Thursday, June 23, 2016

We're All Damaged - A Review and a Command to go Buy This Book Now!

I am going to say it... this is the best book I have read so far all year.  I adored it.  Could not get enough of it and was slightly devastated when it ended. 

This was not a humor book.  It was not written as a comedy.  It actually had a very morose story line.  So it might bewilder the reader when I say that through the first 7 chapters or so I did nothing but laugh hysterically until tears ran down my face.  I only am thankful I didn't try reading this in public - I might have been hauled off and drug tested... or worse, someone would have swiped the book since it was apparently that good.  I did read it in the tub and nearly drowned myself, but that's a story for another day (well, Facebook already knows all about it).

The reason I laughed so hard was that Matthew's writing is exquisitely sharp and witty. It is full of sarcastic notations on life that we all see in everyday moments, but perhaps lack the talent to notate them in such a delightfully droll manner.

Matthew takes a man that seems to have decided the world is out to get him, sends him home to await his grandfather's funeral, puts him in his dysfunctional family home, close to his newly divorced but already shacked up ex-wife...........and tells the entire story with so much biting wit that you find yourself laughing through all the sad.  It was a low blow to me when I reached the last page and realized that was it.  The End. I desperately want to know how Andy's life continues. Matthew's writing was just that good.

OMG... The squirrels.  The squirrels will kill you.


Oh yes, go buy his first book, Domestic Violets also.  You'll want it.

Little A Publishers
June 1, 2016

Book Description:
Andy Carter was happy. He had a solid job. He ran 5Ks for charity. He was living a nice, safe Midwestern existence. And then his wife left him for a handsome paramedic down the street.

We’re All Damaged begins after Andy has lost his job, ruined his best friend’s wedding, and moved to New York City, where he lives in a tiny apartment with an angry cat named Jeter that isn’t technically his. But before long he needs to go back to Omaha to say good-bye to his dying grandfather.

Back home, Andy is confronted with his past, which includes his ex, his ex’s new boyfriend, his right-wing talk-radio-host mother, his parents’ crumbling marriage, and his still-angry best friend.

As if these old problems weren’t enough, Andy encounters an entirely new complication: Daisy. She has fifteen tattoos, no job, and her own difficult past. But she claims she is the only person who can help Andy be happy again, if only she weren’t hiding a huge secret that will mess things up even more. Andy Carter needs a second chance at life, and Daisy—and the person Daisy pushes Andy to become—may be his last chance to set things right.

From the Editor

DOMESTIC VIOLETSWhat’s more humiliating than watching a marriage dissolve in the middle of dinner at a cheesy chain restaurant? In We’re All Damaged, our lovable hero, Andy, is devouring his sizzling chicken dish when he’s blindsided by his wife’s announcement: “I don’t want this anymore.” And she’s not referring to the food. That’s just the first scene of this compulsively readable and heartrending novel.

In that moment I found myself instantly rooting for Andy, who narrates the story with brutal honesty and keen observation. I commiserated with him as he returns to his hometown to care for his dying grandfather and deal with his parents’ troubled marriage. In the process Andy meets a mysterious woman named Daisy who seems to know a lot about him, and he’s forced to witness his ex-wife’s brand-new life. In the wake of his painful divorce, Andy now faces the new challenge of holding his family together.

Matthew Norman’s novel reminded me that even when everything seems to be going wrong, we can find moments of joy and beauty with the most unexpected people. It’s a reassuring lesson that runs through We’re All Damaged and makes for a frank and joyful read.
- Carmen Johnson, Editor

