Author Luncheon Series

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Stay for lunch and enjoy our wonderful line-up of distinguished and entertaining writers who make up the 2013 WLA Author Luncheon Series.


jarrettkrosoczkaJarrett Krosoczka

Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 12:00PM

Join the Youth Services Section for a visit with Jarrett Krosoczka, author of Punk Farm, BagheadLunch Lady graphic novels, and more!

Krosoczka has been passionate about storytelling through words and pictures since he was a kid. Six months after graduation, Jarrett received his first contract for a trade book that he authored. Knopf Books for Young Readers published Good Night, Monkey Boy on June 12, 2001 and Jarrett hasn’t stopped or slowed down since. He currently has authored twenty published books—ten picture books, nine graphic novels and his new chapter book—Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked. His Lunch Lady series has twice won a Children's Choice Book Award, in the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year category, and was nominated for a Will Eisner Comic Industry Award.

Jarrett's TED Talk, which chronicles his journey form boy to artist, has been viewed more than a half-million times. Both his Punk Farm and Lunch Lady series are in development as feature films. While Jarrett awaits seeing his work adapted for the silver screen, he can be heard on The Book Report with JJK, his radio segment on Sirius XM's Kids Place Live.


Deborah-BlumDeborah Blum

Thursday, October 24, 2013, 12:00PM

Over lunch, let’s talk about poison.

There was probably no way for Deborah Blum to grow up as anything but a science writer. Her father, an exuberant entomologist, liked to bring his research home – “Check out this black widow. I’m going to keep its cage on the dining room table so we can watch it while we eat.” Her mother, a freelance writer, published a family newspaper and drafted her four daughters as staff reporters.

She graduated from the University of Georgia in 1976 with a major in journalism and a double minor in political science and anthropology. She worked for three Florida newspapers covering police and fires, courts, city government, and education. In, Florida she had one of those epiphany moments – she’d learned to love journalism but she wanted to write about science, how it worked, what made it fascinating. She quit her job and went to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying science writing in the journalism school’s specialized reporting program.

Her most influential work as a science writer was a series on ethical issues in primate research, called The Monkey Wars, which won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for beat reporting.

In 1997 she returned to the University of Wisconsin as a journalism professor.

Since arriving in Madison, she has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, Time, Scientific American, Nature, and New Scientist, among other publications. She has served as co-editor of a widely used guide to science journalism, A Field Guide for Science Writers, published by Oxford University Press in 1997 and 2006. She’s also earned an endowed chair at the University of Wisconsin and is now the Helen Firstbrook Franklin Professor of Journalism.

The critically acclaimed The Poisoner's Handbook, was published in hardback in 2010 and was named one of the top 100 books of the year by Amazon. The book follows two exceptionally determined scientists who, in the 1920s and 30s, sought to put an end to the golden age of poisoners. She is currently working on a closely related book on the history of poisonous food.


MichaelPerry2Michael Perry

Friday, October 25, 2013, 12:00PM

Michael Perry is Wisconsin's own! Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom. Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wound up writing by happy accident. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an amateur pig farmer.