. . . and did a great job. I loved that he took on our under-examined slogan "People Need Books" and flipped it to explore how books, unlike TV or digital media, need people--while a TV show will keep rattling on even when you leave the room, a book can't do anything unless someone is reading it. (Marla Frazee and Allyn Johnson make a similar point in their article about picture books in the current issue.) And he warmed my misanthropic little heart when, in response to a question by a teacher who always told her students that "writers work in groups," said that he worked alone, only showing his manuscripts and drawings to his wife and daughter, from whom the acceptable response was praise. My favorite question, from a little kid: "Does the Pigeon have a sister?" And circling neatly back to his opening theme, Mo replied "you tell me."
Next up for the Sutherland: Neil Gaiman, May 4, 2012. Don't even think about trying to get a ticket until next April.
But speaking of groups (and Mo did say he heard a lot of YA writers did work this way), this coming Thursday, May 12, I'll be at the Cambridge Public Library moderating a panel consisting of Malinda Lo, Francisco X. Stork, Sarah Rees Brennan, Cindy Pon, Deva Fagan, and Holly Black, talking about "diversity in YA fiction." The event begins at 7:00PM and I would advise showing up early if you want a seat. Porter Square Books will be on hand to sell books for a signing following the panel.