Rowland Unified School District

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Pen Fatale Tour Draws Crowd at Rowland High

Pen Fatale Tour draws crowd at Rowland High

By Richard Irwin Staff Write, Highlander

Students applaud during the Pen Fatale Tour visit to the Rowland High School Library. (Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb)
Women authors sign books during the Pen Fatale Tour visit to the Rowland High. (Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb)

Bestselling authors don't usually visit high schools unless it's their alma mater. So when the Pen Fatale Tour stopped at Rowland High School on Oct. 10, more than 200 students showed up to meet four successful authors.

"When Cathy Blackler, an English teacher at Santana heard about the authors' tour from a friend at Mrs. Nelson's bookstore, she suggested we contact the publisher to see if they could stop in Rowland Heights," high school librarian Katie Elder said.

Macmillan Children's Publishing Group agreed and the local high school was added to the six-city tour. The Pen Fatale Tour featured four female authors, who talk about their latest works.

Alyson Noel, the bestselling author of the Immortals and the Riley Bloom series, is continuing her middle-grade series with "Dreamland."

Gabrielle Zevin is publishing her first series after great reviews for "Elsewhere," "Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac" and her two adult novels. Her fans will enjoy "All These Things I've Done."

Jessica Brody offers her new teen site,, based on her most recent book, "My Life Undecided." Brody also wrote "The Karma Club."

Mary Pearson is releasing "The Fox Inheritance," the sequel to "The Adoration of Jenna Fox."

"We put out seats for 220 students, but still had another 30 standing to hear the authors' panel at 2 p.m.," said Elder. "Young adult books have become a large

market for the publishers."

Seniors Sarai Fuentes and Nicollette Romo were there to hear their favorite authors. The two 17-year-olds are avid readers.

Romo says she reads five or six books a week, while Fuentes finishes two or three. That's on top of their course work at Rowland High.

"I read the `Immortal' series," Fuentes noted. "I really liked the main character, 17-year-old Ever."

With nearly three million copies of her books in print, Noel is one of the

Author Alyson Noel answers questions. (Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb)
best paranormal teen authors. The six books in her "Immortal" series offer an epic love story that spans centuries.

"Ever learned to trust her instincts, as well as the people she loved," the Raider senior said.

Fuentes even sported a beautiful Evermore temporary tattoo on her left wrist. She was also proud of the book Noel signed for her after the panel discussion.

Romo also related to the "Immortal" characters and thought they were "an easy read." She also enjoyed the spin-off "Riley Bloom" series written by Noel, who grew up in Orange County and writes full time there.

The two also liked "My Life Undecided" by author Jessica Brody of Los Angeles. Brody wrote about a 15-year-old girl, who enlists blog readers to vote on how she should live her life after making some terrible decisions on her own.

After their presentation, the authors took questions from the students.

"They talked about writer's block and how they worked around it," Fuentes recalled.

"One kid asked them what their favorite food was," Romo said.

Which was just more food for thought for the students at Rowland High School.

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