There were four guest speakers and, between each of their presentations, the other visiting authors and I moved to the next table and spoke with those attendees.
The first guest speaker, Trent Reedy, wrote the book, Words in the Dust. It's a story about an Afghan girl, loosely based on his experiences in Afghanistan. It was very moving.
Here's a picture of me and two young men at my second table.
The second speaker was Tim Green, the author of The Big Time: A Football Genius Novel. Tim was an NFL player and has since earned his law degree. As if that wasn't enough, he's also written several books for adults and middle school readers. And did I mention, he's also handsome and funny? What a loser!
My friends and third table mates, Kelly Polark and Laura Ripes.
The third speaker was the amazing illustrator, Mark Teague, who showed us his process of illustrating his latest book Firehouse! He also illustrated a director's chair that one lucky winner took home - it wasn't me :-(
The fourth speaker was Kathryn Lasky, author of Shadow Wolf, one of many books about animals. Ms. Lasky shared a secret with us - even though she often writes about animals, she's not a big fan!
The final speaker was Weird Al Yankovich, who answered pre-submitted questions from the audience and discussed his latest book, When I Grow Up.
In addition to all this, they sold the visiting Illinois authors' books in another room. I believe I sold one book - to the two cute boys at my table. Alex and I had fun posing with the stack of 1 Zany Zoo.
Any authors, teachers, librarians and children's book lovers should consider attending next year!