Wednesday, November 26, 2008

MAKING HISTORY FUN!






On Oct. 30th, 2008, we paid a visit to the amazing campus of Brawerman Elementary School of Wilshire BoulevardTemple, in West Los Angeles. We gave our presentation on various aspects of Norse mythology and Viking culture to a learned group of 5th and 6th graders. As it turned out, the students had been already learning about Viking history as part of their school curriculum, so they asked some very smart questions and offered some insights of their own to the morning's discussion. For instance, women enjoyed far more freedom and responsiblity in Viking society than did their counterparts in other European cultures of that era (800 - 1000 AD). They could own land, they could choose their own husbands, and they were allowed to divorce if their husbands failed to provide for them or indulged in abusive behavior. How's that for first millenium feminism?

Thanks to the assistant head of school, Susan Isaacson, and teachers Lee Tenerowicz, Marcia Weiss, Todd Zinn, David Leib, Julie Tracht and Peter Levenson for all their support. Special thanks to Ben Shirken for asking so many smart questions, and to his mom, Kirsten Shirken, for helping to arrange it all.








After giving a riveting reading, Tom shocks the students by pulling out a real Viking sword and threatening to slice someone's head off if they don't validate his parking! Just kidding. The war-blade he is demonstrating is actually a perfectly-safe replica of an authentic Viking-era sword, but every bit the size and weight of a real one. Jim purchased it from a Norse history museum this summer in Sognefjord, Norway. Though the edge of the blade is dull, its point is rather sharp and we advise students to handle it carefully or else they are liable to cut themselves (or, heaven forbid, hurt a teacher who gives too much homework).



You like the feel of that, huh, kid? Well, don't get any ideas.









Even the teachers are getting ideas...




The class clown gets into the act.


(Though it flies in the face of received wisdom, in truth, the Vikings did NOT wear horned helmets as often depicted in movies, on TV, and in other pop-culture media. This is just one of the many things the children learned in our "RuneWarriors" history-quiz presentation. If you'd like us to visit your school, drop us a line at info@runewarriors.net. )



JIM AND TOM GO BACK TO SCHOOL!




We've had the honor of being invited to several schools over the past few months to give presentations on "RuneWarriors," and our first visit (on Sept. 24, 2008) was to Park Century School in Culver City, CA. The students were enjoying their first week in a fabulous new building and it was a pleasure to be there to see the place in all its gleaming brand-spanking-newness. As part of the student book fair, we gave a brief talk to students and their parents on the comic use of Norse mythology in our novel, we performed a reading, and afterward happily signed copies of our book for several eager readers. We thank the Park Century Directors Gail Spindler and Genny Shain, Academic Coordinator Nancy Bley, "super librarian" Joel Moss, and everyone else who helped to make our visit there so much fun, including Karin Olson, Arthur Hoyle, Brenda Cooper, Jamie C and our friends at Mrs. Nelsons Book Fairs. Special high-fives to two of our favorite students at Park Century, Thomas Guest and Trent Carpenter, for getting all of our jokes and for adding many of their own.


People say that my readings are too dry and unemotional.



I'll have to work on that.


RuneWarriors Author Events
6/1/08 Author Book Signing, BOOK EXPO AMERICA, LA Conv. Ctr
6/28/08 Fiction Authors Breakfast, AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOC. Convention, Disneyland Hotel
8/21/08 Author Dinner/Talk, ANDERSON'S BOOKS, Aurora, IL
9/24/08 Book Fair Author Visit, PARK CENTURY SCHOOL, Culver City, CA (Special thanks to Tom Guest and Trent Carpenter!)
10/5/08 Book signing, VILLAGE BOOKS, Pacific Palisades, CA
10/18/08 "A Movable Feast," SOCAL INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLERS ASSN annual awards banquet, Millenium Biltmore, Los Angeles, CA
10/30/08 BRAWERMAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL,
Wilshire Boulevard Temple, W. L.A. CA
11/4/08 7th Grade / GODDARD MIDDLE SCHOOL, Glendora, CA
Thanks to Principal DiGrazia, Nicole Hester and all the other teachers and students that packed the gymnasium for our presentation. Thanks also to Shaelyn Koops from Blue Chair Books for coordinating the event and providing copies of RuneWarriors for us to sign.
11/13/08 MAYFIELD JUNIOR SCHOOL, Glendale, CA
(Thanks to Tatiana Guyer, Cathy Lin and Lyn Beecher for arranging everything!)
11/22/08 Young Writers Workshop, BARNES & NOBLE, Encino, CA
12/5/08 A reading/signing at BLUE CHAIR BOOKS, Glendora, CA
12/9/08 Book Fair presentation to 5th & 6th graders, WILDWOOD SCHOOL, Culver City, CA
12/11/08 GLEN CREST MIDDLE SCHOOL, Glen Ellyn, IL
JFK MIDDLE SCHOOL, Plainview, IL
12/12/08 CENTRAL MIDDLE SCHOOL, Tinley Park, IL
PLEASANTDALE MIDDLE SCHOOL, Burr Ridge, IL
2009
2/19/09 Glendora School visit
3/5/09 VALLEY CHRISTIAN MIDDLE SCHOOL, Cerritos, CA
3/12/09 ROSEBANK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, Chula Vista, CA
Thanks to school secretary Tamsie Pierce, Principal Scott Woodward, and Samantha from Mysterious Galaxy Books! Thanks also to dear friends Catherine & Bob Palmer for tea and sympathy.
5/21/09 PALISADES ELEMENTARY, Pacific Palisades, CA
Kudos to Kathi Berman for coordinating our fun visit to this fabulous school. All the students we meet continue to rock our world and challenge us with their curiousity and their imaginations.
11/19/09 PALISADES ELEMENTARY, Pacific Palisades, CA
We signed books at the fall Book Fair, met the principal, Joan Ingle, Fay Lyons the book fair coordinator, and made a lot of new friends.
2010
1/22/10   LAUNCH PARTY for Book Two 'RuneWarriors: Sword of Doom' at Village Books in Pacific Palisades. Wine, words and wonderful friends.
2/23/10  VALLEY CHRISTIAN MIDDLE SCHOOL, Cerritos, CA
4/14/10  SEVEN ARROWS SCHOOL, Pacific Palisades, CA
4/21/10  PAUL REVERE MIDDLE SCHOOL, Pacific Palisades, CA
6/1/10  CERRITOS PUBLIC LIBRARY, Cerritos, CA

If you would like the authors of “RuneWarriors” to visit your store or school and give a presentation on Norse mythology, you may contact us at: jennewein@mac.com