TTBF14: Texas Throwdown Game Show

game show banjo

Simmone Howell picking the banjo while Frank Portman and Paolo Bacigalupi look on.

Reported by: Adrienne, Em, & Haley, Teen Press Corps ~

Six authors. Two teams. Bring. It. On.


Frank Portman, Joelle Charbonneau, Jason Reynolds, Paolo Bacigalupi, Marie Lu, and Simmone Howell first divided up into teams and chose their team names: the Beautiful Bastards (Joelle, Jason, Marie) vs the Grim Bastards (Frank, Paolo, Simmone).

Round one pitted the musicians against each other. Frank Portman went first. He brought his guitar and made stuff up on the spot like, “Gladys with a double-u, any messages to send? X above the I.” It made no sense but was hilarious!! He got his inpsiration in from the main character in his book, King Dork, who sings and writes. Joelle Charbonneau is a TRAINED OPERA SINGER!! She really got the audience’s attention when she sang sang “Someone Like You” from Jekyll and Hyde. Authors in the front row started dancing. People were swaying, cheering, and holding up their phone flashlights. When she finished, the crowd went wild!

Round two was the always entertaining Chubby Bunny challenge!! Paolo Bacigalupi and Jason Reynolds raced each other to see who could get the most marshmallows in his mouth and still stay “chubby bunny.” Paolo was in the lead and even said “chubby butterfly” but ended up losing when he spit out a marshmallow. Both got eight marshmallows and agreed that it was “so gross” and spit them out.


marie lu's picture

The lucky winner of Marie Lu’s chubby bunny speed drawing.

Round three showcased the special talents of Marie Lu and Simmone Howell. Keeping with the theme of the previous round, Marie Lu showed off her speed drawing skills by drawing – per the audience’s request – a chubby bunny. Simmone Howell plays the banjo!!! Her picking soothed the audience.

Winner – The Beautiful Bastards!