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

#DBF2016 Adult Program Highlights



2016 marks the third year for the author-curated track. The handpicked selections bring a freshness and diversity of ideas, experiences and viewpoints to the AJC Decatur Book Festival (AJC DBF). Following Roxane Gay’s stellar turn in 2015, Alexander Chee picks his dream team to speak on themes related to how history tends to repeat itself. Whiting Award-winner Chee presents Queen of the Night, which follows Paris Opera sensation Lilliet Berne, as she attains a critical original role but realizes it’s based on a hidden piece of her past. Emerging talent Kaitlyn Greenidge discusses her novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman, which begins as a story of family but becomes an exploration of America’s failure to find a language to talk about race. In Rich and Pretty, debut author Rumaan Alam provides an insightful look into how the relationship between two best friends changes when they are no longer coming of age but learning how to live adult lives. Award-winning poet Idra Novey brings her brilliant debut novel, Ways to Disappear, which follows the disappearance of a famous Brazilian novelist and the young translator who turns her life upside down to follow her author’s trail. Samantha Hunt reads from Mr. Splitfoot, an exciting contemporary gothic novel that tracks two women in two eras as they march towards a mysterious reckoning. In her book Witches of America, Alex Mar illuminates the world of witchcraft while grappling in fresh and unexpected ways with the question of underlying faith. Sunil Yapa discusses his electrifying debut novel, Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, which is set amid the heated conflict of Seattle’s 1999 WTO protests. Garrard Conley reads from Boy Erased, his beautiful, raw and compassionate memoir about identity, love and understanding, while essayist Kiese Laymon shares his experiences about growing up with racial violence both within his own family and in the culture at large. In All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister provides a remarkable portrait of contemporary American life and how we got here, through the lens of the single American woman.


Partnering with the Atlanta Science Tavern, the AJC DBF continues to bring some of the most brilliant minds to the festival. Frans de Waal, Emory University professor and the director of the Living Links Center of Emory’s Yerkes National Primate Research Center, o!ers Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?, which encourages readers to rethink everything
they thought they knew about animal and human intelligence. Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Mathematics at Emory University, Ken Ono examines one of the most brilliant mathematical minds with My Search for Ramanujan: How I Learned to Count. Former NPR science reporter Frank Browning brings The Fate of Gender: Nature, Nurture, and the Human Future, which explores the fast-changing global landscape of gender today. Authors Jon Willis (All These Worlds Are Yours: The Scientific Search for Alien Life) and Priyamvada Natarajan (Mapping the Heavens: The Radical
Scientific Ideas that Revealed the Cosmos) look di!erently at the stars, the universe and the search for alien life. Kayt Sukel examines our capacity and understanding of risk in The Art of Risk: The New Science of Courage, Caution and Chance. Lastly, archeology topics come to the forefront
from two di!erent perspectives: Lydia Pyne examines the importance of human fossils in Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World’s Most Famous Human Fossils while Elizabeth Reitz and Martha Zierden understand cultural history with Charleston: An Archaeology of Life in a Coastal Community.


Poetry has always been a highlight of the AJC DBF and the 2016 line-up is one of the strongest the festival has seen. Considered one of the leading poets of his generation, Kevin Young, the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing and English at Emory University and the Curator of Emory’s Raymond Danowski Poetry Library, will read from Blue Laws: Selected and Uncollected Poems, 1995-2015, which is a compilation of the highlights, “B sides” and “bonus tracks” from his extraordinary career. Talented Georgia-based poets James Davis May, Sandra Meek and Richie Hofmann read from their respective collections that o!er di!erent perspectives of the human experience. Award-winning Tyehimba Jess brings to the AJC DBF his new collection, Olio, which presents the sweat and story behind America’s blues, worksongs and church hymns from before the Civil War through World War I. National Book Award finalist Monica Youn will read from her acclaimed new collection Blackacre, which examines the limits of the imagination’s ability to
transform what is given. David Kirby, who has received numerous Pushcart Prizes and other awards for his work, examines our extraordinarily human condition through the lens of our ordinary daily lives in his collection Get Up, Please.


The History Track continues to expose and educate festivalgoers to stories from our past, from little-known characters to major events. Award-winning poet and Atlanta-area native Patrick
Phillips launches Blood at the Root, a sweeping American tale that spans centuries of racial injustice in Forsyth County, Georgia. Phillips breaks the century-long silence of his hometown and uncovers
a history of racial terrorism that continues to shape America today. Co-author Michael Graetz examines the Warren Burger Supreme Court in The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right, which finds that it was not a “moderate” or transitional court, as often portrayed, but a conservative one that still defines the constitutional landscape we live in today. Journalist and author Laurence Leamer brings The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle That Brought Down the Klan, which tells
the spellbinding true story of a brutal race-based killing in 1981 and the subsequent trials that undid the Ku Klux Klan. In The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship, Patricia Bell-Scott tells the story of how a brilliant writer-turned-activist and granddaughter of a mulatto slave forged an enduring relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady of the United States, which changed each of their lives and helped alter the course of race and racism in America. James Lee McDonough introduces a controversial historical figure in the biography William Tecumseh Sherman: In the Service of My Country: A Life. General Sherman’s 1864 burning of Atlanta solidified his legacy as a ruthless leader yet he proved far more complex than his legendary military tactics reveal.


