Bay Area blogging

Ah, it’s always good to be back in the Bay Area.

Last night in Seattle I had a great event at Third Place Books. I love the design of the store, with its own theater, food court, and giant chessboard. It’s like a mall just for books. We had a crowd of well over 200. My old friends from college Meg and Arno showed up with their kids (thanks, guys!) along with tons of kids and teachers from all over the city. I got to meet a “Guys Read” book club, which is always an awesome thing. I gave away lots of T-shirts and had a fun time chatting with everyone as they came through the line.

This morning I was up WAY early (4 AM) to catch my flight to San Francisco. We drove up to Sebastopol for an event with Copperfield’s Books at the local middle school. Thanks to local librarian Richie for introducing me. He started by handing out a map to all the kids and identifying the names of 19 states. I wasn’t sure what he was up to. Then he told the kids that all those states had the Lightning Thief as a nominee on their state reading award lists. I hadn’t been keeping score, but wow. He also told me the Lightning Thief just won the Beehive Award in Utah. Very cool! The kids in Sebastopol were great. Thanks also to the kids from other schools who took off from class (with parent permission) to attend the session. As we were driving back to town, after a very large Mexican food lunch, my publicist got the news that Titan’s Curse is #26 on the USA Today bestseller list. Since that’s a composite list of all books, fiction/nonfiction, kids/adults, being 26 is pretty amazing.

This evening, we had an event at Books, Inc. in SF. Another packed house of about 200, and many kids came from Presidio Hill, where I used to teach. I got to see my former students (now adults) Jeff and Trevor, albeit briefly, because the line was enormous. I taught Trevor from 5th through 8th grade at PHS, and now he’s the English teacher there. Talk about making me proud! Trevor even told me he saved all the worksheets I gave out in middle school. Now that is a scary thought!

An interesting idea that came out of tonight’s signing: one young man suggested I publish a cookbook of Grover’s favorite recipes. Wow, you’d have to have a strong stomach to read that! Thanks also to Caleb from the Chinese American School, who brought me these two poems and gave me permission to share them:

A Haiku for Apollo:
You bring up the day
Lighting up the dark black sky
You are really HOT!

And a poem for Percy:

Slashing with Riptide
With friends at your side
And a final choice
You will greatly rejoice
Waves surge behind you
Guiding you right through
Will Olympus die
Falling though the sky?
Or will Kronos be destroyed
And go back to the void?
Be careful of what you choose
And of what you might lose

Thanks, Caleb! You are demigod of the week and probably a son of Apollo!

Tomorrow, I’ll have the chance to speak at the annual conference for the Association of Children’s Librarians. Then tomorrow night: an event at Book Passage in Corte Madera. If anyone in the North Bay would like to come out, please do!

Rick Riordan