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Top 10 events at the Tucson Festival of Books you don't want to miss

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Rebecca Noble | The Daily Wildcat

Richard Collins peruses the selection at the University of Arizona Press' Tucson Festival of Books tent in 2015. UA Press has been publishing regional scholarly texts since 1959.

With hundreds of events, authors and panels to choose from, the Tucson Festival of Books can be a bit overwhelming. Here are 10 standouts to get you started as you navigate the third largest book festival in the country.

1. The Real Story Behind Fake News

At this panel you can expect to hear from author Joe Conason, who wrote “Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton.” Conason has written a few books about the Clintons and is the founder of the National Memo, a daily blog. He will be helping people sort the real news from the fake news and talking about the ramifications of fake news.

Where: Arizona Daily Star Tent (seats: 250) 

When: Saturday, March 11, 10-11 a.m. 

Sales & Signing Area - Arizona Daily Star Store (following presentation)

2. Depicting LGBTQ Experiences in Books for Teens

This panel includes Jeff Garvin, author of “Symptoms of Being Human,” Shaun David Hutchinson, author of “We Are the Ants,” and author Bill Konigsberg, author of “The Porcupine of Truth.” All of them are young adult authors who have earned literary awards for their work, and will discuss their own experience with LGBTQ characters and how LGBTQ characters are depicted in terms of gender identity, sexual orientation and voice in writing.

Where: Education Room 351 (seats: 48, wheelchair accessible) 

When: Saturday, March 11, 1-2 p.m. 

Signing Area - Children / Teen (following presentation)

3. Maze Runner: A Saga of Survival 

This discussion will consist of author James Dashner, who wrote the “Maze Runner” series, which has now been turned into a film staring Dylan O’Brien as Thomas. Dashner will discuss the Maze, the movie and the motivation that made him write the books in the first place. He will also discuss his new book, “The Fever Code,” which was published last year.

Where: Education Kiva (seats: 300)

When: Saturday, March 11, 1-2 p.m.

Signing Area - Children / Teen (following presentation)

RELATED: Professor and faculty represent UA at Tuscon Festival of Books

4. From Millennials to Grandmothers: Bringing Back Comfort Classics

This panel consists of Molly Yeh, who has won awards for her funny and instructive blog. Yeh is the recent author of “Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm.” Expect to laugh and learn a thing or two about home cooking and comfort food.

Where: Culinary Stage (seats: 266) View this venue on the Festival map

When: Saturday, March 11, 1-2 p.m.

Sales & Signing Area - Central Mall (following presentation)

5. Tazzina di Gelato

While taking a break from indulging in literary treats, you can indulge in an ice-cold gelato. Tazzina di Gelato, which is local to Tucson, uses fresh and local ingredients to make their gelato. They are trained in Bologna, Italy, and they combine old-world tradition with new American influence to create a delectable and unforgettable Gelato experience.

Where: Booth #531

6. Women Writing About Women in Science

Kids and young women can expect to learn a thing or two about women in STEM careers from those who are directly involved in the world of science and writing. Kristin Block, Julian Guthrie, Nathalia Holt and Nancy Atkinson will share their first-hand experiences as women who are writing about other women in the field of science and what their influences and their challenges are.

Where: Science City Main Stage (seats: 155)

When: Saturday, March 11, 1 p.m.

RELATED: Your guide to the 2017 Tucson Festival of Books

7. Free Book Giveaway tent

At this tent, thanks to the sponsorship of Scholastic Publishing, you have a chance to expand your children’s library. They offer one free book per child who visits the tent.

Anyone from infants through middle school age are encouraged to come by and start a new literary adventure.

Where: Booth #351A

8. Life on the Margins: Teens Struggling to Survive Real Life

At this panel discussion, you can expect to learn what are some of the struggles that the youth of today face.

Young adult author Ellen Hopkins will share her own real life experiences and how they led her to write about the struggles of teens.

Hopkins’ books delve into the lives and the hardships that teens face, from dealing with addiction, suicide, abuse, loss and other tough topics.

Where: Education Kiva (seats: 300)

When: Sunday, March 12, 2:30-3:30 p.m. 

9. What’s Trending in Young adult

Those who attend this panel can expect insight into the future of young adult novels and what’s hip at the moment. As always what we like is constantly changing so young adult authors like Ellen Hopkins, author of “Perfect,” Aprilynne Pike, who wrote “Glitter,” and lastly, a former librarian and now author Kelly Jensen, author of “It Happens: A Guide to Contemporary Realistic Fiction for the Young Adult Reader.” All of them are experts in the field of entertaining the mind of young and not so young adults and will talk about what they see as the current trends and the next big trends.

Where: Education Room 333 (seats: 40, wheelchair accessible) 

When: Saturday, March 11, 1-2 p.m. 

Signing Area - Children / Teen (following presentation)

10. Read to a dog

Last but certainly not least, the wonderful experience of sharing a literary moment with an adorable furry bundle of joy. Those who attend Read to a Dog should bring their children if they have them, go with friends or go alone to enjoy quality time reading to a therapy dog in a calm environment.

Where: Tent for Tots (seats: 16) 

When: Sunday, March 12, 1-2 p.m.


Follow David Pujol on Twitter.



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