Welcome to Library Lions! This week we’re showcasing THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY TEEN BOOK FESTIVAL.
Student MC 2012 Teen Book Festival
In 2004 a group of librarians, parents, and students joined together with the avowed purpose of promoting teen reading in our community. We held the first Montgomery County Teen Book Festival in January of 2005. Following the first event we received the Highsmith Award, given annually for the most innovative project involving a school library in the state of Texas.
Our Dream is to celebrate the joy of teen reading. In support of this dream we promote books and bring together teens and authors.
A Roar For The Committee
The festival couldn’t be a success without the work of each and every member!
The Teen Book Festival is a group effort. From the beginning, it has been supported by the Conroe Independent School District and has grown to include volunteers from entire Montgomery County area. The committee includes public and school librarians in the area, as well as parent volunteers and other community members.
Cinda Williams Chima & Pam Cooper (Pam is one of the founding committee members)
Three of the many librarians who help us each year.
(See the full list of all of the librarians and volunteers on our website )
We’ve had so many great authors over the years! This year’s festival included:
From L-R Melody Carlson, Patrick Jones, Cinda Williams Chima, Joseph Hayes, Belle Whittington, Melissa Studdard, Gayle Forman (somehow Kristin Cast didn’t make this photo op)
Other authors we’ve had include Chris Crutcher, Lois Lowry, Lauren Myracle, Melissa Marr, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Sara Zarr, Justina Chen, Gordon Korman,, Cassandra Clare, Tamora Pierce, and Neal Shusterman.
The Festival Day
The festival day is largely run by student volunteers. We have a student master of ceremonies every year and students introduce the authors at each session.
Authors and their student assistants
We have student volunteers who escort the authors,
Lauren Myracle student escorts
They help with food, handle the festival surveys, and provide entertainment.
Another unique aspect is that the artwork for the festival this year was created by a student. We had a contest among the schools where students created artwork and the winner’s art was used for the banners, T-shirts and bookmarks promoting the festival.
Before the festival, the student volunteers get to have brunch with the authors. As you can imagine, that is a huge hit with the teens!
Lois Lowry Brunch
Neal Shusterman Brunch
While teens are arriving during the first hour or two, we have music, food and book sales in the main area of the school where the festival is held. In the past we’ve hired a band to play. This year we had a DJ playing music. Additionally, we typically have student performances. We’ve had school jazz bands, dance troupes and drumlines. This year we had students from the host school’s theatre department perform scenes from “Little Women.”
The first event is a general assembly. This includes a panel of all the authors.
Author Panel from L-R Sara Zarr, Nick Abadzis, Cassandra Clare, Shirlene Obuobi
Our student master of ceremonies directs questions to each of the authors. The keynote author speaks. Then we have two breakout sessions where each of the authors will speak in their own locations throughout the school.
Finally, the day concludes with autograph sessions and more mingling in the common area.
Roars For The Fest!
"What a day full of AWESOMENESS! So many wonderful readers in one place at one time! It was like MAGIC! ♥" Belle Whittington- Author,
"Thank you for hosting such a wonderful festival this weekend!" Sherry Stafford Rowland – Adult attendee
Roars from Our Student Surveys!
“This book fair is the coolest thing ever, the majority of people never get to meet authors and I think it is a huge privilege,”
“I have come to this for 6 years in a row. Epic every year.”
In addition to comments about the event, we get a lot of requests for authors for future festivals.
We are looking forward to a bright future! We have formed a formal non-profit organization and hope to see the festival grow into a special celebration of reading for the people of Montgomery County and surrounding areas.
Thank you for the interview! We enjoyed haring all about the terrific Montgomery County Teen Book Festival!
Let’s Link Up
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Note to Librarians: If you’re a Youth Librarian working in a school or public library we’d love to hear about you and your library. Contact Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org for an interview slot.