The AJC DBF’s national reputation for celebrating the art, science and wonder of food in publishing continues to grow exponentially, as highlighted by the cooking stage’s new location on the MARTA plaza. James Beard Award-winner and noted bread authority Peter Reinhart talks about mastering
the art of breadmaking. Meathead Goldwyn, founder and editor of the world’s most popular BBQ and grilling website (, demos from Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling, which is the definitive guide to the concepts, methods, equipment and accessories of barbecue and grilling. James Beard Award-winning cookbook author Cynthia Graubart launches Chicken, which packs all the know-how that cooks need to make irresistible chicken dishes for everyday and special occasions. Ronni Lundy takes attendees on an exploration of the foodways, people and places of Appalachia with Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes. Noted canning expert Marisa McClellan guides home canners on how to enjoy the flavors of the season without refined sugars in Naturally Sweet Food in Jars. James Beard Award-winning writer Rien Fertel chronicles the uniquely southern art of whole hog barbecue in The One True Barbecue:
Fire, Smoke, and the Pitmasters Who Cook the Whole Hog. Robert F. Moss and Fred Minnick will talk about bourbon and Southern spirits, while former Atlanta Journal-Constitution food editor Anne Byrn discusses the fascinating history of cakes in her book American Cake. The AJC DBF is launching a celebration of legacy cookbooks, recognizing those cooks who defined or changed the way we understand and cook food. Noted culinary journalist Ted Lee will talk with James Beard Award semi-finalist Todd Richards, executive chef at White Oaks Kitchen & Cocktails, who will demo from The Taste of Country Cooking by the late Edna Lewis, who inspired a generation of young chefs and ensured traditional Southern foods and preparations would live forever.


Celebrating the greatest legacy of the Atlanta region, the Civil & Human Rights Track provides attendees an opportunity to examine the painful civil injustices in our country and abroad, and o!ers a place and context to discuss and apply knowledge to and lessons learned by our world today and in the future. Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of African American Studies at Emory University, Carol Anderson presents White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide. Based
on her remarkable op-ed in The Washington Post following the events in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, the book adds an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.
In Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality, investigative journalist Debbie Cenziper and plainti! Jim Obergefell tell the fascinating and moving story of the lovers, lawyers, judges and activists behind the groundbreaking Supreme Court case that led to one of the most important national civil rights victories in decades. In Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World, journalist and professor Baz Dreisinger travels behind bars in nine countries to rethink the state of justice in a global context. Bernard Edward Powers, Jr. and Marjory Wentworth recount the tragic events of June 17, 2015, in We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel. The book not only recounts the events of that terrible day but also o!ers a history lesson that reveals a deeper look at the su!ering, triumph and even the ongoing rage of the people who formed Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church and the wider denominational movement.


Jacqueline Woodson, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-winning author, brings to the AJC DBF her first adult novel in 20 years, Another Brooklyn. Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything until it wasn’t. Ron Rash, author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Finalist novel Serena, in addition to other prize-winning novels, is launching his latest novel, The Risen, a tale of two brothers whose lives are altered irrevocably by the events of one long-ago summer. Ann Hood will present her newest book, The Book That Matters Most, which follows a mother’s mission to find an important book from her childhood and its author, taking her on a quest
that unravels the secrets of her past and o!ers a chance to remake lives. Award-winning Decatur author Thomas Mullen launches his latest novel, Darktown, at the AJC DBF. Set in the postwar, pre-civil rights South, Darktown is a vivid, smart, intricately plotted crime saga that explores the
timely issues of race, law enforcement and the uneven scales of justice. New York Times bestselling author Emily Gi!n will present her latest novel, First Comes Love. Emotionally honest and utterly enthralling, First Comes Love is a story about family, friendship and the courage to follow your
own heart. Carolyn Parkhurst, The New York Times bestselling author of The Dogs of Babel, The Nobodies Album and others, introduces her new book, Harmony, a taut, emotionally wrenching story of how a seemingly “normal” family can become desperate enough to leave everything behind and move to a “family camp” in New Hampshire. The New York Times bestselling author
Brad Meltzer brings his latest thriller, The House of Secrets, following Hazel Nash, who has to solve a murder and discover her father’s secrets.


