Archive for the ‘Conference Corner’ Category

Publisher Previews at #alamw17

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

My main activity at ALA Midwinter Meeting today was two publisher previews – Scholastic and Boyds Mills Press.  The second one fed me lunch, which was much nicer than waiting in line for high-priced fast food.

Even more than the books previewed, the sessions were a nice chance to talk with more children’s book people whom I haven’t seen since the last conference or to make new connections.

It’s gotten where I love the world of ALSC – These are my people!

A lot of the faces I’ve seen many times before.  Perhaps after awhile we’ll remember exactly when and where we met — but I know they’re children’s book folks, and thus my people!

As for books — It sounds like it’s going to be another good year!  I liked that Wendy Wan-Long Shang and Madelyn Rosenberg wrote a book about a boy who is half Jewish and half Chinese (This Is Not a Test).  I wonder if they know about the book I heard about yesterday by Susan Tan about a girl with the same ethnicity.  (The books sound completely different, but both very interesting.)

It was fun to hear Gordon Korman talk about his new book.  I didn’t realize that he got his first book published when he was 12, in 1976.  That means he’s the same age as me, which doesn’t surprise me, because my 28-year-old heard Gordon Korman speak at her school when she was in middle school.

His new book, Restart, is about a bully who hits his head and gets amnesia.  It seems like an opportunity to become someone different — but that turns out to be harder than it might seem.

We also heard from Natasha Tarpley, author of The Harlem Charade, a story about three 7th graders and some interlocking mysteries.  It celebrates the history of Harlem.  She reminded us that you can create change through stories.  Libraries are important to help kids discover their own stories.

At the Boyds Mills Press lunch, we saw some fantastic picture books.  I especially liked Puppy! Puppy! Puppy!  There was a nonfiction picture book called The Secret Life of a Red Fox with simply glorious art. And there were books for older readers, including an oh-so-timely biography of Alice Paul.

Also, I was given a bag of 6 more Advance Reader Copies.  Guess I might as well go into the exhibits and make another shipment….

Arts and Crafts at #alamw17

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

I just posted about a program I attended at ALA Midwinter Meeting about Creativity brought into the library using an Open Art Studio approach. They talked at length about how doing Art is not the same thing as doing crafts.

This was somewhat ironic timing, because I had just spent an hour at a program called “DK Maker Break.”

DK was promoting a new book coming out called Out of the Box about making things from cardboard.

We all made owls.

Now, I had a lot of fun, and the book is packed full of ideas and projects.

But — I could really see the point that was going to be made in the next session I attended.

First, I could easily see that my owl wasn’t very “good,” especially compared to the examples we were shown. Even compared to the people next to me making owls. My conclusion: I’m not very good at this.

Those are all things we don’t want kids to feel or think after making something in the library.

Second, I have absolutely no emotional investment in the owl. I plan to throw it away before I go home.

If it were a project I had come up with, I might care about the result. But the whole idea of making this was imposed by others. It’s cute, and it makes a fun picture. But it doesn’t express who I am or say anything about my life.

Finally, if I were a kid, and my mother decided to display the owl I made — I’d be just plain embarrassed! I know it’s not very good. If my mother tried to say it was, I would be far less inclined to trust her judgment about my art in the future! And I don’t have any emotional investment in the product, so it’s not something I want to be reminded of again and again.

It really made me think, and strongly supported the point made in the Creativity program.

Now, Out of the Box is a beautiful book. I absolutely do think it’s a great idea to make the book available to kids, along with a variety of art supplies. But a context where they can browse and choose something they’d like to make would be far more meaningful to the artist, and far more likely to make Art.

I may be a DK Maker, but the experience combined with the next workshop also has made me a person who believes in letting kids make art rather than coercing them into making crafts.

The Creative Edge at #alamw17

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

My first afternoon session today at ALA Midwinter Meeting 2017 was run by two people from Avon Public Library in Connecticut, “The Creative Edge: How One Small Library Is Leading the Way in Creative Arts Programming.”

Mary Fletcher’s official title is Creativity Specialist.  She has been in charge of a program where they have brought the arts into the library.

Arts are not crafts.  Art is an open-ended process.  Art has no planned product.  Art is open-ended.  Art has no adult sample to copy.  Art can be spontaneous.

A pre-planned craft can discourage creative choices.

The presenters showed us many pictures from their Open Art Studio.  I liked the image of a wall covered with buildings made of paper.  No two buildings are exactly alike.  Together, they form a wonderfully diverse town.

