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Author Visit with James Ponti

I always complain that there are not enough bookish events where I live in Florida. We never have anything!

I happened to be in Barnes and Noble looking for a specific book for the youngest reader in my house when I came across an advertisement for James Ponti. I nearly caused a massive pileup as I pointed and screeched about how awesome this was. I made sure anyone within hearing distance knew, I can assure you.

Of course, I had to take a picture (so I wouldn't forget) and grab up a few copies of Dead City to be signed when I returned. Now, if you are not familiar with Dead City, you need to check it out on Goodreads. It is a Sunshine State Reader for Florida this year. But most importantly, it's a book that my tween son could not put down.

Actually, he would not put it down. We drove from Florida to Virginia this summer while he read this book. It was the most peaceful car ride in history. There was no fighting between the 12 year-old and 7 year-old. I was able to read a book and finish it along the way too! Win-win for everyone.

While he read Dead City, I could hear him laughing. I just knew we had a hit by the speed in which he devoured this quirky teenage zombie fighter novel. He finished the book just outside of our destination, and I knew I had to find the sequel for the way home!

So imagine my excitement when I saw that the author of a book that got my son to voluntarily READ over SUMMER VACATION was coming to my town. I could hardly contain myself. I always talk about taking my kids to book events when they are older (they keep begging for ComicCon tickets). I've even contemplated arranging vacations around certain regional book festivals (Decatur Book Festival, YALLFest, etc). But this opportunity was divine intervention. A sign... A gift!

And it was more than I could have ever hoped for.

His inner geek shined for all to see. I was one proud mama at that moment.


James Ponti was amazing. We might have been slightly overzealous (we were there way before the start time), but the author was patient. It was a small turn out (my town stinks at advertising amazing book events but will broadcast a losing football team for months in advance) that allowed for a cozy setting. The author read from his book for us, and took the time to talk--actually carry on conversations-- with his fans. There was one point where he stopped and asked the kids, "What do you want to know?" Of course I had to speak up and tell my child to speak at this "once in a life time opportunity".

And he did take advantage! He was engaged in speaking with an author. Proud mama moment #2.

His question actually spawned a great conversation about the sister's role in future books. We learned so much from listening to James Ponti. I appreciated his attention to his fans, and my son was fascinated by his story telling. It was simply amazing to see the connections being made and the love of reading that is developing.



As a Facebook friend said on my status update: "You are raising that kid right!" Yes, yes I am. I will turn him into a reader. The force is strong with this one.


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