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Hollywood Children’s Book Fair

2015-book fair-revWe are sooooo excited for the Hollywood Children’s Book Fair this Saturday the 14th from 12-4 at Cheremoya Elementary! We have lots of cool activities, FOUR delicious food trucks (The Deli Doctor, Dogtown Dogs, Los Ruiz, The S’Cream Truck), Skylight Books selling books– and TEN fabulous authors!! The event is free thanks to the generous sponsorship of Hollywood United Neighborhood Council, Cheremoya Foundation as well as the UPS Store, Kettle Glazed Donuts, and The Oaks Gourmet (and US, of course!)

The following are the approximate times authors will take the stage to speak, but they’ll also be signing throughout the day. Come say hi!

12:00 Cecil Castellucci
12:35 Eugene Yelchin & Mina Javaherbin
1:00 Girls and Diversity in Children’s Books author panel with Karen English,
Cecil Castelucci and Sherri L. Smith
1:25 Oliver Chin
1:50 James Burks
2:15 Dan Santat
2:40 Sherri L. Smith
3:05 Luis Rodriguez
3:30 Elise Allen

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The 2nd Hollywood Children’s Book Fair

2015 book fair posterREVISEDpsdIt delights us to no end to announce our sponsorship of the second Hollywood Children’s Book Fair! This awesome event features NINE incredible, award-winning, best selling children’s authors and illustrators including:
Dan Santat – The 2015 Caldecott Winner!!
Luis Rodriguez- The 2015 Los Angeles Poet Laureate
Elise Allen, Karen English, Sherri Smith, Oliver Chin, Eugene Yelchin, James Burks and Cecil Castellucci.

The event will be held Saturday, November 14th from Noon – 4:00pm (doors open at 11:30) at Cheremoya Avenue Elementary. There will be books for sale from Skylight Books and author readings/signings (times be posted prior to the event) as well as food trucks and activities for the kids.

We are delighted to have such a talented, diverse group of authors confirmed for the book fair. Save the date and stay tuned for more details!

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Banned Books Week!

It’s funny- because we are a bunch of do-gooders… but we are opinionated do-gooders. And every time we talk about something close to our hearts, it upsets a few IMG_20151002_172351of our followers. Banned books is one such topic…

Why do we care about banned books so much? Well, we got our name from one, Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson. “Marthas are big on helping… (they) tackle projects and perform good deeds…They run the canned-food drive, tutor kids in the city…They also do nice things for teachers. Gag.” It’s an incredible book about a girl overcoming trauma, and it’s helped countless teens feel like they aren’t alone. It’s banned because of “soft pornography and glorifying pre-marital sex” which, if you’ve actually read it is kind of shocking. A girl fights off an attacker, which we find neither pornographic nor glorifying pre-marital sex. Which is why we think banning books is wrong. First, it seems like people hear of something objectionable in a book and find a couple lines to use out of context to prevent EVERYONE from having access to it. If you don’t want your kids to read it, talk to them about it, but don’t prevent it from being available to other. Second, the books that are banned are usually pretty important. Think about it. Most important books have been banned at some point. We think teaching kids how to think for themselves is really important, and banning age appropriate literature from libraries is not the way to do that.

The coolest thing about Speak is what the author said in a poem made entirely of fan mail she’d received over its first decade. You’ll be blown away, too– when you hear how this banned book had such a positive effect on so many lives. Watch it here!

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Audience with Pope Francis

We were surprised and honored to asked to join our friends at St Francis Center for a television special on homelessness in Los Angeles, which required us to be downtown before 5:00 am… It turned out that it was for the Pope’s Virtual Tour and since his Los Angeles focus was on homelessness, nine agencies who work with the homeless were invited. None of knew what was in store, which meant that everyone there had his or her heart in the right place to have a four a.m. wake up call to talk about the homeless. Boy we were glad we did!

We come from many different religious backgrounds, but we all agree that he’s such an awesome force. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when the homeless spoke to him, and when he called on the Sister in Texas and said he loved her.

Watch the entire encounter here
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