I was writing furiously.  I’ll include some good nuggets below:

Art is guided by the child’s choices.

When children are fascinated, they make amazing things.

We encourage exploration without imposing our ideas.

When self-motivated, kids will persist despite difficulties.

In their Open Art Studio, frustration is rare.  They gain self-confidence and self-reliance.

Creativity is intelligence having fun.  In the future creativity will be needed more and more.

Creative confidence hits a slump around 4th grade, when kids start wanting to conform.  Creativity must be nurtured to survive.

Open-ended art encourages imaginative play and storytelling.

Scribbling is to writing as babbling is to speaking.  With art, the library can support early writing as well as early reading.

A table anywhere will work, even if you don’t have the budget for a dedicated space!

The beauty of a library is that it’s not a school.  They will learn, but it’s child-guided exploration.  We can encourage imaginative tangents.  Facilitators are intentionally quiet and unobtrusive.

Facilitators get to serve at the banquet!  They provide materials designed to encourage experimentation.

They also encourage art through movement, and have hosted three Family Dances at the library.

They do a reading buddies program pairing teens with young children and spending a half-hour reading and a half-hour doing art together.

The program inspired me.  Though we may not be able to have an actual studio open all the time, it made me think about having more programs involving open-ended art.

Author Panel and Book Signing at #alamw17

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

This morning I had the privilege of listening to an author interview in the big auditorium at ALA Midwinter 17 moderated by Dan Kraus, featuring Scott Westerfeld, LeUyen Pham, and Susan Tan, who all have new books coming out soon.  He began by asking them about their new books.

LP:  Real Friends is a graphic novel memoir written by Shannon Hale. It’s her story about her first group of friends.  After you read it, you realize the same thing happened to you.  She captures the pain of what happens whe you get ousted from your group.  It’s about very young friendships, but complete with all the emotion of that, and feels universal.

ST – Her debut novel is Cilla Lee Jenkins, Future Author Extraordinaire.  Her protagonist is growing up in a mixed race family, just like the author.  She’s 8 1/2 years old and getting a new sister.  She’s asked “what are you?” Because of being mixed race, and decides that what she is is a best-selling novelist.  She decides to write her novel before the baby is born so her parents can’t forget about her.

SW – His new book is a graphic novel named Spill Zone.  It’s about a 19-year-old raising her 10-year-old sister.  Their town was destroyed in a disaster no one understands.  He was into climbing buildings and urban exploration in college.  Those spaces are natural places to think about loss and about life.  He started it in 2006, after the tsunami when he realized the drama in having your home town disappear.

LP:  All three books are about sisters.

ST:  Working with the illustrator shaped the novel.  The illustrator found the heart of the scenes, sometimes in a way the author hadn’t realized.

LP:  Writing a graphic novel, especially a memoir, is trickier than writing a picture book and needs a lot more interaction with the author.  She usually strips out the art notes first, but does send the writer editing notes.  It’s like choreography.  A graphic novel gives you the perspectives of more characters.  And the faces of the characters make a big difference in the emotions conveyed.

SW:  The graphic novel gives you the ability to easily jump in and out of different points of view.  But you can still be inside someone’s head. Teenagers have lots of investment in reading to become another person.

ST:  Her book is in first person, but there’s lots of misunderstanding that the reader can see, and the illustrations helped with that.  It’s a child’s confrontation with a larger world.

SW:. Kids are still learning how Point of View works.  For them, books are a machine for becoming another person.

LP:  Writing a graphic novel with her husband when she was pregnant was good practice for parenting.  They had to learn to tell a story together.

They talked about working with an illustrator.

SW:  It’s not good in a movie when character’s say, “He’s getting away!” There’s a balance on when the pictures can and should do the work of telling the story.

Moderator:. All three of these books are earnest, without irony and sarcasm.

ST:  It was important to her to write a confident and exuberant character.  She wanted to capture her indomitable spirit without diminishing it.  Some day, this girl’s deep self-confidence will get shaken…
SW:  Good books for children don’t minimize the pain of being a kid and the pain of making choices.
On Diversity:
SW:  The explosion of the popularity of manga did a great thing for graphic novels.  They even have a different way of telling stories.  Kids are good at reading through difference and reading diversely.
Audience question:  All 3 books are about sisters.  Did you have relationships you pulled from?

LP & ST: Yes

SW:  He has an older sister who’s bad-ass and does real spelunking.  The artist did a great job making his character look like a knight.  She’s more overwhelmed by having to be a parent than by the monsters in the spill zone.  She’s bad-ass like his sister.

