Sunday, October 25, 2009


Last Sunday I flew to Ohio to do a couple of presentations at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. The library worked with several schools to bus in some 300 students, so the turnout was quite impressive. I'm humbled by how hard these librarians and teachers work to get students reading. Back to Minnesota the next day for an evening presentation at the Shakopee, Library. The audience was half teen and half adult. The adults all sat to my left, while the teens all sat on the right. That made an impression on me; I don't know why. The next day I flew back to Ohio to give a talk at OELMA, the statewide convention for school librarians. I talked about why books should be regarded as hazardous devices. YA author Lauren Myracle was there, and she called me on some of my more outrageous assertions. I also met authors Ingrid Law, Shelly Pearsall, and a whole bunch of library folks. It was a great conference--big enough to offer a wide variety of personalities and events, but small enough to allow time for lots of one-on-one conversations. I returned to Minnesota the next day for a presentation at the Heritage Library in Lakeville, MN, where I met two remarkable young women wearing matching handmade "How to Steal a Car" T-shirts. That's Bridgette on the left, and Brittany on the right. Don't worry, I am not undressing them, I'm just signing their shirts! A full week--I even managed to get some writing done! Don't forget--the How to Steal a Car Video Contest is still going on. Only four months to go!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pete's Video Contest!!!!!

Here’s how you can become a YouTube sensation, earn extra credit at school, get experience making videos, and maybe even win a fabulous prize!

Make a short video based on Pete Hautman’s novel How to Steal a Car.

Contest is open to individuals or groups, the crazy and the sane. It could be a class project with a cast of hundreds, or just one person looking into a cell phone camera while talking about the book.

Here are some ideas:

Act out a scene from the book.

Offer a commentary about the book.

Do a spoof, like on Saturday Night Live

A photo montage with voiceover

An interview with a character from the book

A puppet show or animation

…it’s up to you!

First Prize: Full set (all ten) of Pete Hautman’s YA books, signed and with illustrations (okay, doodles) by the author

Second Prize: $50.00 gift card to your favorite bookstore

Contest Rules

- Video must be at least 60 seconds long, but not more than ten minutes.

- It must be posted on YouTube on or before March 15, 2010.

- It must be about the novel How to Steal a Car (not just a video about car theft).

- It must not contain anything that will get you or me in trouble (no porn, no slander, no bomb-making instructions, etc.)

- The title (How to Steal a Car) and author (Pete Hautman) of the book must be mentioned, and an image of the book cover must appear at some point in the video. This can be at the beginning, the end, or anywhere else in the video (for example, you could show a character reading the book).

When your video has been posted let Pete know via a comment on this blog, or by email:

Links to all qualifying entries will be posted on Pete’s blog. Winner(s) will be announced on April 1, 2010.

First Prize will go to the video that Pete likes best.

Second Prize will go to the video that gets the most YouTube views by March 31, 2010. (Posting your video early and getting your friends to watch it will give you a huge advantage!)

Note: It is possible that one video could be awarded both prizes.