Pulitzer Prize-winning and bestselling author Rick Bragg presents My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South, a poignant and wryly funny collection of essays on life in the South. Rob Spillman, editor of the influential literary magazine Tin House, reads from his memoir All Tomorrow’s Parties, which narrates a colorful, literary and music-filled coming-of-age portrait of an artist’s life that is also a cultural exploration of a shifting Berlin. In Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon, award-winning journalist Bronwen Dickey o!ers a clear-eyed portrait of this
extraordinary breed and an insightful view of Americans’ relationship with their dogs. In Where We Want to Live: Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities, Ryan Gravel, creator of the Atlanta Beltline, argues for leveraging existing infrastructure to reconceive how we live in American cities. In her book Agnostic: A Spirited Manifesto, award-winning writer and journalist Lesley Hazelton gives voice to the case for agnosticism, breaking it free of its stereotypes and celebrates it as a reasoned, revealing and sustaining stance toward life.


Partnering with both AIR Serenbe, the artist-in-residence program at Serenbe, and the Institute for Child Success (ICS), the early childhood research and policy think tank, this new track will bring together a variety of authors and artists who collectively share a passion for the power of stories
in the lives of children. It will feature performances by spoken word artists Mahogany Browne and Anis Mojgani and panel discussions with authors, illustrators and thought leaders, including children’s author Jeanne Birdsall and Joe Waters, executive vice president with the ICS. This exciting new track will celebrate the importance of stories in the shaping of children’s own personal narratives, conceptions of self and of the world and their location within our broader cultural narratives of race, gender and class.


This year at the DBF, we have partnered with iconic organizations and individuals that highlight unique literary voices. Legendary poet Coleman Barks reads with editor Stephen Corey to celebrate the 70th anniversary of The Georgia Review, discussing the history, present and possibly future
of the highly regarded journal of arts and letters, which Corey edits. Notable digital publishing visionary Richard Nash, former head of Soft Skull Press, Cursor and Red Lemonade and named one of the top 50 Visionaries Changing Your World by Utne Reader, leads a discussion on the blurring of fact and fiction, on reading and writing and writing for a living. The panel includes Amy Hungerford, Director of Humanities and Professor of English at Yale University and author of the upcoming book
Making Literature Now, and Jane Friedman, founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors and the former publisher of Writer’s Digest.


ArtsATL is thrilled to collaborate with DBF on this year’s Art|DBF programming. This year, ArtsATL plans to incorporate a curated selection of performances and installations directly within the festival’s programming. The lineup will include return performances from favorites of previous years, including 7 Stages and the High Museum of Art. ArtsATL will also introduce art installations in specific venues by local artists to enhance visitors’ visual experience during readings and le

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Since She Went Away - Review and Excerpt,204,203,200_.jpgIdgie Says:
This is a fascinating story of a single mother trying to be what she needs to be with her teenage boy, show understanding and leniency while at the same time fearing letting him loose after her friend mysteriously disappears one night.  What's loose in the world that might get her boy too?  

He remains safe, but his sorta/kinda/maybe girlfriend then also disappears, after he spies her acting incredibly afraid of her father, along with an action that seems "not right" between the two of them.

Plenty of who's and what's and where's in this story.  Side stories within the pages of the main story. I cannot say much more without giving away plot.

Click HERE for an excerpt.

A master of the small-town, layered thriller, bestselling author David Bell has crafted some of the smartest, most suspenseful novels, including Somebody I Used to Know and Forgotten Girl. SINCE SHE WENT AWAY (NAL Trade Paperback Original; June 21, 2016; ISBN:  978-0-451-47421-6; $15.00), his latest thriller that Publishers Weekly has already called “tantalizing.”  

