Newbery award winner and New York Times bestselling author

Posts tagged ‘The Richmond Peace Education Center’

Happy Book Birthday: The Movie!

Well, it’s finally here. Pub day for YAQUI. Here’s a little movie to say thank you to all who helped make this book and send it out into the world. Thanks, Penelope Carrington for the amazing photography. (Click full screen to see all slide captions.)

Cariños de,

And we have lift-off!

It was amazing to look out and see the huge variety of people in the audience who came to talk about books and bullying at yesterday’s book launch for Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass. Great questions, honest conversation, and a lot of love in the room. Thank you so much for coming to the celebration!

Click on the  word cloud title below for a tiny slide show that emerged from our I feel strongest when prompt. (Thanks AB Westrick for being the input goddess!)

Trey Hartt, Lauren Davis (The Conciliation Project);  ART 180 teen leaders (Jazmin, Jackson, Bre, Chris) and me.Thanks, Candlewick for the gift books!

Trey Hartt, Lauren Davis (The Conciliation Project); ART 180 teen leaders (Jazmin, Jackson, Bre, Chris) and me.
Thanks, Candlewick for the gift books!

I promised to give you the Resources for anti-bulllying, so here they are.  The document is full of unusual arts and community activities that give  young people a voice about their experiences. Film, art events and competitions, on-line communities, books…it’s a great peek at  new ways to look at an old problem. Maybe you will add you own innovations?

Finally, my heroes for the day: Trey Hartt and Lauren Davis of The Conciliation Project; the ART 180 teen leaders; Marlene, Betsy, “the Mikes”at ART 180;  panelists Allison Conyers of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and Paul Fleisher and Santa Sorenson of the Richmond Peace Education Center; Penelope Carrington for the photography; Gigi Amateau and Virginia Pye for the unglamorous job of food schlepping; bbgb tales for kids for the book sales; Candlewick Press for the gifts to the teens; and the amazing literary community here in Richmond.

Meg’s next appearances:  The Virginia Festival of the Book, March 20 – 24, 2013, Charlottesville, VA. 

Books, Bullying, and Building Compassion: A Book Event in RVA

Mark your calendars: Saturday, March 16, 2013, 2 PM – 4:30 pm. Book launch party for Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, ART 180, 114 West Marshall Street, Richmond, VA 23220

Me in the eighth grade.

Me in the eighth grade.

One day back in middle school, a girl I didn’t know came up to me and said, “Jackie Delgado is going to kick your ass.” If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s more or less the title of my new YA novel.

I didn’t know it then, but that moment was an awful turning point for me. If you’ve ever been targeted, you know that a low grade dread sets in and crowds out everything else, like your grades, your family, your self esteem. What followed for me were two long years of dodging a school bully and her obnoxious friends who would push me and threaten me, scream out my name and cackle in the halls. I suddenly felt scared to exist at my school, and no adult seemed capable of helping. I learned to avoid classes, to lie to my mother, to hang out with downright dangerous people so that I might become so tough that no one could ever hurt me. I wasn’t alone, of course, but you couldn’t have told me that.

The good news is that, like most of us, I survived. The bad news is that girls like Jackie still exist today, and they’re made all the fiercer with their cameras and YouTube sites and Facebook pages. I saw it as a teacher. I saw it as a mom. I see it still on the news when things spiral out of control tragically and a teen takes his or her life in despair. So, as I wrote this novel, I thought not only of my own small experience but also about what goes on right now for  perfectly wonderful people who are harassed at school every day.

Yaqui_frontcoverfullThe book launch (press release here) is a celebration of strength and a conversation. I’m thrilled that it will be held at Atlas, ART 180′s new teen art center in Richmond’s Arts District. (Long ago, I was on their board, and they continue to amaze me with the work they do to give teens some voice and power in our city.)

images I’ll do a reading and a short Q & A. Then we’ll have a performance of Pushed: explorations into bullying, an original play by the Conciliation Project. (The actors are alums of ART 180.) After that, we’ll pull teens and non profit experts from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and the Richmond Peace Education Center for an honest Q & A about what resources are out there to help build  your strength if and when you face down ugliness.

I’m already planning refreshments and the playlist. I’m digging up book titles that might help. Please spread the word, come with a friend and help me send the book out into the world. RSVP to Press release to print and share: here.

For sample chapters here

For more book events for Meg this spring, here.

Don't forget to RSVP!(Mike at ART 180)

Don’t forget to RSVP!
(Mike at ART 180)