Posts Tagged: ALA

ALA ANNUAL RIDICULOUS RECAP

Posted by | July 16, 2013 | No Comments

Take a walk down memory lane with us via this photo-dump of our very favorite ALA images…

booth

Our booth was looking pretty snazzy.  This is before 26,000 people descended on the exhibit hall, so we still all had all of our fingers and toes…

alsc preconference

Were you lucky enough to attend this year’s ALSC Preconference, “A Wild Ride: 75 Years of the Caldecott Medal” at the Art Institute of Chicago? If so, we’re horribly jealous.

IMG_0009

It takes a village to run a Veronica Roth signing– and we are happy to be that village!  It’s amazing to see how involved fans feel in Veronica’s world, and how highly they (and we) are anticipating the movie (coming out in 2014!) and ALLEGIANT (on sale 10.22.13).

IMG_0015

A moment to pinch yourself and make sure you’re not dreaming: THREE Newbery medalists in our booth at the same time.  Katherine Patterson, Katherine Applegate, and Patricia McLachlan.  We might have gone a little paparazzi on these lovely ladies… but who can blame us?!

rainbow committee dinner

During our Newbery committee dinner celebrating THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN, a beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky over the city.

betsy bird caldecott outfit

Our very own (we can claim her as all ours since she wrote GIANT DANCE PARTY for Greenwillow Books) Betsy Bird, wearing our favorite ensemble of the Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet, which represented all 5 of this year’s Caldecott books.

kittens first full moon

This crew (Kevin Henkes, Laura Dronzek, Judy Zuckerman, and Virginia Duncan) all dressed up in honor of Kevin’s 2005 Caldecott-winning KITTEN’S FIRST FULL MOON.

jon and mac smilingAnd finally, a little storytime in the booth! Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, genius and adorable duo, had us all smiling on the last day of exhibits (no easy feat).

 

A HUGE thank you to all who helped make this ALA one for the ages!

 

LILI WILKINSON, STONEWALL BOOK AWARD HONOREE

Posted by | July 17, 2012 | 2 Comments

Back in January, the lovely and talented Lili Wilkinson won a Stonewall Book Award Honor in the Children’s and Young Adult division for her young adult book (and U.S. debut) PINK, a lively and resonant look at a teen’s attempts to don a new personality and figure out who she really wants to be.  What a treat to be able to share her remarks here, read at the Stonewall’s ALA Annual celebration by Lili’s wonderful editor, Anne Hoppe.

Now, on to it!

“Good evening. My apologies for not being here – Australia is a very long way away.

I’d like to start by thanking the Australian publisher of Pink – Allen & Unwin, in particular my editors Jodie Webster and Hilary Reynolds.

And if it’s not too awkward for her to read this out loud, I must also thank the wonderful Anne Hoppe and everyone else at HarperCollins. Pink is the first of my books to reach American shores, and you have given it such a warm welcome and loving home. Thank you for the gorgeous cover. Thank you for putting it into the hands of teenage readers. Thanks especially for your help in translating the book into American while keeping its Australian setting and flavour.

And of course thanks to my fabulous agent Kate Schafer Testerman, for working so tirelessly to find my books homes in the US.

The book is dedicated to publisher and writer extraordinaire David Levithan, and I wanted to take a moment to explain why.

Many years ago David came to the Reading Matters conference in Melbourne, which I used to help organise. David made an impassioned speech about how teachers, publishers, parents, librarians and other “gatekeepers” have a responsibility to help young people kill the vampires.

… This was pre-Twilight, I should add.

David was referring to a song called Die Vampires Die from an off-Broadway musical called Title of Show. A vampire, in this case, is “any person, thought or feeling that stands between you and your creative self expression.” They creep around and whisper in your ears, saying things like “Your teeth need whitening. You went to state school? You sound weird. Shakespeare, Sondheim and Sedaris did it before you, and better than you.” They tell you you’re not good enough, and you can’t help believing them.

One of the ways we could help young people kill these vampires, suggested David, was by making sure that every teenager could see themselves reflected on the shelves of their libraries and bookshops. And, in his opinion, when it came to books about gay teenagers, we were failing to do that.

