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Bangor Book Festival: Toni Buzzeo

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(Editor's Note: In celebration of the upcoming Bangor Book Festival, The Maine Edge will be featuring various works and authors leading up to the Festival on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.)

BUXTON - Books have always appealed to Toni Buzzeo of Buxton. As a young girl living in Dearborn, Michigan, Buzzeo would spend much of her time at her local library, imagining herself among the cast of characters she was reading about. Later on, her fascination for books led her to become a teacher and a librarian. And in 1995, Buzzeo combined her two loves (books and the library) to try her hand at writing. It didn't take long for this children's author to realize being a writer takes a different set of skills than being an educator.

"When I was an educator, I spent my days interacting with kids, teachers, books, technology and all those things in a modern library. I was externally focused," explained Buzzeo. "As a writer, my writing life is so different because I have long periods of time where I'm internally focused and interrupted regularly with book tours and speaking engagements, which are externally focused. It's a roller coaster ride."

But it's those times of interaction with friends and strangers that often lead Buzzeo to her next story idea.

"My publisher said we need a book on book care. I said, 'That is something you teach, it's not a book concept,' because I originally thought it wouldn't work," she said. But Buzzeo had a change of heart one day after working out at her local YMCA pool.

"My mind was just wandering around and I heard this little girl's voice say, 'I want to be a doctor, but I'm only 6-years-old and no one will let me,'" she said.

Buzzeo used that little girl's dream of becoming a doctor and made it a reality in her 13th book, "Penelope Popper Book Doctor," which also educates readers about proper book care.

In October, she'll release her 14th book, "Lighthouse Christmas," a book about a lighthouse family that can't make it to the mainland for Christmas due to a bad storm.

"I do a lot of school speaking and kids always ask which book is my favorite," Buzzeo said. "What I always tell them is 'The Sea Chest,' because it was the first book I got published, and my next favorite is the one that is always newly published."

To learn more about Toni Buzzeo including a list of her work, log on to For more on this year's Bangor Book Festival, log on to


Last modified on Monday, 12 December 2011 09:22


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