Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Book Bound in Boston

Perks of living in Boston and being a library school student: meeting famous children’s/YA authors. Just a couple weeks ago, my Writing for Children professor ended class early so a couple students can go meet Rainbow Rowell at Brookline Booksmith. Rowell is the author of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, and Carry On! About a week ago, Brown Girl Dreaming author Jacqueline Woodson was at Harvard Book Store, and then last Saturday, they hosted R.J. Palacio. If that name doesn’t sound familiar, R.J. Palacio is the mastermind behind the Wonder books, and is known for her character Augie Pullman.

Before I was able to meet R.J., I had the privilege of meeting six authors at an amazing awards ceremony and reception for the Horn Book hosted at our very own Simmons University. My Writing for Children professor had strongly encouraged us to attend last Friday, and I’m am so glad she did! While I met so many amazing authors, I unfortunately wasn’t able to meet Angie Thomas, the famous woman behind The Hate U Give. Although I didn’t get to meet Thomas, her proxy read out loud a pretty dope acceptance speech. On the positive side, I was able to meet so many amazing people at this awards ceremony. I was privileged to meet an American hero, hear a young girl give an acceptance speech for her dad, and talk to a first generation Iranian-American about our shared experience of having immigrant parents. 

Horn Book Awards.JPGThe American hero is Jo Ann Allen Boyce, a 78-year-old woman who desegregated her high school in Clinton, Tennessee. The young girl was the daughter of Jarrett Krosoczka, author of Hey, Kiddo. Hey, Kiddo is a graphic novel memoir that tells of Jarrett’s not very happy childhood, and this book won the 2019 The Boston Globe Horn Book Award honor book for nonfiction. The smile on this girl’s face when she was signing her father’s books after her acceptance speech was so beautiful – I am willing to bet that someday this girl will be a prolific author. Lastly, Abid Khorram won the Fiction & Poetry Horn Book Honor Award for Darius The Great is Not Okay. When I went to meet Abid after the awards, I shared with him how this book spoke to my personal experiences, as I had gone to visit my family in India when I was 10. Throughout the whole book, I related to the main character Darius. The book is so fun to read! Laughing about long-distance calls to our family abroad with Abid made me feel like I truly connected with this celebrity as a friend and peer – such a magical moment. 

Meeting Abid Khorram.JPGAs if meeting all those celebrities at the Horn Book Awards Friday night was not enough, that Saturday afternoon I went to meet R.J. Palacio at Brookline Booksmith. Brookline Booksmith is an amazing independent bookshop in Brookline. This bookshop has famous authors visiting just about every week. R.J. Palacio gave an enthralling talk about writing, how she gets her ideas, her mission to bring more compassion into the world using books, and how she is open to writing YA. Meeting her after the talk was a wonderful moment. R.J. was so kind. I got the White Bird graphic novel signed for my little cousins and the book Wonder signed for a friend in Galway, Ireland. If my week proves anything, it’s that living in Boston – especially going to school at Simmons – there is never a shortage of opportunities to meet famous children’s/YA authors. 

RJ Palacio at Brookline Booksmith.JPG