The speech received a standing ovation, and I’m proud to say that the Australian publishers, teachers and librarians in the room listened, and since then things have started to change.

But I got to thinking. I’d read books about gay teenagers. Not many, certainly. But I had read a few – David’s not least among them. But I couldn’t think of any books I’d read about the teenagers who aren’t sure. And really, who’s sure about anything when they’re sixteen? I wanted to write a book for those teenagers. I wanted to write a book that said – there are some things you never have to definitively decide on. You don’t ever have to put yourself in a closed-off, past-the-point-of-no-return box, and you really don’t have to do it when you’re sixteen. It’s okay if you’re not sure.

So I wrote Pink.

Books about girls often don’t win awards. We focus a lot of our attention on getting boys reading. I visited an all-girls secondary school recently where not one book was studied that featured a female protagonist. And funny books with pink covers are even less likely to catch the attention of academics and awards judges. When you get home, have a look at how much academic analysis there is of authors like Meg Cabot, Maureen Johnson, Cathy Cassidy or Louise Rennison. Is it because their books are shallow and insubstantial? Cabot’s The Princess Diaries is about a teenage environmentalist who brings democracy to a small European principality. Just because a book is funny and romantic, doesn’t mean it has nothing to say.

Someone asked me the other day why all of my books feature strong, female protagonists. Confused, I repeated what Joss Whedon had said when he was asked the same thing: “Because you’re still asking me that question.”

I love writing about strong, funny, flawed girls who are curious about the world. I love writing romance. I love writing books that make the reader think, that encourage them see the world in different ways.

Which brings me back to Pink, and to my thank yous. More than anything, I want to thank the judges that saw fit to recognise Pink. It means so much to me that a funny, romantic pink book from the other side of the world is to be given such a prestigious honour, to sit alongside amazing writers like Brian Farrey, Ilike Merey, Paul Yee and of course Bil Wright.

The importance of organisations like the American Library Association, and awards like the Stonewall, cannot be overestimated, and as an author I am immensely proud to have that sticker on my book. It’s also lovely that it matches the cover.

My final thank you is on behalf of the teenage readers who have written to me and come up to me at schools and festivals to tell me how Pink made a difference to them. It’s a thank you to the gatekeepers: the publishers, teachers, librarians and parents who make sure that all teenagers are reflected on bookshelves. Thank you for fighting the good fight. Thank you for helping to kill those vampires.”

Thank you, Lili! We’re honored to be your publisher, and inspired by your words.

FALL 2012 LIBRARIAN PREVIEW

Posted by | May 18, 2012 | No Comments

This Wednesday, we plied our local librarian friends with coffee and treats to meet us very very very early in the morning to hear about our Fall 2012 titles, straight from the mouths of our truly masterful editors. Our attendees live-tweeted under the hashtag #harperfallpreview and it was really exciting for us to see those enthusiastic tweets roll in. Thanks, guys!

Everyone with their listening caps on.

Greenwillow Editor Martha Mihalick (follow her on Twitter @MarthaMihalick) and VP/Publisher Virginia Duncan holding up the f&g of Michael Hall’s September 2012 title, CAT TALE, one that prompted a lot of great discussion. We always learn something new from librarians!

Balzer + Bray Editor Kristin Rens and VP/Publisher Alessandra Balzer holding books from their fall list: DEFIANCE, by C.J. Redwine, and THE OTHER NORMALS, by Ned Vizzini.

Now, for some great This Meets That’s:

  • “Dan Brown for 10 year olds” — THE SECRET PROPHECY, by Herbie Brennan.
  • “Scott Westerfeld meets Lauren Oliver” — THE LOST GIRL, by Sangu Mandanna.
  • “The Goonies meets The Walking Dead” — GRAVEDIGGERS: MOUNTAIN OF BONES, by Christopher Krovatin.
  • “My So-Called Life meets Twilight” — DRAIN YOU, by M. Beth Bloom. (full disclosure… this one killed me!)

