Thursday, August 2, 2012

Margaret Mahy Tribute

On July 23rd, New Zealand's greatest children's author passed away.  Margaret Mahy had written over 200 children's books, and hundreds of short stories and poems. She had won many awards over the years: Carnegie medal twice, New Zealand Post, Aim and LIANZA awards, Hans Christian Andersen award and the Order of Merit.

I had the pleasure of meeting Margaret several times over the years; at two workshops and a few Storyline events.  She was a real inspiration as a writer, presenter and as an intelligent woman.  My response - the same as many of my colleagues - when I heard she had passed away was to celebrate her work in some way. "Why don't we organise a nationwide read aloud of her books?" Once someone put that out there - we acted on it.  Within a week we had contacted librarians, authors and illustrators all over the country to see if they would like to join in too. Facebook and email has been a wonderful tool to communicate far and wide.

On the 11th August at 11am authors, illustrators, teachers and librarians will read their favourite Margaret Mahy book(s) at their local library.  Some of us will wear colourful wigs, crazy hats or an outrageous outfit.  We want to feel the Mahy magic as we read her stories.  If you would like to join in - see our blogsite: to find out which libraries are participating.  You'll find me at the Warkworth Library. Afterwards, we're going to her memorial service at the Auckland Town Hall 2.30pm on Saturday 11th August. RIP Margaret Mahy.


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