Perry, Georgia is about a 1.5 hour drive south from Atlanta. I've been to Perry before to visit schools and love the quaint downtown area. But this conference wasn't downtown -- it was at the fairgrounds. I know what county fairgrounds are about -- this is where the prize winning apple pies and pumpkins meet the 4H club fattened cattle. A place for a literacy conference? I was skeptical.
But the high ceilinged rooms and covered walkways were free from hay and pre-service hot dogs and a perfect place to gather for lit talk. And listen to who was talking -- Steph Harvey, Tim Rasinski, Georgia Heard, JoAnne Portelupi, Jim Burke, Jack Gantos and I can't remember who all. It was fabulous.
Many thanks to Al and Iris Dodge for including me. It was a book and reading extravaganza.