Number 9, number 9, number 9 . . . No, John Lennon hasn’t booked a return engagement, but wordsmiths are singing the praises of something almost as good. More than 30 authors, representing the fair’s theme of “Our Diverse Literary Heritage,” will participate in the Ninth Annual Illinois Authors Book Fairs, showcasing their books and meeting readers.
Hailing from the all parts of the state, these writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s literature represent the best and the brightest literary talent in Illinois. Last year more than 4,000 book lovers came to meet and greet featured writers in the State Library’s great hall and to attend the many book-related programs offered at the fair. Patrons can browse or purchase books at an onsite bookstore.
Among the guests this year:
• Alex Kotlowitz, the fair’s featured author, wrote the acclaimed best-seller There Are No Children Here. The book is the true story of brothers Lafeyette and Pharoah Rivers, ages 9 and 11, whose lives bring home the horrors of trying to survive in a violence-ridden Chicago public-housing project. The book was named one of the 150 most important books of the 20th century by the New York Public Library. Kotlowitz’ latest book is Never a City So Real: A Walk in Chicago.
• Deloris Jordan, mother of basketball legend Michael Jordan, has co-authored three books with her daughter Roslyn M. Jordan, the best-known being Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream. This inspirational story about her son encourages young readers to pursue their dreams. Her most recent book is Did I Tell You I Love You Today?
• Tom Joyce of Home and Garden Television’s The Appraisal Fair returns this year to appraise rare and old books.
• Acclaimed storyteller Linda Gorham will give three performances.
Participating authors will autograph their books, present workshops, or participate in panel discussions on subjects that include writing mysteries, fiction, children’s books, self-help books, histories, and biographies.
A children’s area will include storytellers, crafts, the Ansar Shrine clowns, free books, posters, stickers, and cookies. For a nominal fee, children may have a photo taken with popular cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants. A raffle will be held for two tickets to the Batter’s Eye Club, located above the centerfield wall, for the July 23 Chicago Cubs–St. Louis Cardinals game in St. Louis.
The Ninth Annual Illinois Authors Book Fair is held 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at the Illinois State Library, 300 S. Second St. Admission is free. For a complete schedule, visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/whats_new/2005bookfair.html.
On Friday, March 4, a fundraising dinner will be held in the State Library atrium. Tickets are $100; contact Bonnie Matheis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 217-558-2065.