I wanted to share the article I wrote for the Upper Bucks Free Press (the newspaper I write for) for the October 2014 issue! The online version was just published. To see the online version of the newspaper, click HERE.
I hope you like it!
The 2014 Lititz Kid and Teen Literature Festival
Every fall the town of Lititz, PA becomes a destination for children’s book lovers. The
Lititz Kid and Teen Literature Festival is now in its sixth year. Aaron’s Books, a family
owned and operated bookstore in downtown Lititz, is the host of the festival and they
are planning a great line-up of authors this year, including Eric Wight, David Levithan
and Newbery Honor Winner Jennifer Holm! The festival isn’t just about meeting some
of your favorite authors and getting your books signed, there are writing and illustration
classes for kids that are taught by the authors at the festival. There is also story time for
the younger kids and talks about kids literature for kids (and parents) of all ages.
Todd Dickinson of Aaron’s books, answered some questions about the festival for me.
Erik – What made you decide to start the Lititz Teen and Kids Literature Festival?
TD – The goal of the festival has always been the same: to inspire young readers in our
community by bringing them together with great authors. We love meeting authors and
talking with them about writing. And we think giving kids a chance to meet authors gets
them more excited about books and reading.
Erik – The festival is now in its sixth year. How has it changed from when you started?
Also, how many people are you expecting this year?
TD – The festival has grown in every way since we started. Our first year, the festival
was inside our store, and we set out tables on the sidewalk for the author signing
time. Now we take over many rooms, large and small, throughout Linden Hall School
for presentations, workshops, author signings, and storytimes. We expect about 150
people this year, including kids, teens, parents, teachers, and librarians.
Erik – Your festival gets some pretty big names (2014 authors include – Matt Phelan,
A.S. King, Tom Angleberger ) to come and give talks about their books and even teach
workshops. How do you get all these authors to come to the Festival?
TD – We get great authors because we tell them we like their books and we ask them
to come to Lititz. It’s amazing how generous these authors are with their time, and how
willing they are to come and support us. And after they come and enjoy the festival, they
tell their fellow authors about it and encourage them to come the next year.
Erik – I know from experience that all the authors you get are very happy to meet and
talk to their fans at the festival. What’s your favorite festival memory?
TD – My favorite is probably the year we arranged for Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and
several Storm Troopers to escort Tom Angleberger (author of The Strange Case of
Origami Yoda) to the stage for his presentation. That was pretty cool.
Erik – I was there for that! The members of Vader’s 501st
costume. It was great! Where do you see the festival five years from now?
Legion were there in full
TD – We’d like to see the festival grow each year, with more kids and teens from Central
PA and beyond wanting to attend again and again. We’d like to work more closely with
area schools so they can read the books of our festival authors in class or in the library
before the kids come and meet the authors. And we have a few authors on our dream
list that we hope to bring someday, like Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson series) and Neil
Gaiman (The Graveyard Book and Coraline).
Erik – What are some things you’d like to highlight about this year’s festival?
TD – We are so excited about all 11 of this year’s authors. Jennifer Holm writes some
of our favorite middle grade fiction and has won so many awards for her work, and she
also does two incredible graphic novel series for kids called Babymouse and Squish.
Tom Angleberger entertains a crowd of kids better than anyone else we know. David
Levithan writes some of the smartest teen fiction that also covers serious issues, and
we think our older readers will really enjoy hearing from him. We think everyone who
attends will meet someone whose books they already love, and they will also discover
new books to love because of who they meet at the festival.
For more information on the Lititz Kid and Teen Literature Festival, please visit
For more on books and reading, please visit my blog at ThisKidReviewsBooks.com!
Categories: Newspaper Columns