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updated: 3/10/2011 2:52 PM

Naperville READS 2011 authors coming in March and April

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  • Jon Scieszka

      Jon Scieszka

  • Anthony Horowitz

      Anthony Horowitz

  • Rebecca Skloot

      Rebecca Skloot

 
By Candy Purdom
Anderson's Bookshops

Local educators, librarians and independent booksellers are announcing Naperville READS 2011, which celebrates the works of award-winning authors Jon Scieszka, Anthony Horowitz and Rebecca Skloot.

As part of the 10th annual Naperville READS celebration, the authors will visit Naperville during March and April. Public book discussions, presentations and other activities are tied to a citywide program to provide opportunities for readers to share their reading experiences and enhance their understanding of the featured books and the authors who wrote them.

Scieszka headlines the first author event at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, in North Central College's Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville. Horowitz will take the Pfeiffer Hall stage at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, followed by Skloot at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 20. Free tickets are available at Anderson's Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville.

Scieszka is the author of "The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales," as well as "Math Curse," "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs," "Squids Will Be Squids," "The Frog Prince Continued" and Time Warp Trio books. His latest book, "Baloney (Henry P.)," is due out in May.

Born in Flint, Mich., Scieszka grew up with five brothers and a sneaking suspicion that the characters in his Dick and Jane reader were not of this world.

Asked where he gets his ideas, his answers range from the expected -- his elementary school principal dad and registered nurse mom -- to the unusual -- MADD magazine, four years of pre-med undergraduate classes, "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show," and five years of painting apartments in New York City.

"I don't know," "just because," "none of your beeswax" and "flapdoodle poppycock and balderdash" are some more of Scieszka's answers to questions you can imagine on your own.

Horowitz has long been one of the top writers in England. He has been writing since age 8, and professionally since age 20. His highly successful Alex Rider novels include "Stormbreaker," "Point Blank," "Skeleton Key," "Eagle Strike," "Scorpia," "Ark Angel," "Snakehead," and, most recently, "Crocodile Tears." These exciting adventures feature Alex Rider, 14-year-old spy for Britain's M16.

In addition to his Alex Rider books, Horowitz also is writer and creator of the award-winning detective series "Foyle's War," and, more recently, the event drama "Collision." Among his other television works, he has written episodes for "Poirot," "Murder in Mind," "Midsomer Murders" and "Murder Most Horrid." He became patron to East Anglia Children's Hospices in 2009.

Skloot is author of the much-acclaimed "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." The New York Times declared the work among the Notable Books of 2010. It's a shocking family saga, a book that stirs up questions about Civil Rights, an examination of scientific ethics, and a fascinating true story.

The real Henrietta Lacks, a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, became one of the most important tools in medicine when her cells were taken without her knowledge. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, HeLa (for Henrietta Lacks) are still alive today, through Lacks has been dead more than 60 years.

HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses and the effects of the atomic bomb; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. They launched a medical revolution and a multimillion-dollar industry. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

Naperville READS 2011 is a partnership among Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville Public Library, Naperville Unit District 203 and Indian Prairie Unit District 204. The project is partially supported by a grant from the city of Naperville.

For details, contact napervillereads.org, or Anderson's Bookshop at (630) 355-2665 or andersonsbookshop.com.

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