Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tree Awards

I'm just back from Toronto where the Forest of Reading awards were held. Imagine 4000 young readers, about 30 authors, a posse of volunteers, and a passle of organizers all packed into Harbourfront. It was quite the event! Each of the "Tree" awards was represented (these are reader's choice awards for the province of Ontario--schools sent participating students to the ceremony). Megiddo's Shadow was up for the Red Maple Award (for grade 7 and 8 readers). I met thousands of readers and other authors including Gayle Friesen and Clem Martini.

And Sheree Fitch and Marsha Skrypuch.

We then were led to our "signing stations" where we authors sat and signed books for our fans for over an hour. I wrote my name about a billion times. Well, that's what it felt like. And here's Hadley Dyer and Clem, as we waited to go to the outdoor stage for the ceremony

It was like waiting for a concert. We could hear the crowd roaring and roaring and roaring. I did take time to take a snap of Eric Walters. This pic proves that he's not quite as tall as the CN tower. Though, he did leap it twice that day just for a warm up.

And here's the inimitable and unstoppable John Wilson.

They put our names on placards and led us to the waiting crowd.

And what a crowd! Here they are all saying cheese!

It was a rush to hear all their cheering. Eric Walters' book We all Fall Down was the winner (Megiddo was the runner up). But as Eric said, there were no losers that day because everyone was reading. Plus we all got free lunch. Really, what could be better?


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