Tag Archive for Jennifer Clark

Good People, Making a Difference: The Hudson Literacy Fund

My thanks go out to the good, kind people working with the Hudson Literacy Fund (HLF), in particular Wendy Schmalz, Lisa Dolan, Jennifer Clark, and, I’m sure, many others. Today I sat down and signed 120 book plates which will be attached to free books that go into the hands of young readers in the Hudson School District. Since 2013, the HLF has given each student in the district a coupon called a “Good For” that the students could redeem for ANY BOOK being offered at the Hudson Children’s Book Festival. But in 2020 and 2021 and 2022, the Festival was canceled — and they’ve sorely missed the chance to put those student-selected books into young readers’ hands. This year, the HLF would not be denied. They are offering each student one free book from a select group of books by authors who have previously participated in the Festival.
I want to thank these good folks, my friends, for supporting literacy, for supporting the arts. But that’s not really true. Those things are only secondary. Most important of all, they are supporting these young people, many of whom could use a little extra support. I’m honored & moved to play a very small part of this beautiful & generous effort.
Here’s to the return of the great festival in 2023 — and a postgame beer at the Spotty Dog. Maybe two!

Seven Photos from the 11th Annual Hudson Children’s Book Festival

Thought I’d throw some photos up here, documenting my school visit to Montgomery C. Smith Elementary in Hudson, plus a shot from the pre-festival soiree, and the magnificent event itself. My thanks go to Lisa Dolan, Jennifer Clark and Bridget Smith for the kindness, the coolness, and the support. Besides, it’s not often you see me in a laundered shirt, so I had to over-share. Let’s do this, people!

This is the banner that greeted me in the main hallway of the school. Literally a great sign that it would be a happy visit. 

Besides my presentation to the 3rd grade in the auditorium, I was given the opportunity to visit an eager classroom for a cozy Q & A. At the end, this boy, Logan, was eager for me to see his writing. To bear witness. To be seen. Isn’t that what we all want? These are the moments, folks.

My basic go-to move in a photo is to point at something/anything. For some reason I went with the triumphant fist pump thing here: an abject failure. Though staring directly at the photographer, I seem unaware that a photograph might be transpiring. Oh, sigh. What a warm, beautiful, diverse group of students. Treated me like I was something special. Go figure.

Two of my pals in the book business: Matt Phelan and Jennifer Sattler. So much talent. It’s one of the nice parts of these festivals, getting together with fellow authors. We don’t actually complain ALL of the time. True story!

Signing The Courage Test. That title sold out early! All my “Scary Tales” disappeared quickly. Bystander, too. But more importantly: how do you like my shirt?



This shot is a little blurry — the day was a blur — but I remember this young man vividly. He drew this picture, based on a Jigsaw Jones book, sometime over the winter. He was eager to bring it to the Festival so he could give it to me. Proud of what he’d done. He knew it would make me happy.

A festival is full of small, intimate encounters such as this. Brief conversations about books, reading, life, school, whatever. To my right is a boxed lunch which I never did get around to eating. Thank you, Hudson Children’s Book Festival!