Saturday, October 23, 2010

Napa County Reads SHIFTY!!!

Here's my exciting news!

I am jazzed, honored, and very excited that Napa County Reads has chosen SHIFTY as their selection for 2010!

What does this mean?

Students galore (and the Napa Valley Community) will all be reading and discussing SHIFTY!

I'll be speaking to students at 9 (!!!!!!!!!) different middle schools, high schools, and to youth at community court

Napa Reads is hosting a SHIFTY-themed bookmark contest with the winning bookmarks being distributed by Napa County Libraries

Artists (both student and professional) are creating SHIFTY-themed planter boxes to be auctioned off in a fundraising event to support literacy on Oct. 27th at the Napa Valley Opera House

I'll be speaking at the historic Napa Valley Opera House for "An Evening of Art, Music, Food and a Great Book." Panelists joining me include a foster parent, a former foster youth, a foster youth advocate from VOICES, a social worker, a probation officer and a Napa County judge. Wow!

Students from the Napa Valley Childrens’ Chorus, under the direction of Kim Markovich, will entertain with a short program of favorite songs.

Oh, and I hear there is some kind of student writing contest, too!

Please join us:

Wednesday, October 27
at the Napa Valley Opera House
It's FREE!
6:00 p.m. Reception & Silent Auction
7:00 p.m. Program Begins

Here is the Napa Reads Press Release:
(Note: I'm speaking mostly at middle schools and a few high schools so I'm not sure about the "5th graders" part. Of course I'd be happy for a zillion 5th graders to read SHIFTY, too!)


Napa County Reads Public Event: October 27, 2010
Annual Literacy Program Announces 8th Annual Silent Auction Fundraiser

Shifty by Lynn E. Hazen

Napa, CA -Napa County Reads, an annual literacy program fundraiser co-partnered by Napa Valley Office of Education (NCOE) Napa City-County Library and Arts Council Napa Valley (ACNV), kicks off another successful year with the 2010 selection of Shifty, a young adult novel by Bay Area author, Lynn E. Hazen.

Now in its eighth year, Napa County Reads combines art and literacy education by selecting an inspirational book to be read by 5th grade students and the community. Along with reading the book, students are encouraged to create a bookmark themed after the selection. As in years past, four bookmarks, this year's inspired by Shifty, will be chosen to be the official "Napa County Reads" bookmarks and distributed throughout Napa County libraries for 2010.

Napa County Reads helps foster a love of reading because everyone is reading, talking about, and sharing the same book, including many adults in the community," explains Barbara Nemko, Superintendent of Napa County Schools. "Students are further motivated by knowing they will meet the author and get to ask questions about the writing process, and why the subject matter of the book was chosen."

Additionally, on display at Napa City-County Library are original artworks by local visual artists, ranging from student to professional. Arts Council Napa Valley brought this additional artistic component into the literacy program back in 2007 by presenting an interpretive art project that allowed local students and artists the chance to illustrate portions of the Napa County Reads selected novel on unique canvases.

As a finale to the program, the artwork is auctioned at the Napa County Reads Reception each fall. This year's free public reception, presented at Napa Valley Opera House as part of Napa Valley ARTS 2010, features a reading and book signing by the author as well as a special panel discussion by former foster youth. 100% of the event proceeds benefit Napa County Reads.

Shifty is the story is about a 15-year-old boy in foster care. Author Lynn Hazen, a resident of San Francisco, incorporated her love of the Bay Area into her young adult novel, bracketing Bay Area landmarks around main character Soli's misadventures as a foster teen. Shifty includes themes of resiliency, loss, love, and redefining family. Hazen's work has won numerous awards, including the Top Shelf Fiction Award from the Voice of Youth Advocates magazine, and a Smithsonian Notable Book Award. Kirkus Reviews praised Shifty as, "a realistic story that resonates."

The artists who created work inspired by the novel couldn't agree more. Thematic interpretations of Shifty were placed on planter boxes, this year's unique "canvas" chosen by ACNV. Planters were selected because they nurture the growth of roots, much like foster homes across America. With varied approaches and individual styles, the planter boxes each touch on different themes of the book. Materials used on the planters range from steel to encaustic wax.

This year's Napa County Reads Reception and Silent Auction will be held Wednesday, October 27th, beginning at 6:00pm at Napa Valley Opera House. The event is co-sponsored by the Napa County Office of Education, Napa Valley Opera House and Arts Council Napa Valley.


As I said at the start of this post, I am jazzed, honored, and very excited! I'm also in awe of the series of events planned by Napa Valley Reads Committee.

Next blog post up--a sneak preview of some of the totally amazing SHIFTY-themed planter boxes and the equally amazing artists' statements.

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