Can you believe that in a little more than a month, we’ll be at the ALA Annual meeting in Anaheim, California?  Because we sure can’t (cue folders flying, frantic packing).  But if you’ll be there too, please make sure to stop by, say hello, and grab galleys of the titles above.  Booth #2558– see you there!

MEET ME AT MIDWINTER

Posted by | January 17, 2012 | 4 Comments

Things might be a little quiet over here at the blog this week, because the team is packing up and heading to Dallas, Texas to attend the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting. We love this conference– we catch up with old friends, make new ones, promote our terrific upcoming books, and scope the scene for what’s about to pop onto our radar.

If you’ll be at Midwinter too, please stop by our booth (#1528) and say hello! We have LOTS of galleys to give out, including UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi, Sara Pennypacker’s middle grade SUMMER OF THE GYPSY MOTHS, Adam Rex’s first-in-a-trilogy COLD CEREAL, and PANDEMONIUM, Lauren Oliver’s follow up to DELIRIUM*.  Plus you absolutely must meet Penny, Kevin Henkes‘ newest mouse, whose sweet story is sure to win a place in your heart.

See you in Dallas, y’all!

*Limited quantities available.

BBW Booktalk: GEOGRAPHY CLUB

Posted by | September 29, 2011 | No Comments

Banned Books Week goes on and today’s booktalk is GEOGRAPHY CLUB by Brent Hartinger.  It was successfully banned for its homosexual content in Brent’s own hometown in 2005 – read Brent’s great post about it – and has continued to appear on the most challenged lists.  In Brent’s blog post, he quotes a local parent who defended GEOGRAPHY CLUB at the time: “This is the most bogus thing I’ve heard of [...]  It is about gay students.  However, the most important part of the book is that it’s about bullying, outcasts, about tolerance [...] This is a really good book for any student to read.”

Generously contributing a booktalk today is the eloquent, often provocative, teacher, librarian, and blogger Jonathan Hunt (you can also visit him over at School Library Journal‘s blog Heavy Medal):

When is a Geography Club not a Geography Club?  When it’s the front for a Gay-Straight Alliance, of course!  Russel Middlebrook believes himself to be the only gay student at his high school, but when he makes an online connection with a job from his school, he begins to realize there may be others, too.  Ultimately, seven students will come together to form the Geography Club, offering support to each other through thick and thin.  Readers will fall in love with Russell – regardless of sexual orientation – because his voice just rings so true: funny, angsty, yet wise.  There’s been an explosion of gay and lesbian young adult fiction in recent years, but this gem remains one of the very best.

Thanks so much, Jonathan!  For more information, you can see this interview with Brent, check out Brent’s website (in particular, his information for LGBTQ kids is a wonderful resource), and follow Brent on Twitter.

BBW Booktalk: ANGUS, THONGS, AND FULL-FRONTAL SNOGGING

Posted by | September 28, 2011 | No Comments

A regular on the top banned and challenged books list, ANGUS, THONGS, AND FULL-FRONTAL SNOGGING by the fabulous Louise Rennison has a cult following (um, include me in that cult!).  The book has been challenged for a multitude of reasons: age inappropriateness, profanity, and sexual content.  It has also made the Top 100 list, which we can’t help but consider a distinction!

Today’s booktalk is by the uber-fabbity-fab Sarah Bean Thompson, librarian and blogger (GreenBeanTeenQueen).  She’s also on the 2013 Printz committee!  She’s a fan of Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicolson stories and contributed a booktalk that you can use all year long in your programming:

Join Georgia Nicolson and The Ace Gang for a fabbity fab adventure through the craziness of high school.  Georgia is madly in love with the sex god, Robbie.  Too bad Robbie has a girlfriend who happens to be the annoying wet Lindsey.  Georgia knows that she could get Robbie to fall in love with her if only she had the chance.  And if high school and love triangles weren’t bad enough, Georgia has to deal with her fat cat Angus who is always causing problems and her embarrassing three-year-old sister who is not as cute as everyone thinks.  Georgia’s adventures are always full of laughs as her entries into her diary recount her attempts to survive school, boys, and big noses.  Growing up is never easy, but at least Georgia Nicolson manages to make it fun.

