Blowing Young Minds at a Bookstore Near You

When I say Laylee loves the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull, I mean LOVE, as in the characters are practically honorary family members. I’m fairly certain that she’s read all five books in the series no fewer than twenty times. You might think, Fablehaven must be the only thing she reads, but you’d be mistaken. The girl averages eight or more novels each week. Fablehaven books just seem to make their way back to the top of the pile more frequently than most.

The love of reading has spread to Magoo and he’s currently reading Brandon Mull’s most recent fiction, Sky Raiders. When my kids read, they read everywhere. I recently took this picture of Magoo, reading Sky Raiders, walking through Costco and holding onto the side of the cart like it was a Seeing Eye dog.


I thought, If someone is ever that engrossed in one of my novels, I will want to know about it. So, I took a picture of Magoo to tweet to the author. When I went to find his Twitter handle, I noticed he was currently in Seattle. I tweeted to ask him if he had any public events. He responded quickly that he and a few other authors were in town doing a series tour for Scholastic and he had a book signing in a little over an hour in downtown Seattle.

Now, we always say we live “in Seattle,” but we really live way the heck outside of Seattle and we had other stuff going on Tuesday night, but I rallied the kids, threw them in the van and we headed to the U district to meet their favorite author.

At the University Bookstore, they were treated to readers’ theatre with Brandon Mull, James Dashner, Gordon Korman, and Jude Watson. I think Laylee almost had an excitement-induced seizure.


Then we made our way upstairs, where Laylee and Magoo gave Brandon carpel tunnel, having him sign his name on a gazillion books and the leather covers of their nooks, where most of his books live at our house.

Laylee is rarely at a loss for words, but when she met Brandon, she couldn’t remember the answers to basic questions, like how old she was.

“Did I blow your mind with that question?” he asked.

She giggled.

I had to translate.

“Have you read some of my books?”

“I’veReadEverySingleBookYou’veEverWrittenExceptTheSecondCandyShopWars BecauseIOnlyRecentlyFoundOutItExisted.” She managed to breathe out.

He was sweet and took real time with each of the fans standing in line. A really great guy. When we left the bookstore and headed home, Laylee told me it was one of the best nights of her life. Sometimes it’s worth blowing off other commitments in order to be spontaneous and blow your kids’ minds. Laylee’s biggest, hairiest career goal is to be a fantasy author and meeting Brandon Mull was just the boost she needed to keep going with her writing. I am grateful for people who are capable of being successful and humble at the same time, who are willing to inspire kids in a genuine way.

Well done, Mr. Mull.


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7 Responses to Blowing Young Minds at a Bookstore Near You

  1. Chrystle Gillies says:

    I’ve never read anything by Brandon Mull, but I am jealous about Gordon Korman.

    • Chrystle Gillies says:

      BTW, Gordon Korman is also a good role model for Laylee. He wrote his first novel in Grade 7 – “This Can’t Be Happening at MacDonald Hall”

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Brandon Mull has been to our local library (as in less than a mile from us) and we have not been to see him. *hangs head in shame* Next time he comes, we’re going, even if we have other stuff going on. We love Fablehaven. Loved this post. I think that is best smile ever on Laylee’s face.

    xo -E

  3. Sarah says:

    Brandon Mull is a favorite around our house too. My kids would have LOVED that event. That is so fun for them to meet some of their favorite authors. We haven’t read the Sky Raiders book yet. It is new to us and now on my Amazon wishlist.

  4. Jill says:

    That is so awesome! Good for you for dropping everything for a really great moment in your kids’ lives. And I’m glad meeting their hero was not a disappointment. How awesome is that, that he took real time with everyone? So worth it. They will hang onto that one forever. Very cool.

  5. Margaret says:

    Books and authors and writing are priorities, man.

    And also – so, so, so cool of him!

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