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….