The largest literary event in the world, Miami Book Fair International, was held from Sunday, Nov. 16 to Sunday, Nov. 23 in the streets of Downtown Miami and the Miami-Dade Wolfson Campus. The annual eight day event, including three days of street vendors, is celebrating its 31st anniversary. Members of National Spanish Honor Society and English Honor Society attended the festival on Friday, Nov. 21. The students were treated to a taste of pop culture and paranormal affairs during an author presentation hosted by Kami Garcia.
In the past, a field trip to the Book Fair has been organized and attended by members of NEHS. This year, junior Maria Estrada, president of NSHS, arranged the field trip through her club and then invited the NEHS members to attend. In the end, one bus filled with almost 50 students were able to go.Upon arriving at the fair, students filed into an auditorium for an hour long presentation by Kami Garcia. She is the co-author of New York Times #1 Bestseller Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures novels. Beautiful Creatures has been adapted into an ongoing movie series. She is also the author of New York Times bestseller and Bram Stoker Award nominated novel Unbreakable, the first novel in the Legion series. Garcia’s interest in the paranormal and supernatural is evident in both her books and her house. She claimed her office is lined with references to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and other popular series.
“Arranging the book fair was certainly a lot of work, but it was all worth it when it came together and everyone had a great time. The author presentation was a good way to get us to look at the way the life of an author is, even if Kami Garcia is a pretty unconventional author,” Estrada said.
Following Kami Garcia, actor, writer and musician Jason Segel (from Forgetting Sarah Marshall and How I Met Your Mother) gave a presentation geared towards elementary students. He was debuting his new book cowritten with Kirsten Miller, Nightmares. The plot centers around a young boy named Charlie who must learn to face his fears and nightmares to be stronger. Segel read a chapter of his book, allowed children to ask questions and signed copies of books. A few Gables students were able to watch Segel’s presentation and meet him briefly during the book-signing, including sophomore Bianca Mangravite.
“Jason Segel was really tall in person and ridiculously sweet to the kids. They kept repeating the same questions and he would reiterate his answer with a slightly different spin, which must have taken patience,” Mangravite said.
Not just for meet and greets, the festival’s three day fair had over 250 national and international exhibitors showcasing books and related products. Amongst the publishers and book sellers were many “antiquarians, who showcase of signed first editions, original manuscripts and other collectibles.”
“With it’s [book fair’s] different expositions from different countries it brought all the cultures together,” junior Guadalupe Ramirez said.
Hundreds of thousands of people attended the fair throughout the days from all across the world. The event was filled with readers, writers, and literary enthusiasts. The event encourages appreciation of the arts, not just for its duration but for the rest of the year. It has left a lasting imprint on gables students and exposed them to an element of writing that is oftentimes not shown.