On Saturday, Clare and I went to the National Book Festival on the National Mall. I began attending the festival in 2003 when I volunteered to hang out at the Teens and Children pavilion and to help with crowd control in the signing lines. I saw a few of my favorite authors that year — the authors I especially came to see that year were Avi, Nancy Farmer, Jane Yolen and Sharon Creech — all young adult authors whose books I’d been using in my classroom and been reading to my own children.
In 2004 I volunteered again, but this time was assigned to go between the children’s and children’s and teens pavillions. This was less fun because I didn’t really feel needed, so I pretty much just hung out and listened to authors that I wanted to hear. That was also the year I first heard about Neil Gaiman.