Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ALA and New Orleans

My time in New Orleans was great fun. ALA overflowed with amazing librarians, teachers, authors, publishers, and friends. I managed to do a teeny-tiny bit of sightseeing yesterday before running off to the airport. I made it to the French Quarter and picked up some beignets to carry home with me on the plane. But that was about it. The rest of the time I was blissfully happy signing books and chatting with people at the conference.

Below, you can see Kirby Larson, me, and Jennifer Holm posing together for a photo after our panel: Newbies and Newberys, the wows and woes of earning a Newbery Honor for a first book. It was a fun panel and both Kirby and Jenni are amazing authors with wonderful stories to tell. Sandra Imdieke of Northern Michigan University did such a great job organizing the panel and moderating. And Jenni was picking up her third Newbery honor that night for her novel, TURTLE IN PARADISE. Huge congratulations to Jenni!

At the Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder banquet, Erin Stead's Caldecott acceptance speech had the audience cheering and in tears as she shared her experiences that led her to illustrating A SICK DAY FOR AMOS MCGEE. A special book from an amazing woman. Clare Vanderpool shared stories about Kansas and the process behind MOON OVER MANIFEST, while making everyone laugh. It was also an honor to meet Tomie DePaola for the first time, who was there to accept the Wilder Award for lifetime achievement.

I want to thank everyone who made a point of stopping by one of my signings--or even stopping me in the aisles of the convention center--to say hello and share their support. And I also have to thank Lauren Myracle for putting sparkles in my hair, and Richard Peck for sharing a harrowing taxicab adventure or two (and lending a gentlemanly arm when my high-heels were too high).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Charmed Life: Still a Favorite

I'm often asked what my favorite book was as a child. That, of course, is difficult to answer; I have fond memories of so many books. I loved The Lord of the Rings, the entire Anne of Green Gables collection, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, almost any books about King Arthur (but particularly those by Gillian Bradshaw), The Chronicles of Prydain, Watership Down... etc, etc.

But, when asked, one book that I often tell people was one of my favorites as a kid is Charmed Life, by Diana Wynne Jones. Recently, I decided I ought to re-read it (though, I actually listened to the audio book) to see if it is one I still enjoy--and it is! I love the story of Eric "Cat" Chant and his nasty sister Gwendolen. And I'd forgotten how much I enjoy all the Chrestomanci books--and how they are all different, with some common threads (perhaps that's what inspired me to do something similar--different, with common threads--with my savvy books).

I got a wonderful laugh when Ms. Wynne Jones describes cacti as looking like "tormented cucumbers." I enjoyed the audio recording too. It made getting stuck in traffic the other night quite pleasant!

Lamplighter Award

I'm pleased to announce that Savvy has won the 2011 Lamplighter Award, the 6-8 grade category of the Children’s Crown Award Reading Program.

Each year, the Texas Christian Schools Association selects books that convey wholesome values, uplifting characters, and positive themes for three award lists: Children's Gallery (grades K-2), Children's Crown (grades 3-6), and Lamplighter (grades 6-8). Students then vote for their favorite in each category. All of the awards are endorsed by the National Christian School Association. For more information, please visit: http://www.childrenscrownaward.org/

Savvy has also been nominated for the 2012 Grand Canyon Reader Award in Arizona and the 2012 Colorado Children's Book Award.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father-Daughter Reading Streak

As someone who still reads at night (whenever possible) to her 16-year-old daughter, I loved this story on NPR about a father-daughter reading streak that lasted 3,218 days, and the book that's come out of it.

Friday, June 10, 2011


I love this cover from Carlsen in Germany for their edition of SCUMBLE, titled:
I can't look at it without smiling.

And it goes well with their cover for SAVVY / SCHIMMER, too:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Upcoming Bookstore Appearance, New Orleans

I just found out that while I'm in New Orleans for ALA I will be appearing at a bookstore, too! So if you're in New Orleans, stop by Octavia Books on Sunday, June 26th, at 3:00pm and say hello!

Here's a link to the event announcement: HERE

Authors Jay Asher and Maureen Johnson will be there with me at 3pm. And it looks like Kate DiCamillo will be there right before us! And Tomie dePaola and Richard Peck before her? Wow! Should be a great day to spend the whole afternoon at Ocatavia Books. For the bookstore's complete calendar of events, click HERE.

Hope to see you there!