It’s all come down to this. Hours of pouring over manuscripts to check and double-check work; weeks of reaching out to teaching communities and talking to experts; and months of drawing up lesson plans, incorporating essays, and raising awareness have finally paid off. Celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of Ricochet River‘s initial publication in 1992, Ooligan Press has released this special edition of the book that now including interviews with the author, essays from field specialists, and updated teacher’s guides.

Ricochet River 25th Anniversary Edition is now available in stores, and to celebrate, Ooligan kicked it off with a fantastic launch party on May 7 at Ford Food & Drink in Southeast Portland. The turnout was stunning—at the end of the night, Ford Food & Drink reported approximately ninety guests, including author Robin Cody’s friends and family, publishing professionals, and other local authors such as Molly Gloss, Brian K. Friesen, and Meagan Macvie.

Jacoba Lawson, the leader of Robin’s Ooligan publishing team—fondly known at Ooligan as “Team Rivers” due to its water-themed books—went all-out in creating the decorations and activities for the launch. The photo booth, where guests could take pictures with props that made it look as though they were featured on the book’s brilliantly redesigned cover, was a huge hit, and the raffle allowed one lucky teacher to walk away with fifteen brand new classroom copies of the book.

But the focus of the night was on Robin Cody, and the event started with atoast as his friends and loved ones told the audience amusing stories about Robin’s past. Particularly memorable was his wife’s tale about how he wrote the manuscript while they were living in France. She couldn’t believe that they were living in one of the most romanticized places on Earth, and there he was fondly remembering a small town in Oregon and talking about salmon. Robin typed the entire story up on his typewriter. He was so excited to take it to his friend to read that he drove off not realizing that he had left the pages on the roof of his car.

Another memorable moment was when one of the teachers that Robin worked with in the past recalled how her students drew covers for Ricochet River and how Robin himself autographed one of them, causing the students to debate over who got to take it home. She told the audience what a valuable experience it was for the students to work with an actual author after reading his book, and how great Robin in particular was with the kids.

Robin took the stage after his friends and family lovingly poked fun at him. He thanked everyone for their kind words and relayed some of his own stories and inspirations for the book. Then, in an act of profound generosity reflecting the author’s giving nature, he offered to purchase copies of the book for everyone in the audience. Not only did attendees receive a free copy of the Ricochet River 25th Anniversary Edition, but they each got to spend a few moments talking to the author and getting their copy autographed.

At the end of the night, there were smiles on every face and books in every hand. How could a launch party get any more successful than that?

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