Christopher at Brazil’s 14th National Literary Journey

Passo Fundo is known as the “Literature Capital of Brazil”.  Not only do they host the National Literary Journey every two years, they have one of the highest literary rates in Brazil.  While the national average of books read outside of school is 1.3 per inhabitant per year, in Passo Fundo the average is an amazing 6.5!

This National Literary Journey is HUGE

This year I was one of the authors invited to speak at the event, an immense honor.  I was proud to have “The Fortutious Meeting of Gerard van Oost and Oludara” named as a work “of special merit in the formation of young readers”.  Inspiring young readers is what inspires me.

Over two days, I spoke to eleven groups of junior high and high school aged children.  I never felt like a rock star until I participated in the event.  Each time I walked into one of the circus tents, the master of ceremonies would speak my name and over a thousand children would scream and applaud.  In all, I spoke to around 12.000 students.

Speaking to a captive audience – one of eleven…

I saw children reading books, buying books, and most importantly, discussing books.  For a writer, the event was a spiritual high.  It refueled my faith in the next generation.

Interacting with young readers was the best part

At the end, I was presented with the Vasco Prado Trophy for my participation.  It was a great honor to be able to participate and interact with the real stars of the show: the readers.  They are our future, and they’re doing just fine.

Vasco Prado Trophy

(Photographs by Christopher Kastensmidt and National Literary Journey staff)

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