The Little Indie That Could

“I love your work!  I only wish I had more African American students so that I could use your books.”

"HUH?" asks NYT bestselling author Nikki Grimes in the current issue of Hunger Mountain, and many of us echo her incredulous response.

As an antidote to discouraging words from such gatekeepers, may I present—TA DA!—Aaron's Books Lititz 2010 Kid Lit Festival.

2010 Lititz Kid-Lit Festival
Focuses on Diversity in Children’s Literature

If you traveled to the small town of Lititz, Pennsylvania, you'd probably notice that it's not quite a hotbed of ethnic diversity. As you strolled down South Broad Street, though, you'd discover one indie bookseller who's passionate about offering all kinds of books to the community.

Sam Droke-Dickinson contacted me months ago to see if I was available, she's paying my train ticket and has booked me a room at the supportive Lititz Bed and Breakfast, and best of all, she's been championing my books all year.

I treasure my lovely and growing collection of booksellers and librarians like Sam. There's nothing like one of those to encourage a brown writer's heart.

Here's the full schedule of events at the 2010 Lititz Kid Lit Festival:

Friday, September 10, 6-8 pm

Local author night book signings
Amy Ignatow
Chryssa Smith
Sandy Swann and Susan McKain
Ruth Zavitsanos

Saturday, Sept 11

10-11 am
Story-time with picture book authors and illustrators introduced by Mother Goose
Laurel Snyder
Amy Wummer
Kerry McGuinness Royer
Matt Royer

12:30 - 2:30 pm
Group Book Signings
“Books on Broad,” an outdoor book signing with some of the best authors writing for kids! (Located in front of Aaron’s Books and Dosie Dough)
Cyn Balog
Josh Berk
Mitali Perkins
Laurel Snyder
Holly Nicole Hoxter
Suzanne Supplee
Amy Wummer

3-5 pm
Panel discussion “Diversity in Children’s Literature," Linden Hall, Snavely Family Theater
Mitali Perkins
Laurel Snyder
Josh Berk

6-8 pm

In keeping with the theme of "Books Open Worlds" we are hosting an author dinner and silent auction to raise funds to benefit the Lancaster County Reach Out and Read Coalition, which distributes about 10,000 books each year to children throughout the county. Authors will rotate amongst tables of guests through a 4 course dinner. Keynote speaker, Mitali Perkins, will speak briefly about the importance of diversity in children's literature and providing good books to children. A silent auction with a variety of donated items will also be taking place.

Authors attending include: Mitali Perkins, Laurel Snyder,Amy Wummer, Eric Wight, Josh Berk, Cyn Balog, Holly Nicole Hoxter, A.S. King

Sunday, Sept. 12, 12-3
Seminar “Writing and Editing Techniques,” with author Vicky Burkholder. At the conclusion of the one-hour seminar, Vicky will meet one on one with aspiring authors and provide a 15-minute critique. Interested writers should include a three page sample in a text document with their RSVP to