105 Ways to Give a Book

ALA Experience: Part II

Yes, my presentation, Children’s and Young Adult Book Blogs: Enhancing Library Services, was at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. Which meant that for my part, I couldn’t guess whether I’d see two people in the audience or two hundred. It turned out to be pretty much in the middle, with about 130 people.

Doing the presentation with Liz Burns and Travis Jonker made it fun. We had a few laughs, and I hope that we all learned a thing or two. For instance, I learned that the Metro doesn’t open until 7:00 a.m. on Sunday. Seriously, Liz and Travis made for a fabulous team, and I think that we did a great job. The slide show is available at SlideShare and the handout will be posted at KidLitosphere Central.

After our session, I raced to the exhibit hall to see if I could catch some of my priority author signings. I was running late after visiting with some of the folks who came to our presentation, but I did get two of my books signed in the ten o’clock hour: All the World, by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee, and A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet. I had nice things to say about both books, but I had a special connection to All the World, having been on the Cybils panel that put it through to the short list and rooted for its win.

The next hour was packed, but through some kindness of strangers I managed to get a lot more done than I should have expected. I got in line for Jerry Pinkney to sign The Lion & the Mouse and was assigned number fifty. The signing was taking a bit to get started, so I asked the nice man in line behind me if he would mind if I ran over to a signing one aisle over. He was fine with it, so I scooted over to get Tom Angleberger to sign my ARC copy of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. When I went back to the Pinkney line, it had barely moved. So I asked the man again if he minded if I stepped over to get one more signing. Since he didn’t mind, I waited to meet Barbara O’Connor in person — after years of loving her books — and get two books signed: her new title in ARC form, The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester, and How to Steal a Dog. We talked just long enough that I began to worry about my Pinkney line, but I got back in plenty of time and was happy to tell him how much I loved the book.

My next hour was free for lunch, and I just happened to run into three friends of mine from my old library. We grabbed a bite to eat down the block, and I came back in time to pick up Countdown from Deborah Wiles. Then it was off to Charlesbridge to catch Mitali Perkins signing Bamboo People. Mitali was doing a fun thing, taking pictures of all the folks who stopped by with their favorite book of the day. I had dumped off my morning haul already, but had a copy of another ARC I was hoping to get signed during the day. Here I am, obviously, but head to Mitali’s blog to see many other familiar faces.

Another important signing on my agenda was Joyce Sidman and Pamela Zagarenski for Red Sings From Treetops. I had to share that I generally don’t buy poetry books, but that this one was so beautiful I had to have it. I told Joyce that I was so touched by every perfect, necessary word in her poems and told Pamela that I want to live in the world she draws. It was definite gushing, but I hope nicely done.

Okay, let’s blitz through the other signings. I saw Cynthia Lord for the ARC of Touch Blue, but also bought a paperback of Rules. I had Libba Bray sign my copy of Going Bovine, and also picked up a paperback copy of A Great and Terrible Beauty. I was excited to tell Francisco Stork how much I loved Marcelo in the Real World, and was happy to get a copy of Holly Cupala’s Tell Me a Secret.

Amidst the signings, I was looking at the new books, talking to the marketing folks, running into bloggers and authors. I picked up a few ARCs, but very few. Also, my scarf got a lot of compliments. Best book-related accessory in existence. Expect to see a lot of them at your next book event.

I passed on the book cart event to quietly wander the aisles and then to repack my suitcase of books. The Convention Center bathroom served well to make my preparations for the Newbery/Caldecott dinner. My bag was packed, my energy was high, and I was ready for the big night.

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Category: 8 comments


Debbie - Families and Literacy said...

Wow, your scarf IS awesome!

I just adore books signings, and even just hearing about others' experiences makes me sigh all happy-like. I also loved "Red Sings from Treetops" and "Geektastic" is on my to-read shelf. :)

Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to hear about the rest! Living vicariously through other bloggers is almost as good as being there. ;)

Sarah said...

Just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your session Sunday morning. Very informative! Thanks for presenting.

Anonymous said...

I had a Mother Reader and Mo experience at this conference. I was so excited to get to meet Pam (YAY!) after her excellent program and presentation. My level of excitement on meeting her was the same as for MO! Then....while waiting in line to meet Blue Balliett and Cynthia Lord...I had a surreal experience. There in front of me was Pam...in the Westin Woods booth behind me was Mo, Trixie and Cheryl (ACK!). I was beyond excited and never thought that I would see two of my favorite people so near me! :)

Pat from Ohio

Sam said...

I had a similar experience with the lines...
I had to bail out of the Christopher Paul Curtis line to go to my own signing!
Luckily, another very nice author was in line behind me and asked him to sign Bud Not Buddy for me!

It was great meeting you, hearing your thoughts on book blogging at the panel discussion AND seeing the scarf in person!
-Tom A.

cotonmom said...

ALA was awesome. I also had a surreal Pam and Mo experience at the Newbery banquet. There was Pam at the very next table - and walking behind her to take his seat (right in front of me) was Mo. Like peanut butter and jelly. Thanks for the great talk!

MotherReader said...

Oh, you guys! I love the idea of Mo and MoReader cross experiences being so perfect in your worlds (and mine). Maybe he will be convinced that it's not me stalking him but the universe bringing us together - meant in a totally platonic way.

Okay, well now that did sound stalkerish.

Anonymous said...

It was so nice to finally meet you, Pam!

--Cynthia Lord

Kimberly said...

I'm glad you had fun! I was so sorry to miss everything kidlit but there was no getting me out of bed in time to make your panel. I hope I can make it to one of the Kidlitosphere Conferences. ALA is such an unwieldy experience. Valuable but so hard to find people!