When Jenna Barton received the text message from her lifelong best friend, Celia Walters, with a single request—‘Want to meet in the park at 12?’—she jumped at the chance to re-live some old high school fun. Jenna was running late to meet Celia that night. But Celia never arrived—and hasn’t been seen since.
Now, three months later, the only piece of evidence in Celia’s disappearance is a lone diamond earring found where Celia and Jenna were planning to meet. The media has descended upon their small Kentucky town, dubbing Celia “The Diamond Mom,” and the police are no closer to finding out what happened since that unfortunate evening. It’s as if Celia disappeared into thin air. And Jenna, racked with guilt and hounded by a sensationalistic cable news personality, spends her down time obsessively scouring online message boards devoted to missing persons cases. No one is closer to finding Celia, and neither is Jenna closer to letting go of that horrible night.
But when Jenna’s son Jared’s new girlfriend—who suddenly arrived to town with secrets of her own—also disappears, Jenna wonders if the two cases are connected and tries unwind the tangled truth behind this latest tragedy and what happened to Celia. As long-buried secrets finally come to light, she discovers how a few simple lies can completely shatter lives.

Sunshine Beach - Review, Excerpt and Author Q & A

Idgie Says:
What I enjoy most about this series from Wendy is that the women are not all gorgeous 20 somethings with hot bodies.  These women have done some living and they aren't through yet.   

The 51 year old who is not that confident about her body is dating a rock star - yes, he's aging too, but he's a rock star!  Another one is dating the studly detective that was tracking her as a suspect a few books back, neither one on the young side of 40.  These are "women of  a certain age" that can still sizzle.  

Three women, along with a daughter (who is also mother to a hot movie star's baby) are trying to keep their lives together through complete loss of funds, then a recoup, then a loss of a tv show, etc. etc.  This series of books have always contained a mystery that must be solved and this one is no exception. 

I do recommend that this series be read in order.  If you start with the most current novel, you may enjoy the story but you will find yourself lost in spots without the backstory.

 Click HERE for an excerpt.

Readers first met Maddie, Avery and Nicole in Wendy Wax's
 Ten Beach Road, heralded as "one of six books that belong in your beach bag" by USA Today. Victims of a Ponzi scheme, the three were deeded Bella Flora, a crumbling historic home on Florida's Pass-a-Grille Beach, in lieu of their vanished life savings.

At the time, all the reluctant DIYers dared hope was that renovating and selling it would make them solvent. Little did they know they would end up starring in their own reality show, Do Over, strapping on their tool belts again in Wax's Ocean Beach and The House on Mermaid Point and, now, fighting for their show and their integrity, in the long-awaited SUNSHINE BEACH, a Berkley Trade Paperback Original on sale June 21st.

There have been big life changes, including losses, for the characters Wax has created, but they've remained together---friends, family, extended family, barely tolerated colleagues and all. They're still taking life one renovation at a time, but in SUNSHINE BEACH there's a big difference. They've broken with the network, which insisted on compromise after compromise, and are risking everything to secure their next project and the future of Do Over.

 This time around,they find their next renovation pretty much right where they started, barely a mile from Bella Flora. It's Maddie's daughter Kyra who stumbles across the Sunshine Hotel, a once glorious mid-century beachfront
property left to languish at the mercy of the elements. The opportunity to renovate it is too good to pass up and, they figure, what could go wrong? Well, it turns out, pretty much everything.

Maddie's romance with rock legend "Will the Wild" Hightower gets complicated. Nikki's reluctance to commit to the man who loves her may be the biggest mistake of her life. Kyra's son Dustin's world famous actor father keeps popping up and between him, Hightower and the Do Over cast, paparazzi abound, adding their own layer of chaos. Even the hotel seems to be against them when their remodeling uncovers a 60-year-old unsolved murder that brings construction to a halt, threatening the future of the show and reopening wounds that never fully healed.

As always, Wendy brings her distinctive blend of insight, humor and sense of place to the world and people she has created in this story of friendship, family, self-discovery and strength in the face of adversity.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Captain Underpants at #DBF2016!


