Yesterday was the first Children’s Institute at BEA and it got off to a rousing start with the Children’s Breakfast. I love the breakfasts, although I found it a little hard to get out of in bed in time for the actual meal because of the fun had the night before at two very entertaining publisher parties. (I will say the Penguin party at the Top of the Standard afforded attendees stunning views of New York City; the Little, Brown Speakeasy for Libba Bray was glorious. Libba, who has a wonderful, bluesy voice, treated us to a five-song set. And there was something very clever about having our drinks in coffee cups a la prohibition).
Chris Colfer, the actor from Glee, hosted the breakfast and he was poised, charming and warm. John Green was the first speaker and he was really funny. He started by saying he looked up Chris to learn more about him and all he found was fan fiction about the two of them, together. John spoke with passion, hands moving quickly all the time, several times knocking the mic. John mentioned that until he was 10 he thought everyone, including his family, were aliens and he was the only human. It was through stories that he learned his family was human (I know this sounds bizarre, but it’s true). He went on to speak about the power of story because it trumps everything. Yes, the Internet is fun, he said, but reading is an immersive event that demands your full attention and through it you learn about empathy.
Chris Colfer talks about Lois Lowry and introduces Kadir Nelson at the BEA Breakfast and Panel.
Full video of Chris Colfer at the BEA Children’s Book and Author Breakfast