After that, we stood in line to get advance copies of all three books signed.  LeUyen Pham drew a picture of the person getting it signed! (Or she substituted a picture of Shannon.)  As usual, I met some great librarians for youth in the line.

Another inspiring session that gave me insight on the process of creating a children’s book and got me excited about three upcoming titles.

The Running of the Librarians at #ALAMW17

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Here are librarians milling around, waiting for the Exhibits to open at 5:30 pm.  When they do open, the crush is not insignificant.

This year, I had a mission:  I wanted an Advance Reader Copy of Megan Whalen Turner’s fifth book in the Queen’s Thief series, Thick as Thieves.  I even reread the rest of the series this week.

I checked the publisher (HarperCollins), learned the booth number (2016), and headed straight for it.

I got a copy!

Mind you, they were in the back — you had to ask.  I got a tip from a friend years ago that if there are books you know you want, to be ready to ask for them.

But then — Book Frenzy began.  Publishers placed out Advance Reader Copies (and even some finished books) free for the taking.

You roam the crowded aisles walking past them.

I don’t have it in me to resist.  I’m afraid that I’m in good company.

What’s more, I have a medical reason why I should not carry bags of heavy books on my right shoulder, so I get to bring a wheeled bag onto the floor (with a doctor’s note).

Alas!  That tends to make me show even less restraint.

I came away with 35 books tonight.  (Well, 5 of those were from the Mini-Institute.)  I will use the ones for middle grade readers as prizes for a games program I do at the library.  Some, like Thick as Thieves and Frog Kisser!, a new Garth Nix book, I will probably read before I get home.

The only solution to Book Frenzy seems to be to stay OUT of the Exhibit Hall.  Unfortunately, some programs I want to attend are happening at the Pop Top stage or Book Buzz Theater in the back of the Exhibit Hall.  And I got a ticket to the YALSA Morris and Nonfiction Awards event, where they give you books if you attend.

I’m afraid once I pick up one book, I’ll figure I might as well fill my bag.

So the question of the conference for me becomes, can I learn restraint?

And also, where shall I ship today’s load of books?  FedEx in the hotel or the Post Office on the Exhibit floor?  (But if I go to the Post Office, I’m sure to pick up more books on the way….)

I’m not going to cart these books back to the conference, so it will be FedEx, but which morning should I bring them down?  If I don’t do it tomorrow, I’ll be tempted to keep adding to the load….

The trouble is, these are lovely problems to have.  I’m also afraid I’m quite unrepentant.  Which doesn’t bode well for my future self-restraint.

Jacqueline Woodson at ALSC Mini-Institute

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Our Closing Session speaker at today’s ALSC Mini-Institute was Jacqueline Woodson.

She talked about how in view of what today is, that it’s good to be with librarians.  We have to transform silence into action, and Libraries do Transform.

We can have empathy for those we disagree with because we all know what it is to have fear.

Begin a conversation across misunderstanding.

Memory keeps her moving forward.

Keep hope in the room and in your lives.

Don’t forget to vote at the local level, too.  We do have the power to create change.  It’s important to hold onto history.

We had a mini-Institute because we decided not to meet in North Carolina.  She said, “This country has always messed with bathrooms.”  She’s deeply proud of the Institute organizers for taking a stand, as a person deeply committed to making this place safe across lines.

These conversations are disruptive, but healing.  Healing begins by being willing to talk with people.

Conversations can begin in the library.

You’re so much stronger than you think you are — because look at the history that got you here.

Writing is a way of healing, a way to make sense out of this journey.

When you tell your story, some will be eager to hear who you are.

Carmen Agra Deedy at ALSC Mini-Institute

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Carmen Agra Deedy was our lunchtime speaker at ALSC Mini-Institute today, so I didn’t take notes.

But I can tell you what her talk was about:  Storytelling!

And she told stories to tell us about storytelling.  She kept us laughing, on the edge of our seats, and deeply moved in turn.

She also read from her wonderful new picture book, The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet.

The power of words mean everyone can talk.  We each fight the good fight.  In the end, where is your voice?

There is a time to be silent and a time to speak.

There are always those who resist being silenced.

May we be among them!

Early Literacy at ALSC Mini-Institute

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Going to ALSC Mini-Institute Break-out Sessions was a little overwhelming, because many of the programs presented seemed way beyond the scope of something I could do in my own library.

But I came away challenged, inspired, and invigorated.  I was reminded of the need out there and that Librarians are shining lights and touching people’s lives.

