Book Talk: children's book fair and author's discussions

This month's book news

CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL ... Authors and illustrators of top children's books will discuss their works -- and their creation processes -- at the Children's Book Festival on Saturday, April 16. The event will feature Michael Slack, author and illustrator of "Monkey Truck"; Aline Chau, illustrator of "Double Happiness"; Emily Jiang, author of "Summoning the Phoenix"; and Christian Robinson, illustrator of "Last Stop on Market Street," (winner of this year's John Newbery Medal and Caldecott Honor). The free event will be held between 1 and 4 p.m. in the El Palo Alto Room at the Mitchell Park Community Center, 3700 Middlefield Road. Books will be available for purchase, courtesy of Books Inc., and all the presenters will be on hand for signings.

TALES FROM THE HOMEFRONT ... When the United States officially entered World War I in 1917, it didn't take long for the conflict to impact the Peninsula. As the war effort launched, Stanford leased three-fourths of its land in Palo Alto for creation of Camp Fremont, which was headquartered in present-day Menlo Park. Author Barbara Wilcox chronicles the history of the Army encampment in her new book, "World War I Army Training by the San Francisco Bay: The Story of Camp Fremont." The book, which is available at http://amzn.to/1qRou0n, explores how the Peninsula adapted to the 28,000 soldiers who trained here. According to Wilcox, the current site of SLAC in Menlo Park once served as training ground for trench warfare. And thanks to Camp Fremont's artillery range, today's residents still dig up the occasional ordnance from nearly a century ago. Wilcox will discuss her book on Saturday, April 16, at the Stanford Humanities Center in Stanford University. The free event will take place between 1 and 5 p.m.

AN AMERICAN IN CATALONIA ... Acclaimed historian and best-selling author Adam Hochschild will be in Palo Alto on Tuesday, April 19, to discuss his new work, "Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939." The book tells the story of the turbulent period through the nine American and British characters, including Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell. The event will take place at 7 p.m. at Books Inc., 74 Town & Country Village.

ANIMAL ECONOMICS ... Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society, will be at Kepler's in Menlo Park later this month to discuss his new book, "The Humane Economy, How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers are Transforming the Lives of Animals." A long-time advocate for animal rights, Pacelle delves into the origins and implications of the bonds between humans and animals, and explains how essential decisions about animal welfare can make economic sense for humans. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, at Keper's, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Tickets to the event are $10 for students, $20 for general admission and $40 for premier seating, which includes a copy of the book. They can be purchased here: http://bit.ly/1RL8s2j

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

Contest Details