Growing up, "Kiss my grits" was tied with "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" as my favorite TV catchphrase. But, as a California boy, I had no idea 'grits' referred to a food that Mel's Diner might actually serve on Alice.
I spent this past weekend in Alabama and found out exactly what grits taste like. And they're mmm-mmm good! In fact, they're so good, you can eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In fact, many people do just that. But that's not why I took my first trip to the South. I went because a certain school in Alabama held the first of many Thirteen Reasons Why book clubs last December, and there just happened to be a book fair nearby last Saturday. So I hopped on a plane to say thank you in person.
Here's a photo of my first meeting with some of the HMS iREAD Club students. It was taken soon after I stopped blushing from a little joke they played on me. (Don't worry...I'll get you back!)
During my presentation, Carrie helped me read from the book. It was the first time I heard Hannah with a southern accent, which made her words sound so much cooler than they sounded in my head when I wrote them!
An hour later, I found myself sitting on a very fun panel with R.A. Nelson, Loretta Ellsworth, and Jennifer Echols.
Nope, I never outgrew my love for Clifford.
That night, I met some local teachers and MSFKALs (Media Specialists Formerly Known As Librarians) at a restaurant for my first taste o' grits. Then we went and watched the most amazing cover band I've ever seen, The Spicolis, play everything from Take On Me to Smells Like Teen Spirit. (What? No, I never noticed how cute they all were. They just seemed really nice.)
Of course, I couldn't leave without stopping by a Waffle House. Hashbrowns? Covered!
Wanna Chat? Join me online this Wednesday at 9pm Eastern. Thirteen Reasons Why is the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents Book Club pick for April.