I recently got put as the only librarian on a Neighborhood School Readiness Team — so I chose as my focus programs about getting children ready for Kindergarten, “ECRR: The Next Generation,” “Fighting Intergenerational Literacy,” and “Kindergarten Bootcamp.”

All of them had a focus on teaching parents how to get their own children ready for Kindergarten.  They all have a lot more staff to devote to their programs than I do at my branch — but I think I can move in that direction, and it’s nice to see what big things can be done.

Just a few things that jumped out at me:

From Denver Public Library, I loved their summer activities for Early Literacy, especially their series of Saturday activities with passive programming that’s out all day:  Things like a Box Day (creating things with cardboard boxes), a Mo Willems Day, and Going on a Bear Hunt Day.  They create a setting where the kids explore and play and talk, and the parents get to talk with other parents and be there with their kids.

They also have Play and Explore Centers for babies and toddlers.  Again, the children play and the parents talk.

They’ve got a “Little University” program, mostly bringing in outside groups, but teaching the children in various topics.

They’ve got some YouTube videos of Early Literacy tips with a tip at the beginning, and then an example of carrying it out.

I love what they do with Early Learning Spaces — including 52 activities in English and Spanish, which they put out to do in the library.  An example was a Color Hunt.  (“Look for anything green….”)

They’ve got a central library of Early Learning materials.  I liked the idea of taking giant Legos to outreach events.  Kids can play with the giant Legos while the parents talk with the librarians at the table.

I liked the Mailbox that moves around the library, with varying prompts.  Children write letters to librarians.  Prompts can be as simple as “Say something kind.” Or for MLK Day, “Write about your dream.”

Their approach to parents is: “How can we partner with you?”  They might ask parents to write down a life goal for their child, and then point out that we’re working on that right now.  They honor parents as lifelong curious learners.

The next speaker, Jonathan Dolce, talked about doing Intergenerational Family programs to combat illiteracy.  They meet once a week for six weeks.

He showed books representing diversity and inclusion.  They talk about the books together and do activities based on the books — He gave us examples like making guacamole, watching author interviews, and dancing together.  They call it Family Reading Connection.

The Kindergarten Boot Camp with Phoenix Public Library is a 7-week program targeting children who haven’t gone to preschool, helping the parents learn how to help them get ready for Kindergarten.

All their outcomes are about the parents’ behavior.  And the curriculum was developed based on the state standards for Kindergarten.  They developed it with a staff member who is a former Kindergarten teacher.  They have a program for certifying the additional staff who offer the program.

Between all three of these programs together, I tried not to get overwhelmed, but I was prompted to think about what ways my own library can do more to help parents actively prepare their children for Kindergarten.

Picture Book Collaborators at Breakfast with Bill at #alamw17

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Today was my first day at ALA (American Library Association) Midwinter Meeting and the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Mini-Institute!

I’ve agreed to blog about the conference for ALSC, so my conference posts will happen in both places.

I was extra excited to go to Breakfast for Bill this morning, because I wore my Kevin Henkes t-shirt that says “Share Books With Friends”!  And I got a picture with him afterward.

The breakfast featured Kevin Henkes and his wife Laura Dronzek, as well as another married couple, Erin Stead and Philip C. Stead.  All four of them were delightful to listen to.

Some highlights:

Kevin said that a high school teacher told him, “I wouldn’t be surprised if some day I see a book with your name on it.”

He’d always known he wanted to be an artist, but that inspired him.  If someone else believed in him, it made it easier to believe in himself.

On the other hand, for Erin, art school professors discouraged her because they said she needed to do her art differently.  But her husband kept her going.

For Philip, a teacher handed him a pamphlet showing how Where the Wild Things Are was made.  That made him realize making picture books was something you could do.  He had a single-minded mission from there on out.  (Erin commented, “Phil has this ability to will things into happening.”)

Talking about process, Kevin said that he reads his picture book texts again and again and again.  Good picture book texts are like poetry, but they’re also like theater.

Both Kevin and Philip talked about the joy of letting go of a picture book text and passing it on to another artist.  (This is less easy to do when the illustrator is their wife.)  They both get excited to see what the other will do with it.  Erin thinks it’s easier for them to do because they’re illustrators themselves.  They are able to let go of their vision of the work and completely give it over.

Talking about specific books, Philip said he doesn’t like the question as to whether Ideas Are All Around is a book for children or adults.  It’s a book for some children and some adults.  As a kid, he was nervous about coming up with his own ideas, and it would have been nice for him.  Coming up, he’s doing a book called All the Animals Where I Live, which is its spiritual sequel.

