful for that!

I've had "Before I Fall" on my TBR list for a while now. Now I shall have to add Ellen's books too!

Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

It sounds like you had a ton of fun! So many authors. And I love that you posted pics of you with them.

And I had no idea Ellen Hopkins was an "old"er lady! Very enlightening.

Anonymous said...

i enjoyed your posting...and all of your pictures...thank you so much for the opportunity to read these books :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Jessica B said...

New A.S. King! I've got Nomansland to review, can't wait to read it. And LINGER *drools*

Anonymous said...

The AVERAGE age is 12??! Like some of the other comments, it pains me to think of all the girls younger than that suck in those situations to make that average so low.

That's so cool you got to hang out with Lauren Oliver. She seems like a pretty awesome lady!


bookaholic said...

First of all,I have to mention that I am super jealous that you got to spend time with all such wonderful authors!
I loved that part about Lauren Oliver being Meryl Streep,who does all her work enviously well! Great comparison :)
You are so lucky that such esteemed authors know about your blog! Am so happy for you..truly!
Now for the not-so-fun part. Average age of a US prostitute is 12? That is so horrible!

Please enter me for the giveaways. would love to win this one!!!

Serena said...

Isn't it always the way that when you go out of your way to comply, get the emergency passport that costs an arm and a leg, you don't need it. I hate when that happens, but at least you had a good time and met some great authors.

I'd love to be entered into the giveaway.

savvyverseandwit AT gmail

Anonymous said...

you really had a great time with those suepr authors! really good! I really think they are so talented and they gave you a lot of experiences ^^

great time^^

please enter me to the giveaway!

Jackeline said...

I LOVE PART OF YOUR WORLD! It's one of my all time favorite songs!

Whoa I had never seen a picture of Ellen H before. She looks like a sweet person. I'm totally judging lol

BTW I'm going to pretend the avg 12 yr old thing didn't make my eye balls bulge out.

tink122595 (at)hotmail(DOT)com

valentina said...

It's very strange that you were never asked for a passport. I fly to Italy from Ireland all the time and I wouldn't be able to do it without one. It's either the passport of the national Identity card (for Italian citizens.)

Unknown said...

Hah, sounds like you had a blast! :-) I would have loved to listen Lauren and you sing the Little Mermaid song in the deserted streets of Bologna :-)

It is horrible that even nowadays children aren't protected and nurtured as they should, we still ahve a long way to go and society has to play a more active part!

Thanks for your post, it was fun reading about your adventures there :-)

stella.exlibris (at) gmail DOT com

donnas said...

Sounds like you had a great experience. I have to admit I dont think I could break into song like that, no matter who started it. And Three Quarters Dead sounds like it is going to be great. Looking forward to it.

Linked here and on sidebar -

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Misty said...

Oh, I am jealous. That sounds like such a lovely time. And I love Richard Peck's advice. It makes sense, but I never would have thought of the whole physically acting out the scene. Hmm.

Laina said...

Oh my gosh, you got to meet Richard Peck?????????????? I'm so jealous! I've read so many of his books.


And unfangirling...

And I posted about it here.

Unknown said...

That's completely interesting about the passport thing. Sorry you wasted all of that time and created a bigger hassle for yourself just to find out you didn't actually need it.

Sarah Rees Brennan said...

I was about the Bologna book fair and had a lovely time also! Glad you enjoyed too.

Shy said...

I always think that authors are the celebrity in our book lovers' community and I wish that one day I could meet at least one of them. Though I have to admit that living in a country far away from EU/The States make it feel like it is impossible for this to ever happen. Sad, isn't it?

However, I am thrilled that you got to meet some of them. Reading your experience at such event give me some clue as to what usually happen during these conferences and also make me convince that authors are more approachable than the other celebrity out there!

Please include me for this contest. I'd really love to win Before I Fall since I've read tonnes of reviews and listen to too many people discussing the book but yet I know nothing of what it is all about. It is indeed frustrating.

Thank you so much!


Rhiannon said...

Lenore, i would love to be entered, and would be happy then to review them myself over on my webpage,

I have to say that I'm exremly jealous that A- you saw Cassandra Clare! and B- Kristin Cashore is familiar with your blog (but of course, who can deny finn and emmy!).
Now I'm regretting not going to NYC for the April publishing convention.

Steph Su said...

Ughh, I don't know how you did it, walking away from all those highly anticipated titles. At least you got to hang out with Lauren a lot, though! She sounds like so much fun. I want to befriend an author who will burst out into Disney song in the middle of the street. I hope I get to meet Lauren one day. :)

Bunny B said...

