Every spring, hundreds of book devouring teens gather in celebration of literature at Youngstown State University for the English Festival. To participate in the English Festival, students must read the selected seven books prior to the April 27 event. The festival includes Writing Games, Not-So-Trivial Pursuit, Poetry, Impromptu Writing, Journalism, Informational Workshops and a presentation by a guest author. This year, the guest author is Gene Luen Yang. Students may also enter an essay contest, music contest and/or art contest prior to the festival.
Nancy Bires, Ph.D, is the coordinator for the Hermitage School District. I tag along as a chaperone and essay judge. Along with many judges, I score dozens of essays using a rubric system. The essays with high scores advance to a more scrutinizing scoring system for a chance to place in the essay contest. This day is one of my favorite days of the year. I revel in the opportunity to mingle with other avid readers and professionals who share similar views on the importance of literature and its value in our human existence.
The books for the 2017 English Festival are:
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, E. Lockhart
We Were Liars, E. Lockhart
The Shadow Hero, Gene Luen Yang
The War that Saved my Life, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Enchanted Air, Margarita Engle
House Arrest, K.A. Holt
Miss Peregine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
Throughout the year, I will be reading and writing reviews for each book. If you have a child participating in the festival or know of someone who is, please direct them to my website. Or if you are just curious about these books and want to know about them, I encourage you to check the website frequently as more reviews are added.
Unfortunately, the 2017 registration for Hermitage Students is closed. For more information about the festival click here.