Monday, April 4, 2011

J & P Voelkel

A couple of weeks ago, we had our book conference here in Oxford. As part of that conference, several groups get together and bring in two childrens' authors--one for fifth graders and one for ninth graders. Every student in those grades is

  • given a free copy of the author's book (over 500 kids in each grade)
  • they read the book in school
  • they are brought to the University of Mississippi campus to hear the author speak
  • they come after school to the bookstore to have their book signed and meet the author in person
Pretty amazing, yes?

This year's fifth grade author, actually authors ... were Pam and John Voelkel who wrote the Middleworld trilogy. The Oxford students read THE JAGUAR STONE which is a wonderful adventure book filled with ancient Mayan mystery. Check out the Voelkels' amazing website here.

As great as the book is, I have to say that the Voelkels' presentation just as great. They showed wonderful videos and pictures taken from their research trips to Central America. They talked about the ancient Mayan culture. 

And, they brought a plate of fried worms and dared the teachers to come on stage and sample them. 

John Voelkel, who used to play in a band, finished up the presentation with a guitar jam session.

But my favorite part came towards the end of the presentation when Pamela talked about the power of stories. She noted that during their presentation the kids had taken a journey through the rainforests and ended with a rock concert--and one of the best places to take a journey like that is through books.

Suffice it to say, if your school is looking for wonderfully educational and dynamic speakers, give the Voelkels a call.


On Thursday, Ally Condie ...


  1. Too weird - I just bought Middleworld two days ago!! :-)

  2. Hi Sarah,
    We loved your blog entry. We're thrilled you liked the presentation and the book.

    The pictures were fab. Do you think we could use them?

    Best wishes,



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