MyNorth News Service

(Press Release provided by National Writers Series)

TRAVERSE CITY: Warriors and Seekers and Dragons, oh my! On March 20, the National Writers Series presents two cool events for kids who love to read: an upcoming Battle of the Books and an appearance by one of the country’s most popular fantasy authors, New York Times bestselling author Tui Sutherland. 

Tui Sutherland will take the stage at Traverse City’s Lars Hockstad Auditorium within Central Grade School to talk about her life as one of the country’s most popular children’s fantasy authors and the 40 books she’s written. They include the Wings of Fire, Warriors, Spirit Animals, Seekers, Avatar and Menagerie series. But you may not recognize her name–Sutherland goes by several pseudonyms, including Erin Hunter.

Sutherland blogged that her newest book, Escaping Peril, was “wildly fun to write.” It just took the Wings of Fire series to #2 on the New York Times bestseller list and also appeared #5 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, and #4 on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list.

Some blogged that she was born in Venezuela on July 31 (the same birthday as Harry Potter) and named after a noisy New Zealand bird. Her family eventually settled in New Jersey where she fell in love with theatre.

“Much to my parents’ relief, I abandoned my theatrical aspirations after college for the far more stable and lucrative career of fiction writing (<—ha ha! hilarious joke!),” Sutherland wrote on her blog.

At the end of the talk, kids can meet Sutherland in person and get their favorite book singed by the author.

Battle of the Books: 

The first-ever NWS Battle of the Books will kick off at 2:30 p.m. with a championship play-off between two Battle of the Books teams. Tui Sutherland will award a trophy to the winning team.

The Battle of the Books is a quiz bowl style event with students answering questions about the 10 books that each team has read in advance. A judge poses a question, the team convenes, and the team captain provides an answer. There are a total of 24 competing teams comprised of 135 area students from private and public schools.

The response to engage in battle was overwhelming from the first day it was announced in December. Organizers originally hoped to get 16 teams, but had to call an emergency meeting when nearly twice as many teams wanted to sign up.

The first-place team will win a Grand Traverse Day Experience unlike any other. Think limo ride, chocolate chip pancakes, and a book-shopping spree at Horizon Books.

“This is such a win for literacy,” said Angie Morgan, who is leading the volunteer team with Marcy Lindberg. “Young kids get to read together and dream together.”

The Battle of the Books begins at 2:30 pm at Lars Hockstad Auditorium, Central Grade School, 301 Seventh Street. Tui Sutherland takes the stage at 4 p.m. Tickets cost $5 for students 18 and under, $10 for educators, and $15 for adults. Please go to to order or call 800-836-0717.

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Photo(s) by National Writers Series