Sunday, May 29, 2011

A month away from ALA New Orleans

If you are going to be going to ALA in New Orleans this June, I'll be there too! Here's my schedule of events at the American Library Association Conference:

Sunday, June 26th


Newbies and Newberys: Three Authors Talk About the Wows and Woes of Winning the Newbery Honor with First Books, MCC-Rm 283

Panel with Kirby Larson and Jenni Holm, moderated by Sandra Imdieke, Professor of Children's Literature, Northern Michigan University

Sunday, June 26th

12:30 - 1:30

Book signing at the Penguin Young Readers booth

Monday, June 27th

9:30 - 10:30

Book signing at the Scholastic Book Fairs Booth

The panel with Kirby and Jenni should be really fun. And Jenni just won her THIRD Newbery Honor this year. I'm happy that I get to go to the Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder Banquet to be able to cheer for her and the other winners. When I was at the banquet for my own award evening two years ago, I was so nervous and excited I didn't eat, and the night flew by. So this time it will be fun to go and be a relaxed onlooker. If you're going to be at ALA stop by one of my sessions and say hello!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A few early-May this-and-thats

I don't think I'll ever grow out of the feeling of excitement that comes when finding an unexpected package in the mail. I got one yesterday! I was delighted to open it and find an advance reading copy of Arthur Plotnik's forthcoming book, BETTER THAN GREAT: A Plentitudinous Compendium of Wallopingly Fresh Superlatives. (June 2011) It was Mr. Plotnik's book, SPUNK & BITE: A Writer's Guide to Bold, Contemporary Style, that inspired me to take all the chances in voice and style that I did when I first wrote SAVVY. It was also the book that first introduced me to the word 'scumble.' So, as I'm sure you can guess, I have a lot of good things to say about Mr. Plotnik (a self-proclaimed 'word-wonk') and his books. And who doesn't enjoy a whole book dedicated to the abandonment of worn-out superlatives? Goodbye 'great'... 'amazing'... 'awesome'... Hello 'punch-drunk dizzying'... 'style on stilts'... 'three-ply charming'...

A second fun thing, one I saw in the store the other day, is the new book just out from Alan Gratz called FANTASY BASEBALL. I gave my permission some time ago to let Mr. Gratz 'borrow' my pink SAVVY bus and its driver, Lester Swan. In the book, Lester gets to drive the crazy cast of the fantasy baseball team around. So, if you enjoyed Lester in Savvy, and just can't get enough of the stammering, twitching guy, pick up FANTASY BASEBALL and meet a whole team of interesting characters... Lester may not be the only character you've met in other fantasy books!

If you are a librarian and you're headed to ALA this summer, I'll be on a panel with two other Newbery Honor authors, Kirby Larsen and Jennifer Holm... more details to come!

And finally, I am still totally addicted to watching the webcam broadcast of the young bald eagles in Decorah, Iowa. They have the beginnings of real feathers now and are learning to stand up on their feet (so wobbly and funny!). I had a dream the other night that I had to rescue the eaglets and bring them to a bookstore, where I got to meet Maya Angelou. I won't even get started on my dream from a few nights before, the one about the carpet of lights in the corner of a meadow--a carpet of lights that I had to turn on, two lights at a time, by finding the right puzzle-like sequences of adjacent pairs. I swear, it took me all night!

That's all for now!