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Speaking Volumes

Junior lit events open a new chapter.

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Authors’ readings for kids are nothing new. But the Brooklyn Academy of Music has taken these storytelling sessions, put a grown-up spin on them, and turned story hour into a full-on event. Modeled on the consistently sold-out Eat, Drink & Be Literary adult program, the BAMfamily Book Brunch starts out with a schmoozefest that includes a hot buffet for everyone and live music at the BAMcafé. At the inaugural event last year, author Jacqueline Woodson shared a meal with attendees before opening the discussion about her picture book, Show Way, a Newbery honoree about telling African-American history through quilts. (Her young fans asked for advice on how to stay disciplined.) Not to be outdone, the Upper West Side’s Symphony Space started its more erudite book club for kids in January, inviting celebrity readers to accompany the rock-star authors. (After she read from Ella Enchanted, Cynthia Nixon was virtually ignored, but kids wanted to know if author Gail Carson Levine ever hated what she wrote.) BAM’s next chapter is set for this Saturday, when author Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher, an illustrator, will talk about their bebop-poetry collection, Jazz. “For kids, authors are superstars,” says the event coordinator at BAM, Suzanne Youngerman. “Not for the celebrity aspect of it, but to hear great minds say where they got their ideas. That’s what kids want to know.”

5/5 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Ave., nr. Ashland Pl. (718-636-4100 or bam.org); $20 grown-ups, $15 kids.


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