Dav  Pilkey has written and illustrated numerous popular, award-winning books for children, including the Captain Underpants and Dumb Bunnies series; DOG  BREATH, winner of the California Young Reader Medal; and THE PAPERBOY, a Caldecott Honor Book. Growing up as a child in Elyria, Ohio, Pilkey was diagnosed with and su!ers from dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Pilkey is giving the Kidnote address and will launch Dog Man,  a book about a crime-biting canine who is part dog, part man. With the head of a dog and the body of a human, this heroic hound has a real nose for justice. But  can he resist the call  of the wild  to answer the call  of duty?

New York Times bestselling Young Adult author Victoria Schwab is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father and a Southern upbringing. Her  new book, This Savage Song, tells the story of two teens in a broken world, where violent acts start breeding actual monsters. Some are shadows with teeth that feed on flesh and bone. Some are corpses that feed on blood. And some can pass for human. Those rare creatures feed on souls.

A native of small town Louisiana, YA author John Corey Whaley started writing stories about aliens and underwater civilizations when he was around 10 or 11 but now writes realistic fiction. His new book, Highly Illogical Behavior, is a hilarious and heartwarming coming-of-age story. It showcases the di!erent ways in which we hide ourselves from the world and the ways in which love, tragedy and the need for connection may be the only things to bring us  back into the light.

Jason Reynolds is the author of critically acclaimed When I Was the Greatest, for which he was the recipient of the 2015 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent given by the American Library Association. At the AJC DBF, he will launch Ghost, about a boy who wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team but whose past is slowing him  down. Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons. It all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a little boy, chased him  and his mother with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems and running away from them until he meets Coach, an ex- Olympic medalist who blew his own shot at success by using drugs, and who is determined to keep other kids from blowing their shots at life.

Sabaa Tahir grew up in Californias Mojave Desert at her familys 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brothers comic book stash, and playing guitar badly. A former editor at The Washington Post, she writes Teen & YA Fantasy Fiction. Her latest book is A Torch Against the Night, a sequel to her New York  Times bestseller, An  Ember in the Ashes. In A Torch, Elias and Laia have to fight every step of the way if theyre going to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf and, most heart-breaking of all, Helene, Eliass former friend and the Empires newest Blood Shrike. Helenes mission is horrifying, unwanted, and clear: find  the traitor Elias  Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him  to escape and kill them both.

A former high school English teacher in England and Switzerland, Sharon Creech first began writing novels for adults. She is also the author of Newbery Medal-winning Walk Two Moons and The New York Times bestseller, A Fine,  Fine  School. At the AJC DBF, she will launch Moo, a tween novel. This uplifting tale reminds us  that if we’re open to new experiences, life is full of surprises. Following one familys momentous move from the city to rural Maine, an unexpected bond develops between 12-year-old Reena and one very ornery cow.

Christian Robinson is an illustrator and animator who lives in San Francisco. He has worked with Pixar Animation Studios, The Sesame Street Workshop and has illustrated a number of award- winning picture books, including Josephine by Patricia Hruby Powell, which won a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, a Robert F. Sibert Honor and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Honor. He brings Schools First Day of School. Its the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone is just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him? The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that hes not the only one going through first-day jitters.


This years Childrens Area on Sycamore Street is bigger and better than ever with more family friendly programming including an outdoor stage with performances by local arts organizations, character meet-and-greets, and food! As always, top names in Childrens lit will present on the Childrens Stage inside the Decatur Recreation Center.


Who is your favorite hero or heroine?  Brad  Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos, co-creators of the popular picture book series, Ordinary People Change the World, kick the kids events o! on Saturday with a parade of historic proportions. Come as your favorite, most inspiring historical figure OR  come as you are after all, you are an ordinary person who can change the world!
Parade lineup will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the community bandstand on the Decatur square and end at the Childrens Stage presented by the Decatur Education Foundation.


Calling all nerds, geeks, wonks and techies! Our Sunday parade will be led  by Andrea Beaty, author of the beloved picture books Iggy Peck, Architect; Rosie Revere, Engineer; and the brand new, Ada Twist, Scientist. Atlanta Science Festival and Decatur Makers will join in the fun  as we all put on our lab  coats and our pocket protectors! Parade line  up will begin at 11:30 a.m.  at the community bandstand on the Decatur square and end at the Childrens Stage presented by the Decatur Education Foundation.