Lauren's book sounds awesome, and Lauren sounds awesome too! Someone who has many talents? Love that!

Also, I hate travel "horror" stories -- having to go through such an ordeal while traveling is so stressful!

Bunnybx at gmail dot com

Llehn said...

OMG! You snagged a copy of LINGER?!! You lucky, lucky duck! I would have so loved to have met Kristin Cashore if I had the chance.


D Swizzle said...

Cassie Clare? AND Kristen Cashore? *jealous*

I saw Taxi Driver, so 12 isn't that big a shock to me. Still horrible, though.


Brittany said...

Richard Peck does have a mean teacher face. I can't believe teh average age of prostitution in the U.S. is so young. It's very sad, but I'm glad Ellen is never afraid to not talk about those kinds of intense issues.

Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

lauren can write, she's beautiful AND she can sing. omg, *barf*. we all got the short stick. lol.

your trip sounds amazing. jealous, for sure.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to read other book, and have tweeted about it here:

The 12-year-old average age of prostitutes is astounding and breaks my heart. Just. Horrible.

Love Richard Peck's advice, especially the second one! :)

Anonymous said...

I'd love to read other book, and have tweeted about it here:

The 12-year-old average age of prostitutes is astounding and breaks my heart. Just. Horrible.

Love Richard Peck's advice, especially the second one! :)

d said...

wow, that's a really disturbing statistic about 12 year olds! I'm so glad you had a good time, and I'd love to have those two books! My email is:
queenelizthe3rd (at) gmail (dot) com

thank you!

mrsshukra said...

I like Richard Peck;s advice about writing dialogue standing up and acting out the scenes! Never thought of that.


mrsshukra said...

I like Richard Peck;s advice about writing dialogue standing up and acting out the scenes! Never thought of that.


Michelle said...

It sounds like you had an absolutely fabulous trip to Italy. You totally had me at DELERIUM! LOL

Anna said...

Sounds like a great event! I can't believe 12 is the average age for a prostitute in the U.S. That just breaks my heart.

Diary of an Eccentric

Unknown said...

I'm so very jealous! Especially because you got to meet Kristin Cashore, I love her writing so much and wow she sounds really great :)

I'd love to enter too!


Annika said...

Nice giveaway, count me in!
Yeah, you know, I was wondering myself about how the whole traveling without a passport worked! I live in Spain but come from Sweden so I do travel a lot in Europe, never dared to try it and probably wont now!

Cherry said...

Jim Butcher said something similar to what Richard said. A story should move in a straightline... When I read a book that keeps me re-reading back pages just to comprehend what the author was talking about, I tend to give that book a low rating and avoid that author like the plague!

Re-posted your contest at:


mischivusfairy-warrior [at] yahoo [dot] com

Hawkeyegirl said...

I would love to win Lauren Oliver's "Before I Fall" it's been on the top of my TBR list for a while now. I had no idea she had another coming out, dystopic fiction is my bread-n-butter these days.
Also, I agree with Ellen Hopkins, YA shouldn't written light and easy, real life situations and honest discussions of difficult topics aren't just what teens want, I think it's what they need.

misskallie2000 said...

Wow, you were in Bologna! Glad you had so much fun.

I have been wanting to read "Before I Fall" since the first review I read.

I may have to agree with you where you said, "I am beginning to suspect that Lauren is the Meryl Streep of publishing." She is good.

As a grandmother of a 13 and 15 yr old girl I was appalled to find out that the average age for a US prostitute is 12..How did this happen?

Thanks for the opportunity to enter this great giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Okapi said...

12 YEARS OLD? like many other readers here, i'm astounded! poor things.

Hannah S. said...

That's insanely young. Goodness gracious... I mean, what's going on with this world? How horrible things must be for girls so young to sell themselves like that.
AND the fact that "mature" men allow this? AND they pay for this?
That is ridiculous!! Gross and sad. I'm going to try to help them as best as I can. Obviously, I'm not the only one horrified by this.

Well, at least you had a good time. Cassandra Clare and Kristen Cashore = amazing. :)
Have a good day!

Love, Hannah

Ammietia (a girl you once knew) said...

I've been reading quite a few posts about Bologna as of late. I wish I was there!

It's sad how people tend to ignore 12 year olds. When you're older, their problems don't really seem so important. You know they aren't because you have gone through worse, but what we need to do is realize that it's important to them now. If you don't even try to act like you care, they'll just feel alone and won't ask for help when they're going through something you deem as important. (Lol, can you tell I was one of the kids pushed off the radar?)

