Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The First Fan Letter For Prisoner 88!

PITTSBURGH, VIA NEW JERSEY -- At this summer's Princeton Children's Book Festival, I met Arron, who is nine years old. He and his dad bought PRISONER 88, and I just received a terrific letter now that Arron has read the book.

Here we are at the Princeton Children's Book Festival
I had asked Arron to think about the character Jake and to let me know if he thought Jake was guilty. This is what he said:

"Dear Ms. Pileggi,
Hello. We met in Princeton. My dad and I read Prisoner 88. It was a great story. I don't think he [Jake] is guilty because he didn't remember pulling the trigger. I hope he had a good life, too.

Thanks, Arron, for your thoughtful letter!

Monday, November 25, 2013

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, Filming in Pittsburgh!

SHADYSIDE NEIGHBORHOOD OF PITTSBURGH -- It's no secret that John Green's terrific YA novel, The Fault in Our Stars, is being filmed around Pittsburgh. I stumbled onto a shoot today. A funeral scene. Too cold here to stand around for long.

In case you haven't read this book, read it. Today. Teens, parents, it's a powerful story. I know of a group of teen girls who have read it over and over and cry every time. But it's a good cry, a cleansing cry. Fingers crossed that the film will do justice to the book.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Heinz Chapel Made Out of Legos!

PITTSBURGH -- Pitt's Heinz Chapel hosts a string of weddings every weekend, and I finally got to see what the hoopla is all about. I had never been inside Heinz Chapel in all the years I've lived in Pittsburgh, until today. I stopped by to see the Lego version that will be auctioned off in honor of the 75th anniversary of this Gothic style nondenominational memorial chapel. [http://www.heinzchapel.pitt.edu/home]

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Penny Farthing and Steampunk

PITTSBURGH -- This weekend was the Western Pennsylvania SCBWI's annual conference, (Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) held at the Doubletree in Greentree.

In addition to absorbing loads of writing and illustrating information about branding, editing, research and the future of children's books (among many other topics), I learned a couple of new words:  Penny Farthing and Steampunk.

A Penny Farthing is an old-timey bicycle, the kind with the huge front wheel.

According to Wikipedia, "Steampunk refers to a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century's British Victorian era or American 'Wild West,' in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power."

Illustrator John Hinderliter creates Steampunk robots. I apologize for my lousy photography. Check out his work at http://www.johnhinderliter.com.

Illustrator and book designer Lisa Rasmussen plans to create an entire fold-out book. Here she is with the prototype of a small section of a fold-out book. http://www.rasmussenillustrationanddesign.com/about/

And local published authors showed off their wares.