(Photo by Jill Cavotta)
Mater Dei High School

Column: An Insiders’ account of ‘Bookchella’

Dubbed “Bookchella” by festival-goers, the LA Times Festival of Books began its 20th annual chapter on Saturday, April 18 and concluded with a happy ending on Sunday, April 19.

From avid comic fans to horror enthusiasts, from sponge art installations to food trucks, and from writers of books to readers of literature, the festival had something for everyone.

Situated on the edge of the action, HS Insider student journalists milled about a table offering flyers, information, shade, and good company. It’s not often that high schoolers are approached by an author inquiring whether he would be able to read through the website to “find the best journalist” and create a “fictional adaptation of HS Insider.” Unexpected and unusual, but creative. To the inspired man, wherever you are: the answer is yes.

HS Insider made its pitch to the enthusiastic public with a panel of students from various schools giving their take on topics ranging everywhere from their start in the program to the future of books in the digital age. Though the average age of the audience was generations—eons, perhaps—older than the students, the Insiders bridged this divide with poignant responses about the intersectionality of readers through common human experiences.

The Festival of Books this past weekend was not only a recognition of literature, but also a celebration of human knowledge and triumph.