Last weekend, there was a book festival in my town. It's a great event - lots and LOTS of authors, each at a smallish table with a big pile of books, chatting and signing, signing and chatting. There were food trucks doling out wood fired pizzas and artisanal grilled cheese, and portable mini-golf for toddlers, and lots of friends hauling boxes and running cash registers and ferrying cups of tea to parched chatty authors.
I bought a bunch of books: a September head start on my Christmas shopping, and a baby present for Flutter's baby. There is something wonderful about buying a goofy pull-tab book and getting it signed "Dear Baby Rob" by Matthew van Fleet himself.
The authors cover a wide spectrum - one lives in our town and has written one book, others have been writing tons of books over years and years. I had a copy of Vicki Cobb's Science Experiments You Can Eat when I was in middle school; Vicki Cobb was there with it and lots of other books.
Jane Yolen was there too. She's written a pile of books, all over the map. I'm kind of fond of Bad Girls, because I have a subversive streak and I am working hard on teaching my twelve year old to stand up for herself, to recognize sexist behavior, to be no shrinking violet.
But the sweetest part of the day? Jane Yolen gave a copy of a poem to the force-of-nature organizer of the event, who happens to be the number one rabble rouser in support of Hillary Clinton in our town, and asked that the poem get to Secretary Clinton. It's a terrific little poem:
HC: A Modern Ode
She stands there,
hammer in hand
staring at the ceiling,
measuring with her careful eye,
finding just the right spot
to ding it down.
No wasted effort,
no casual boast,
the eye not the I.
A flick of the wrist,
a perfect strike.
The suffragettes smile
in their iron cradles.
Shards of glass
fall around us
like the Perseid stars.
–©2016 Jane Yolen all rights reserved
I've given a copy to my little unshrinking violet, because glass ceiling? Here we come.