Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sigh...Blue Balliett and Julie Orringer

Today we took around author Blue Balliett, author of the classic trilogy of art-themed mystery novels for kids, Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3, and The Calder Game.  I was hoping to promote the event with a little review of The Danger Box, but I was once again tricked by thinking that just because a book is for kids, I am going to read it very quickly.

What I am saying is that I didn't finish The Danger Box in time for the event. It's the story of Zoomy, a boy who was left with his grandparents in Three Oaks, Michigan. Dad is a ne'er do well, skirmishing regularly with the law.  Zoomy has some vison problems, and also functions with some sort of OCD (though one of the attendees said it had some similarities to autism).  He befriends another kid with a missing parent, Lorrol, and together, they try to determine the story behind a journal that his dad left behind.  I guess I'm not giving away anything by saying the journal might be Charles Darwin's. 

I was sad that the day was so packed that Balliett couldn't visit the Milwaukee Art Museum to see the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit.  We peaked in through the windows so she could get a taste of the Calatrava. All went well--we had a great event at the Shorewood Public Library.  So that's part one of our after school special.  Don't forget about Mo Willems next Thursday, May 5th, at Boswell.  Details on our events page.

If you missed the event, we have signed copies of all of Balliett's novels.

My reading is going terribly, so it's a good thing that my book club presentation this Friday (at 7 pm) is a reflection of books that are recently out in paperback. I can't say I've read everything on the list--I told Stacie that one of the pages was going to be called "Oopsy", reflecting books I meant to read but never go around to.

I better be well prepared.  We've been getting a lot of press for Julie Orringer, who is visiting the store on Friday for The Invisible Bridge.  She'll be doing an interview with Lake Effect, which will air sometime after the event--we'll let you know when.   Speaking of which, today's Lake Effect had an interview with Chris Bohjalian.  Brings back good times!  And who knew that both he and Bonnie North worked together at Vermont Public Radio?

Back to Orringer.  Mike Fischer's interview with Julie Orringer appeared in today's Journal Sentinel.  You can read it on the new Tap Milwaukee arts page.

And here's more of the interview in the Recommended Reading blog, where Orringer defends the big, fat novel.  Regular readers of our blog will know that we are totally in her camp on this one.  The big, fat novel rules!

And the Shepherd Express are fans too.  Here's Jenni Herrick's piece in the Book Preview feature

Tolstoy, yes, but also George Eliot.  I should be better versed in Eliot.  Jason, can we read The Mill on the Floss for our "classics book club?"

So don't forget about Friday night.  And if that doesn't work for you, Orringer is also speaking at the JCC on Friday at Noon.

No comments: