Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Back from L.A.

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I’m just back from speaking at the book fair in Los Angeles. I’ll talk about that in a moment. But I seem destined to have travel adventures. Not the kind where you explore exotic countries and discover new and breathtaking sights, but the kind where just getting to your destination is a challenge.

I was due to leave Toronto for L.A. on Thursday Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. I arrived the requisite two hours early at the airport, checked in on line, and discovered that my flight had been cancelled “due to mechanical problems!” Unbeknownst to me, I had been placed on a fight leaving early the next morning with a stop and connecting flight through Chicago.

“Better to have mechanical problems on the ground than in the air,” the airline attendant said when I beckoned him over to look at the screen and asked, “Is this for real?” Fortunately, the talk I was to give in L.A. at the book fair was only scheduled for the following day, so technically, I wasn’t missing anything.

But it was so frustrating to travel to the airport, set to go, and discover that my plans had completely changed without my knowledge. Why didn’t the airline contact me in advance to save me the extra trip out there? I have no idea.

Now I could have been completely ticked off by these events; could have snapped at the attendant and everyone in earshot. But I didn’t. The guy was right; not the end of the world and safety is better than speed. So, I took a deep breath, went home for the night, woke up early the next day and started all over again.

The book fair was great; a huge audience of eager readers with thoughtful questions and high interest. Their knowledge of the events of the Second World War and the Holocaust (the part of history that I focus on in my writing), was quite astounding. Kids at this age (grades 4-7) have such a strong sense of social justice. They can’t imagine living in a world where their rights and freedoms might be taken away from them. They assert that they would never stand for that. I love that about this age group. I also met a lovely illustrator, Majella Lue Sue (, who was also speaking at the book fair. She recently illustrated a fun Y.A. book with the great title, Penina Levine is a Hard Boiled Egg (Roaring Book Press, 2007).

In the end, despite the travel adventures, I have to admit that the trip was great.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Kathy Kacer

Kathy Kacer is an award-winning children's author whose focus is historical fiction and true stories about the Holocaust. Her many books include The Secret of Gabi's Dresser, Clara's War, The Underground Reporters, Hiding Edith and The Diary of Laura's Twin.

Go to Kathy Kacer’s Author Page