They talked about Erin’s book coming up called Tony.  Philip found the text in a local paper in Nashville.  It’s a lovely and simple poem, and he thought it was the perfect picture book text, leaving exactly the right amount to the illustrator.  When they contacted the paper, the author had just passed away at the age of 96.  But their publisher was able to get the copyright.  It’s Philip’s favorite book Erin has ever made.  (We saw some of the art and it’s just lovely.)

Kevin and Laura have a book coming out, In the Middle of Fall.  It’s a companion to When Spring Comes.

Then questions came from the audience, so responses are a little more disjointed.

I like this quotation from Philip: “I’m consistently floored by how special a picture book is to a child who doesn’t have books at home.”

They were asked for titles of 3 picture books they’d give to every child if they had the chance.  They went with titles from their childhood.

Philip:  The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats; Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, by William Steig; and Swimmy, by Leo Lionni

Erin:  The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats; Frog and Toad Are Friends, by Arnold Lobel; and Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak

Laura:  The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats; The Little House, by Virginia Lee Burton; and Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present, by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Kevin: The Little Fur Family, by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Garth Williams; Is This You? by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Crockett Johnson; and Rain Makes Applesauce, by Julian Scheer.  

The last question got Erin talking about a new book that she’s not allowed to talk about, but check a big newspaper this weekend!  She started writing it two years ago, but there’s a character who’s a bullying tyrant.  It has a message that seems timely:  “Be nice to each other, for gosh sakes!”

It was a nice way to wrap up a lovely time with people who love the works of art that are children’s books and respect the child reader and want to bring light and goodness into the lives of children through their work.

ALA Midwinter Meeting 2016, Final Day

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

After the Youth Media Awards on Monday morning, I checked out of my hotel and returned to the convention center for the Morris Awards and YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Awards.

These are always a delight. The Morris Award goes to a debut author, and all the Finalists speak. They are always so thrilled even to be published, to be honored on top of that is wonderfully affirming. And the Nonfiction Awards inevitably have some incredibly intelligent people talking about interesting things.

First up were the Morris Award Finalists.

Kelly Loy Gilbert, author of Conviction, wasn’t able to be there, so she gave a video speech.

Books are about connections in unlikely places.
She was a library lover and spent her whole childhood living other lives through books.
Her book asks Who are you when nothing in the world is like you believed?
All stories are redemption stories.
We’re forced to confront our shared humanity.

The next speaker was Anna-Maria McLemore, author of The Weight of Feathers.


It was at an ALA conference that she first found her voice about being a queer Latina author.
When she was a teen, she fell in love with a transgender boy.
She was taught to hate who she was. The boy she loved helped her get beyond that.
In her book, when her character sees the boy, she sees her own otherness as well.
Stories make us human to each other.
Each one of us is in 400 stories. (400 was her childhood word for infinity.)
Before librarians put books in her hands about Latina girls, she was disappearing.

Then came Stephanie Oakes, author of The Sacred Lives of Minnow Bly.

(Some authors did not hold still enough while they talked to get their picture!)

Her character Minnow Bly spent her life in a cult. Now she doesn’t have hands, and she’s in Juvie.
She never learned to read in the cult, but in Juvie, a teacher and a librarian teach her to read.
The author became silent after a childhood hurt.
She found reading at 12 years old, when she was handed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
She gathered and hoarded words.
Books put things into words she hadn’t known she believed.
Writing is like screaming at the top of your voice: “I exist! I exist!”
Librarians made a difference in her life.

Leah Thomas, author of Because You’ll Never Meet Me, was next.

There was an unspoken Voldemort rule about her high school librarian. She was “The Mean One.”
Leah found out that “The Mean One” was actually “The Cool One.”
Proximity has no relationship to distance.
Sometimes fiction is the only escape we get.
The power of words is tremendous.
Librarians destroy distance with every interaction.
Words are the death of distance.

Finally, the winner of the 2016 Morris Award, Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda spoke.


She has a three-year-old at home, who thought the sticker on her book would be a train sticker. Not even Thomas the Tank Engine on the cover of her book could top this!
She decided to write when she had a baby and quit her job. Don’t throw away your shot!
She was more honest in this book than ever before — because she didn’t really believe it would get published.
Books saved her as a lonely, wistful teen.
Publishing a book is the fastest way to find your soulmates.
Her book isn’t epic, it’s life-size.
It’s her husband’s grandfather’s senior citizen book club pick.
Who made the rule that every librarian has to be awesome?
They care about connecting readers to books.

