Sunday, June 29, 2008

ALA - 2008

Pictured (from left to right) me, Jon Scieszka, Jackie Woodson, John Green, and Jay Asher.

Home again from ALA already! On Friday, I had the opportunity to read from Savvy at the YALSA pre-conference, where I met some wonderful people, and enjoyed answering a few questions.

Friday night, the Penguin Young Readers Group hosted a terrific dinner, and I met all kinds of interesting people: authors of amazing stories, folks from Penguin who turn those stories into books we can hold and treasure, and dedicated librarians and advocates who take those books and put them into the hands of young readers. It was very, very cool to take part in such an evening.

The other authors in attendance Friday night were (listed alphabetically) Jay Asher, author of the New York Times bestseller Thirteen Reasons Why; Andrew Clements, author of Frindle, and many, many other books, including Things That Are, due out in September; Printz award winner John Green, whose new book, Paper Towns, comes out in October; Tao Nyeu, whose beautifully illustrated picture book Wonder Bear, comes out in September; Jon Scieszka, our first Ambassador for Young People's Literature, whose new book, Knucklehead, also comes out in October; Nancy Werlin, National Book Award Finalist, whose newest book Impossible comes out this fall (my daughter loved the ARC of this and read it in two days); and last but certainly not least, Jacqueline Woodson, who won the Newbery Honor this year for her book Feathers, and whose latest book, After Tupac & D Foster, came out in January. What an honor to be in such great company! I'm sorry that Tao, Nancy, and Andrew left before the cameras came out because it would have been great to have them in the picture too!

Saturday, I signed copies of Savvy at the Penguin booth, and got to meet my publisher at Dial, Lauri Hornik (pictured) and even more great people. Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

It was also fun to visit with the Walden Media crew again as well! (And I was wrong to not bring home one of the Josh Hutcherson - Journey to the Center of the Earth posters for my daughter after all... whoops.)

It was a fast trip home. I left the convention center, picked up my bags from bell service at the hotel, changed in the bathroom, repacked my suitcases in the taxi to the airport (to make room for all the great ARCs I picked up), then flew home and enjoyed being in the clouds for a while...


Friday, June 27, 2008

ALA and the Hotel Breakfast... trapped in the cocoa pot

I get homesick quickly and miss having my daughter nearby to goof around with. So, instead I have only my computer and my hot pot of cocoa to entertain me...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Going to the Library... Conference!

I'm looking forward to spending a few days in Anaheim, California, at the American Library Association summer conference.

I'll be speaking at the YALSA program:

Got Tweens? Serving Younger Teens and Tweens

along with authors Bruce Hale, Jon Scieszka, Lisi Harrison, Amy Goldman Koss, and Lisa Yee.

I will also be signing copies of Savvy at the Penguin booth (#2617) on Saturday from 11:30-12:30.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Finnish Twist on Grandma's Polka

From Savvy:

"Your savvy’s in your blood. It’s an inheritance, like your brown eyes or your grandma’s long toes or her talent for dancing to polka music.” Grandma Dollop had loved the oom-pah-pah sounds of polka music and had collected jars-full before she died..."

I would put "Ieva's Polka" by Loituma in a jar to keep forever if I could... though I have it on my iPod, so I guess that's sort of the same thing (in a more techno-magic kind of way). Finnish polka! So fun. See for yourself!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

2008 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards for Excellence in Children's Literature

The winners of this prestigious award were announced today, and I am thrilled to share the news that Savvy was named as one of two honor books in the Fiction category!

Here is the complete list of winners:

Fiction: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Ellen Forney (Little, Brown)
Honor Books: Shooting the Moon by Frances O'Roark Dowell (Atheneum) and Savvy by Ingrid Law (Walden/Dial)

Picture Books: At Night by Jonathan Bean (Farrar)
Honor Books: Fred Stays with Me! by Nancy Coffelt, illustrated by Tricia Tusa (Little, Brown) and A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee (Harcourt)

Nonfiction: The Wall, by Peter Sis, published by Foster/Farrar.
Honor Books: Frogs by Nic Bishop (Scholastic) and What to Do about Alice? by Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham (Scholastic)

Special Citation, for excellence in graphic storytelling: The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Levine/Scholastic)

The award ceremony will be held in Boston in October. Many thanks again to the amazing team of people who helped get Savvy to this point, and to the wonderful people at Horn Book for recognizing the book! Congratulations to all of the authors and illustrators on this list. It is an honor to be named alongside you.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Storms and Stories

It was just a few weeks ago that a friend asked me to sign a second copy of Savvy for her niece after her first copy was destroyed in the tornado that hit Windsor, Colorado. One book--it was just an infinitesimal portion of the family's loss, and easy to replace compared to other things. There have been so many families who have had to struggle through natural disasters lately, and my heart goes out to them all.

Through email, I've recently become acquainted with another debut author, Sarah Prineas. Sarah's new middle grade book, The Magic Thief, just came out and is wonderful! Sarah and I have had a lot in common lately, including a love of similar words and phrasing. I've loved having the chance to chat with another debut author about all of the new and exciting things that come along with getting a book published.

Sarah and her family live in Iowa, and Sarah's family has been directly affected by the flooding. To Sarah, to my friend's family in Windsor, and to everyone else in Iowa and around the world who struggle to regroup after disaster, I wish you strength and resiliency and whatever magic it takes to bring life back to order.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Preston Junior High School Book Club

Preston Junior High School, in Fort Collins, Colorado, selected Savvy as the first book for their summer book club and invited me to come talk about the book yesterday afternoon. It was so great to meet all the kids from the book club--everyone had such great questions! And I really enjoyed hearing about the songs different people picked out for some of the characters, as well as reading the guesses about what Samson's and Gypsy's savvies might turn out to be, and what some people wished their own savvy might be.

Meanwhile, the kids presented me with one of the first brand new Preston Pumas shirts. And I was honored to be second only to the principal in receiving one of the new shirts! Go Pumas! Read your hearts out! And enjoy the rest of your summer!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Savvy & National Geographic

If you've read Savvy, you know that there is a National Geographic magazine reference in the book. Mibs talks about the picture of a human heart on the cover and describes it to talk about her own "mush and muscle" heart.

So I was very excited to see an advertisement for Savvy in the June/July issue of National Geographic Kids! It seemed like a fitting place for an ad.

I found the cover image with the picture of the heart so striking as I wrote Savvy, and it obviously influenced my writing.

And who hasn't had at least one stack of National Geographic magazines in the house at one time or another!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Happy June!

This month marks the release of Savvy in The Netherlands--where it is titled 13! My ancestors came to the United States from The Netherlands in the 1920's and settled in Michigan, where much of my extended family still live. So this release has a special significance.

In other exciting June news, Borders will be featuring Savvy as one of their Original Voices picks for the month. You can check out the entire list by clicking HERE.

Two weeks ago, Savvy debuted on the Book Sense Children's bestseller list at #14. Last week, it moved up to #12! Click HERE to view last week's list!