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Marissa Moss 

When: Sat., May 24, 4 p.m. 2014
I first saw Marissa Moss read when I was in third grade and completely obsessed with the Amelia’s Notebook series — a collection of wry, whimsically illustrated diaryesque books written from the perspective of a smart, spunky girl. Moss was an excellent, engaging reader, and extremely tolerant when I walked up to her and, wordlessly and paralyzed by shyness, handed her a gushy fan letter before running away in abject terror. But that’s not why I love Marissa Moss. I love her because two weeks later, I found in my mailbox a handwritten, surprisingly lengthy response that answered my letter almost point by point. That’s rare for any author as popular as Moss, but it speaks to her character as both a writer and a person — to her capacity for empathy and her utter unwillingness to condescend to her readers, no matter how old they are. Moss’ latest book, Blood Diaries: Tales of a Sixth Grade Vampire, is a wickedly funny, winkingly self-aware, unexpectedly poignant take on the shopworn teen-vampire genre, and it’s completely wonderful. Moss reads from it this weekend at Laurel Bookstore (4100 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland); bring the budding, paralytically shy young reader in your life and keep an eye on the mailbox.

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