When I reflect on my experience at TBF Live! 2011, I'm tempted to say that the most important thing about it is the incredible treatment the authors get, and how this festival is rapidly becoming known among YA authors as the most sought after event on the East Coast, possibly in the country. But while that's nice, and guarantees you an endless supply of top talent, it's not the most important thing. Then I think, perhaps it's the sense of cooperation that builds up around the festival. Teachers, librarians, parents, students, volunteers from all over the area come together and make this extraordinary occurrence happen. But while this experience certainly builds a profoundly strong sense of community, and makes Rochester a better place as a whole, it's not the most important thing. For me, the most important thing is always the teens. And that word "Live", so aptly brought to the title of this event. Never have I participated in an book festival that was so undeniably alive, so vehemently insistent that reading and literature matter. Today. Right now. Teens need this. It makes no difference to them if something mattered a hundred years ago, or if it might matter twenty years from now. Their lives are too big, too full, too crucial for those less urgent concerns. They need something that matters right now. That is relevant to them right now. And TBF Live! is undeniable evidence that the right book matters right now. At no other time in one's life is a person capable of so much growth and so many bold choices. For the teens who participate at this festival, reading and literature will always be important. The change that is being wrought on their lives is incalculable. And for that, I thank you. Jon Skovron
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Author of "American Panda".
The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival is an exciting and free public celebration of reading. During the festival, photographs may be taken for personal or promotional purposes. In some cases, event staff may use photos or videos to promote this non profit event. Please contact TBF committee members with questions or concerns that you might have.