Blast-Off Book Festival returns with ‘New York Times’ best-selling author Krosoczka

MADISON – Madison Public Library will host the second annual “Blast-Off Book Festival” on March 7 at 10:30 a.m.

The event’s special guest will be “New York Times” best-selling author/illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka, who wrote “Lunch Lady” and “Jedi Academy.” Huntsville Library Foundation, Madison City Schools and Madison Friends of the Library are sponsoring the event.

“The library’s goal is to host an annual book festival, a free festival for the children in Madison County,” Sarah Sledge said. Sledge is Madison Public Library’s branch manager and festival organizer. “We hope to be able to expand it in the coming years to Huntsville and the surrounding communities.”

Sledge said that opportunities to meet authors face to face are exciting for children and help inspire not only a love of literacy, but a love for the arts. “Somewhere out there in the audience is a child who may want to be an author when they grow up and they will remember this event — that is our hope.”

Krosoczka creates books with humor, heart and a deep respect for his young readers. He has produced books, graphic novels and the “Platypus Police Squad” middle-grade novels. His most recent book, “Hey, Kiddo,” recounts his childhood in a family grappling with addiction and finding the art that helped him survive.

Doors will open at 10 a.m. Event is limited to the first 350 attendees.

“There will be no tickets given out this year. Participants can start lining up in the library at 9:30 a.m.,” Director of Public Relations Melanie Thornton said. “Seating will be limited to floor seating, with only a few standard seats available, to accommodate as many children as possible. We will have a live feed in the children’s programming room if we reach maximum capacity in the auditorium.”

“Jarrett will be talking about how he brings his characters to life through stories and demonstrating how he illustrates these characters. He will also be taking questions and signing books at the end of the talk,” Thornton said. Snail on the Wall will be the event’s official bookseller and will have a wide selection of Krosoczka’s books available for sale.

Second-, third- and sixth-grade students can see Jarrett on March 6 at Bob Jones High School in Zompa Auditorium during a school-sponsored field trip.

For more information, visit hmcpl.org/blastoff.

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