Fresh Ink: How One Indie Bookseller Gets Teens And Tweens Reading

Tonight I'm heading to Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Ma, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of an innovative program called Fresh Ink. Last year, the indie bookseller sent out this invitation to the community:
Want to be the first one to read new and upcoming books BEFORE anyone else? Introducing a new program at Porter Square Books called FRESH INK that allows young people between the ages of 7-17 to read books BEFORE they are published. How do we do this? Publishers send us early copies of books months ahead of publication to help us decide which books we want to carry on our shelves. These early books are called Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) and unfortunately for us, we just don't have time to read everything. So we're asking for your help.
FIVE HUNDRED reviews later, the store is throwing a party, and rightfully so, don't you think? Here's the schedule of events starting at 7 o'clock in the evening:
  • Carter Hasegawa, bookseller and erstwhile Candlewick guy, is giving an introduction.
  • Three Fresh Ink reviewers will discuss writing reviews: Jenna, age 15, Ty, age 8, and Allison, age 11.
  • Anne DeCourcey, sales rep from HarperCollins, will share why publishers value reviewers.
  • Three guest authors will discuss memorable reviews or how reviews have impacted their work:
  1. Sheela Chari, author of VANISHED (Hyperion, Aug 2011)
  2. Karsten Knight, author of WILDEFIRE (Simon and Schuster, July 2011)
  3. Mitali Perkins,  author of BAMBOO PEOPLE (Charlesbridge, July 2010)
Doesn't this sound like the perfect event to demonstrate the power of an independent bookseller? I'll be taking photos, so stay tuned for an update. And if you're in the area, please stop by and introduce yourself.