News / London

Screaming book fans show their enthusiasm at London's Festival of Trees

It was Beatlemania for books, with hundreds of screaming kids and a group of bemused but delighted authors.

The Festival of Trees brought more than 1,500 students to the Western Fair District Monday for an unputdownable literary experience.

It was the first time it had come to the city, and the children of London didn’t let anyone down with their enthusiasm. As the four-hour event began, they yelled welcomes for the authors at the tops of their lungs.

“The point is, reading is fun,” said Shelagh Paterson, executive director of the Ontario Library Association. “It’s encouraging and engaging children to really enjoy reading.”

The association leads the event, part of a cross-province series involving more than 250,000 participants every year, and London Public Library representatives showed support by joining a steering committee.

Library staff helped to make sure workshops, signings and other activities went well, with lines of young bookworms snaking all around the venue.

“It’s Beatlemania out there,” said author David Carroll, from Toronto, as he took a break from the craziness. “They sold out of my book. I’m having an amazing time.”

Carroll’s book, Ultra, is the tale of a 13-year-old boy who runs a 100-mile ultra-marathon.

Literary celebrities

— Authors appearing at the Festival of Trees included Natalie Hyde, Kari-Lynn Winters, Allan Stratton, Kim Thompson, Kevin Sylvester, Ria Voros, David Carroll, Eric Walters, Janet Wilson and K. L. Armstrong.

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