I know that a lot of people only see what they want to see. Average age of prostitution is 12? A bit surprising to me at first, but then if I think about it... it kind of makes sense. It's a sad sense to make, but there it is.

And I love Kristin Cashore, though GRACELING had too many "saids" for my taste. Lucky you for meeting her!

Mystica said...

I am appalled at the stats re the prostitution. I cant believe this.

btw hope you are having a great time despite the passport fiasco.

Persephone said...

The 12 year old prostitute fact is crazy. I have a hard time just trying to compute the fact. It is especially hard to face when you have a relative close to that age. You just can't believe it could be possible for others so young to have to go through that kind of hardship.

patronus89013 at yahoo dot com

EVA SB said...

Books and Bologna what a treat. I'm envious!

As a librarian I'm always interested to here about how other librarians cope with efforts to ban books.

I tweeted

I added the giveaway to my sidebar

Borostyán said...

Ah Bologna! I'd like to visit the Bologna Book Fair sometime! And the Frankfurt Book Fair, too.

It would be a dream come true. :)

On the fly between EU countries: so yes, if you are not an EU citizen, then you do need a passport to fly between the EU countries.

But I'm surprised that they checked the passport 3 times. Maybe they wanted to be sure, that it wasn't a fake one :)

And thanks for this giveaway!

Szilvia from Hungary


Mari - Escape In A Book said...

I just wrote the longest comment ever and then I managed to erase it all. Arrgh.. Here we go again:

It sounds like such a great experience to go to a book fair!

I think that what Ellen Hopkins says about not sanitizing to teens are so very important. I feel that in Norwegian YA that is rearly done and I'm thinking that several of the Norweigan books would have been banned in the USA if they were ever to be translated(I cannot be sure of this of course but there seems to be a cultural difference on what's appropriate for teens to read).

It just broke my heart to read the avarage age of a prostitute in the USA. Over here the number is much higher, it is estimated that the average lies somewhere between 25-30 years.

Richard Peck was a new to me author, I'm heading over to Goodreads now to see if I can find his book there :)

Lauren said...

That Richard Peck advice is going in my notebook. It all makes sense, too.

I know everyone's reacting to this bit, but 12 YEARS?

Zoe said...

I'm really excited to hear that Lauren Oliver has a dystopia coming out. I haven't yet read Before I Fall (I'll probably wait for the paperback release because it's not quite in my usual genre), but I've heard nothing but rave reviews.

Amanda said...

Off-topic: I was referred to your Book Bloggers Behaving Badly post by The Story Siren. It's incredible you get to be in Germany and Europe so much! (Dual citizenship? I didn't quite understand the whole passport thing.)

I'm intrigued about writing dialogue on your feet... And I know a lot of people are surprised that prostitutes are so young, but I'm not. In some cases they're very, very young--like 6 and 7--especially in Nepal and India. A great site to check out is

ihappydance at gmail dott com

Heather Zundel said...

I can't believe I haven't commented on this yet. I love your Bologna posts. And very cool "insider" information. :)

Dwayne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curling up by the Fire said...

I teach high school and it would shock people at what these kids know and how vulnerable some of them really are, or at what some of their backgrounds are. It does not surprise me that the average age of prostituion is 12 years old, but it does sadden me.

I can't wait to read Richard Peck's new novel.

I am your 999 follower. Pretty cool, eh?

icewoman96 at gmail dot com

BeyondTheIcyWalls said...

You met Kristin Cashore; I am envious!

Im not at all suprised that the average age is 12, though it is sad to hear. I imagian most of the ones that live to excape prostition will never have normal relationships(dateing relationships).

I'd love for a chance to win.

Sheere said...

OMG! I'd have loved to be there! You are sooo lucky! BTw Richard Peck's new book, the cover is amazing!
And finally.. 12? You are serious? It is awful! I remember some of the books they wanted to ban... they should leave books aside and try to help and solve this problem with prostitution!

Mrs. DeRaps said...

I had not heard about the Karin the Librarian incident! That is absolutely shocking. I have a really, really hard time with censorship in schools. I do not understand how some people feel justified in taking away books from ALL students and not just their own children. Wow. Well, I love Ellin Hopkins books and plan to keep a fresh stock of them on my free reading shelves from students to enjoy! Thanks for the post and the giveaway!

Holly said...

