Event Schedule

Moments of Happiness

Moments of Happiness Book Cover
Community Rooms 301 & 302

When Mike Leckrone retired as director of bands at the University of Wisconsin in 2019, he had served in that role for an astonishing fifty years. A brilliant showman, he became known for aerial entries and sequined outfits. He created the Fifth Quarter celebration that follows all home football games, removed barriers for women to march in the band, and established regular appearances at Camp Randall by special-needs high school musicians. Above all, Leckrone has always sought joy in life—which, along with his sixty-year love affair with his late wife, UW “band mom” Phyllis Leckrone, was perhaps the secret to his remarkable career. A consummate musician, as both a trumpeter and an arranger, Leckrone remains an outstanding raconteur—a talent beautifully on display in his long-awaited memoir. 

This book is the next best thing to sitting down with this master storyteller. Coauthor Doug Moe captures the joys of performing—whether at Camp Randall, in the Kohl Center, or along the Rose Bowl Parade route. Reading Leckrone’s story, one comes to understand the mix of discipline, showmanship, work ethic, warmth, toughness, wit, and musical skill that make him a Wisconsin treasure. Even for people who know Leckrone, Moments of Happiness details the stories behind the highlights and the unglamorous work that made his accomplishments possible. It both cements his legend and offers unprecedented insights into a career that will never be equaled.

French Girl

French Girl Book Cover
Community Room 301 & 302

Filled with bold, expressive drawings, French Girl is a graphic memoir told in seventeen connected stories of childhood, girlhood, sisterhood, and motherhood. A slightly surreal real—a broken back, front yard mausoleums, Napoleon, Bourbon, war, and breasts—is intercut with the fantastic—a dream of flight, a guardian wolf, a menacing Jack Frost on a frozen lake—as this technicolor work takes us from an Emperor’s bed in Fontainebleau to a hypnotic Florida with citrus groves full of thorns and rockets blasting off for the moon. French Girl vividly, viscerally unsnarls the love and pain that passes between generations of women as it leads the reader, as if in a fairy tale, into the forest, through dark depths and into light.

SCHOOL VISIT: Marvelous Jackson

Marvelous Jackson Cover Photo
School Visit

After losing his mom, a struggling thirteen-year-old boy in northern Wisconsin rediscovers the love of baking he once shared with her and decides to audition for the world-famous Marvelous Midwest Kids Baking Championship television show in Chicago. Jack is sure that his new sense of purpose will help him stay out of trouble, so he throws himself into learning the finer points of sprinkles and scones—and hopefully even mending his broken relationship with his dad.

That Librarian

That Librarian Book Cover
Community Rooms 301 & 302

Presented in partnership with Beyond the Page.

Part memoir, part manifesto, the inspiring story of a Louisiana librarian advocating for inclusivity on the front lines of our vicious culture wars.

One of the things small town librarian Amanda Jones values most about books is how they can affirm a young person's sense of self. So in 2022, when she caught wind of a local public hearing that would discuss “book content,” she knew what was at stake. Schools and libraries nationwide have been bombarded by demands for books with LGTBQ+ references, discussions of racism, and more to be purged from the shelves. Amanda would be damned if her community were to ban stories representing minority groups. She spoke out that night at the meeting. Days later, she woke up to a nightmare that is still ongoing.

Amanda Jones has been called a groomer, a pedo, and a porn-pusher; she has faced death threats and attacks from strangers and friends alike. Her decision to support a collection of books with diverse perspectives made her a target for extremists using book banning campaigns-funded by dark money organizations and advanced by hard right politicians-in a crusade to make America more white, straight, and "Christian." But Amanda Jones wouldn't give up without a fight: she sued her harassers for defamation and urged others to join her in the resistance.

Mapping the book banning crisis occurring all across the nation, That Librarian: The Fight Against Book Banning in America draws the battle lines in the war against equity and inclusion, calling book lovers everywhere to rise in defense of our readers.