Thanks, Sarah, for joining us!  For additional info to support your programming and curriculum, check out the Georgia Nicolson reading guide.  I’m also a bit of an evangelist for the Georgia Nicolson website so check that out for a glossary, the complete snogging scale, and quizzes.

Last but not least, I’ll leave you with the trailer for the the ANGUS, THONGS, AND FULL-FRONTAL SNOGGING trailer:

BBW Booktalk: BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA

Posted by | September 26, 2011 | 2 Comments

In addition to appearing on the list regularly, Katherine Paterson’s BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA was a Top 10 Banned Book in 2003.  It is also ranked in the Top 10 Banned Books of the decade, 1990-2010.  It has been challenged and banned for using the lord’s name in vain, secular humanism, occultism, offensive language, and death as a major theme.

So let’s booktalk it!  We asked Jen Bigheart – blogger at I Read Banned Books, librarian, and founding member of Literary Lonestars – to contribute a booktalk for BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA; feel free to use it in your own classrooms and libraries to support the Freedom to Read year-round:

Living in a small, rural town in the late 1970s with his parents and four sisters is far from exciting for fifth-grader Jess Aarons.  When tomboy Leslie Burke moves into the house down the hill, the two strike up an unlikely friendship that doesn’t go unnoticed by Jess’ family and classmates.  The two sneak deep into the woods as King and Queen of Terabithia, conquering hostile savages and getting lost in their imaginative play.  When an unexpected tragedy strikes, Jess realizes that Leslie was more than just a friend and play partner.  She was his ticket to freedom from his mundane home life and gave him a gift beyond measure: courage.

Thanks so much, Jen!

For further assistance in teaching BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, download the discussion guide.  Scholastic also has put together Literature Circle questions.

Banned Books Week: Booktalks

Posted by | September 26, 2011 | 1 Comment

It’s well-known in book-ish circles that it’s Banned Books Week.  This week is a wonderful celebration of the freedom to read and to raise awareness against censorship.  But one thing that comes up each year – by myself, included – is that Banned Books Week needs to happen every day of the year.  As book people who are passionate about the right to read whatever one chooses, we must remain vigilant in supporting that right.

With that in mind, this week we’ll be featuring booktalks of banned books by well-known librarians, school media specialists, and bloggers.  That way, you can support the freedom to read year-round.  (Not to mention that, should you be working on your programs, these booktalks can set you on your way!)

So stay tuned and visit here all week for the booktalks.  Before I post the first one, I thought I’d share what others are doing around the interwebs to celebrate this week:

Blogs We’re Reading

Posted by | July 26, 2011 | No Comments

It’s Vacation Time around the office lately, especially now that ALA is over.  But one of the delights of being offline is getting to catch up once you’re back online: it’s always fun to see that the electronic world has continued to spin even in your absence.  Here are some of the posts I’ve read and loved since being back in the office:

What are you reading and loving?  And how are your summer reading clubs going?  Have you seen more or less sign-ups?  We’d love to hear from you!

~ Laura

More Notes from the Trenches: ALA Annual 2011

Posted by | June 25, 2011 | No Comments

This may look like a straightforward display promoting Brian Biggs’ upcoming EVERYTHING GOES: ON LAND

…but Robin and I actually spent some time during booth set-up beep-ing and vroooom-ing around the poster, pretending we were driving the trucks and cars.  Because that’s the sort of goofiness that conferences inspire in us.

Our breakfast this morning featured the upcoming IF YOU GIVE A DOG A DONUT by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond:

Really, what else can I say?  Cuteness personified.  Liz Burns at A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy said that she thought the purpose of the donuts was to actually make people feel better about taking more bacon.  I mean, if you don’t take a donut, that means you can take another slice of bacon, right?  It’s all about priorities, people.

Lastly, we told you a couple weeks ago about the awesome I’M A SHARK (by Bob Shea) fans that we were going to have at the conference.  Well, here they are in action:

To quote a librarian, “they’re functional AND cute!” Indeed.

There’s still time to come visit us at booth #1315!  Check out the signing schedule for Sunday and Monday, and stop by to say hi to us and our fantastic authors!

~Laura

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