Wow, a trip to Bologna that must've been great and running into all those authors and fabulous new books.

I linked the contest on my sidebar:


Spav said...

If you're european you don't need a passport to travel through Europe. Maybe if you are an american living in Europe they do ask you for your passport. I don't know.


Cheryl said...

I was just so surprised to read that the average age of prostitution is 12 years old. That is so scary to think about. 12 year olds should be out playing with their friends, not turning tricks.

I would like to enter your contest.

whitneywriteslove said...

I'm sooo jealous of you and your Bologna adventures. :)
Thanks for sharing.
I can't wait to read LINGER this summer.
I just finished GRACELING and am about to start FIRE, so it made me smile to see you got to talk with Kristin.
BEFORE I FALL has been on my radar for a while, but the library doesn't have it yet.
So, yeah, I'd really appreciate winning a copy.
I have a (not incredibly active but still existent) blog at
You can check it out if you enjoy reading about strangers as much as I do, haha. :)

Alice said...

Goshh I'm so jealous you got to meet all these authors! I didn't know that fact about 12 year olds...that's really heartbreaking. I have a little brother who's about 12 and I would hate for anything like that to happen to him.

Alice said...

I'm so jealous you got to go and meet all those authors!
and I'm shocked by that fact about 12 year olds...It's heartbreaking. I have a brother who's about 12...even though we fight I would hate for anything to happen to him.

I'd really like to win either of those books, particularly Before I Fall.

Jean said...

That's pretty shocking that some 12 year old's are prostitutes!

And I also agree with what Richard Peck did - becoming an author so that teens took him seriously. ANd it's sad that that fact IS true... maybe if all teachers were asked to become an author should become mandatory xD?


Anonymous said... (forgot to add it, soz :s)

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, you're like a blogging celebrity, hehe! It must be awesome to hang around and bump into such fantastic authors ... I live in South Africa, so for me that seems pretty incredible, there's so many authors I'd love to chat to about their books, but I just don't want to bother them all with e-mails and such, because I'm quite sure that they are BUSY and have enough other people to deal with, lol.

Patricia said...

Oops, email: yayreads at hotmail dot com

Patricia said...

I have a thirteen year old sister who's pretty innocent but I've seen some of her friends AND younger people. I didn't act that way when I was 12-13

John The Bookworm said...

I would love either book! Both have been majorly tbr-ed. :P

As for the actual post, some major ups and downs going on here. 12! That's just immensely crazy...and depressing. D: But getting to meet Kristen Cashore for five minutes?! And Ellen Hopkins?! AND RICHARD PECK?! You are mad-lucky, girl! AND YOU'RE IN EUROPE!! If we could swap minds for a day, oh the things I would do...

Email: :P

heatwave16 said...

Meryl Streep of publishing, then she needs her own special book category. I figured the Oscars should now have a "Best Meryl Streep Movie of the year" award.


Melissa said...

Great recap! I found it so sad that the average age of a prostitute is 12. :( I've read one of Hopkins books before and have heard that Tricks is pretty graphic, but I'd still like to read it.

I have a copy of Before I Fall and it's my next book up!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a great time in Italy. With some graet people, one who's a wonderful singer. I've never been anywhere you needed a passport.
I am a follower
I tweeted this giveaway:

Unknown said...

Sounds like you had a lot of fun!

I can't believe the average age of prostitutes in the U.S. is 12!

It sounds like you got some great books! Lucky :)

pirate_pony2 at yahoo dot com

prophecygirl said...

What a great picture of you and Ellen Hopkins! I can't believe you met her - I'm slightly in awe here! Love her books :)

Josette said...

Hi there, I enjoyed reading about your time at the symposium and book fair. It sounded like a whole lot of fun, meeting authors and having meals with them!

It's also really sad to know about 12-year-olds having to resort to prostitution instead of attending school and enjoying a normal teenage life. It's a worldwide problem but it doesn't seem to be getting better. And some of them are only kids, way younger than 12 actually.

Thank you for the giveaway, I'd like to enter. I've also mentioned the giveaway at my blog.


Miss K said...

Wow, I am so jealous that you got to meet Kristin Cashore. Did she spill any details on Bitter Blue? Even the release date would keep my fervent students at bay!

Anonymous said...

this contest sounds amazing! and i love the sound of "before i fall"

it must have been amazing to meet so many authors!!.. air of the literary-ly enlightened? ;P

Bookie said...

I'm so jealous that you got a copy of Linger. I can't wait to get my hands on that books!