Best of Books partnered with the nonprofit Oklahoma Messages Project to coordinate the first Book-A-Palooza from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at DC on Film Row in Oklahoma City.
Book-A-Palooza was a daylong book extravaganza for children affected by incarceration of their parents. The event included writing workshops, Storytime with Oklahoma children’s authors, a book fair in which every child will get to pick out a book, and a number of other fun book-related activities.
“We want these children, many who do not have a large selection of books at home, to get excited about reading and have a day where they can talk to authors, learn about their favorite books, and hopefully develop a new appreciation for and excitement about reading,’ said Elena Hight, general manager of Best of Books.
Authors from the Oklahoma chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and school librarians volunteered their time for the event. Children’s authors will include Susan Meyers, Kerry Billington, Barbara Lowell and Gwendolyn Hooks. Librarians included Tish Ivie of Cimarron Middle School in Edmond and Jennifer England-Burnside of St. Mary’s Episcopal in Edmond.
Cheri Fuller, an author who is executive director of Oklahoma Messages, worked with Hight and Messages intern Stephanie Champion to create Book-A-Palooza. Fuller recently accepted a $745 check from Best of Books that the Edmond bookstore collected from ticket sales to see Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver.
Funding for Book-A-Palooza also came from a grant that Best of Books received from the James Patterson Foundation. Jimmy John’s will be donating lunch for those attending, and DC on Film Row donated the space.
For more information about Oklahoma Messages, go to okmessages.org. For more information about the event, contact Elena at 340-9202 or send an email to email@example.com.