Next came the Finalists for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award.

First up was M. T. Anderson for Symphony for the City of the Dead.


It’s about Shostakovich’s symphony, which was smuggled around the world. By the 1950s, the addressees’ names were removed — a suppression of truth in our society, too.
If Communism has amnesia, Capitalism has ADHD.
Capitalism also hides history, as Communism did.
Nonfiction is about revealing what’s hidden.
No child thinks asking questions is boring.
It takes adults to convince people that learning about this fascinating world is boring.
Librarians take kids to the window and say, “See this reality? It’s yours!”

Margarita Engle spoke next about Enchanted Air, her memoir in verse.


Her book is pure emotion — emotions are facts, too.
This allowed her to communicate directly with readers.
Poetry makes her happy.
Beautiful language was the only way she could handle excruciating memories.
Last year, she dedicated the book to 10 million stateless people. Now there are 50 million.
She felt like an invisible twin was left behind.
This book is for any reader who feels divided, half belonging, half shunned.
The overriding message is hope.

Then Tim Grove spoke about First Flight Around the World.

He works at the National Air and Space Museum. The Chicago is there — one of the first two planes to fly around the world.
The museum’s archives had a handwritten journal of one of the pilots, along with photographs.
They flew over many countries. It was a race! In 1924, there was no guarantee that anyone would make it.
4 planes left, and only 2 returned. But there were no fatalities.
The planes were named New Orleans, Seattle, Chicago, and Boston.
He used journal excerpts as sidebars.
They tried to get the book printed in China, but China wouldn’t let them print the 1922 map!

Next was Nancy Plain speaking about This Strange Wilderness: The Life and Art of John James Audubon.


Audubon’s story includes Art, American History, and the Lives and Ways of Animals (3 things she loves very much).
Audubon was an incredible bird artist and water colorist.
He created a magnificent collection of paintings of 400 species of American birds.
His goal was to seek out all the wondrous things hidden since creation.
He was also the founder of modern ornithology and the first to band the legs of birds.
He was an over-the-top guy, stranger than fiction.
He was born in Haiti, raised in France, and saw the French Revolution. He came to America in 1803.
He had a country store on the Kentucky Frontier which went bankrupt, and he was thrown in jail for debt.
That’s when he decided to paint all the birds of America. He set out into the wilderness.
He had trouble finding an American publisher, so he went to Europe. He found a publisher — and fame — there.
He had an important legacy.
He predicted the extinction of the passenger pigeon and the near extinction of buffalo.
Audubon is an inspiration and invitation to protect and preserve our wildlife.

Finally, the 2016 winner of the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction spoke, Steve Sheinkin for Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War.

There’s always one thing that grabs him. This time it was a filing cabinet with a dent in it.
The cabinet belonged to a psychiatrist in Los Angeles. Two secret agents from the white house broke into the office to get damaging information about Daniel Ellsberg.
This story cooperated.
Daniel Ellsberg started out incredibly not dangerous, a skinny, nerdy kid.
He walked into the Pentagon as a new analyst right before the Gulf of Tonkin.
The author was able to talk with Daniel Ellsberg, he’s still alive.
He saw the government telling lies and was faced with an agonizing decision whether to expose that or not.
Steve Sheinkin uses the library as a second home.
We’re allies! (Writers and librarians) We’re all doing the same thing!


After those inspiring words, we were given a chance to get books signed by the authors. As long as I had four books, I decided to visit the exhibits one last time and get enough to fill a box and ship them all home.


Then my plan was to roam around Boston before my evening flight. Looks like a lovely day, right? It was the first we’d seen of the sun all weekend.


But it turned out to be bitter cold! So I ended up seeing an IMAX film at the Aquarium. And I got to the airport early enough to have a sit-down dinner right by my gate. And I had a lovely flight home, reading.

Within a couple of days, 101 books arrived for me, which happens to be the exact number I sent home from ALA Midwinter Meeting last year!


Total spent on books: $10 for two signed copies of Madame Martine for my nieces.
Postage: I didn’t add up exactly, but it was approximately $100.

55 children’s books
30 teen books
16 Adult books
3 tote bags
1 hungry tomato (Or a very angry Bob the Tomato?)
1 diorama
15 books signed by the author
Oh, and only 1 duplicate — and it’s a children’s book, so will be a prize anyway.

What a lovely conference!