Sunday, November 18, 2007

Snowflakes and NCTE

There was a chance of rain mixed with wet snow flurries on Saturday night and also today, and although I don't think there's any snow outside (I'll know in a few minutes when I walk to work), it's certainly snowing in a different way now! This morning at 9 am EST is the start of auction #1 for the Robert's Snow for Cancer's Cure fundraiser. Thank you everyone who has help spread the word for this wonderful event, now is the time to BID! So, go here and bid now. Let's make this year's fundraiser the biggest ever!

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The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Conference went on this past weekend here in NYC, and the ALAN workshop is continuing now. I spent most of Saturday at the conference, having to be at the ALAN breakfast at the ungodly hour of 6:45 am. The breakfast started at 7. I felt really sorry for all of the West coast teachers for whom it felt even earlier. But the event was well worth it. Jerry Spinelli was the keynote speaker, and his speech was hilarious and inspirational. One moment in particular that I loved was a question Jerry said that a kid once asked him: "Did being a kid prepare you for being an author?" His answer was "hell yes." (Okay, he didn't actually say "hell yes")

Jerry signed copies of Eggs, Maniac Magee, and Space Station Seventh Grade at our booth in the afternoon. It was great to hear how many schools had made Maniac required reading.

Wendy Mass also signed in the afternoon--we had all four of the books she's published with us available: A Mango-Shaped Space, Leap Day, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, and Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall. A Mango-Shaped Space was by far the book that most people were familiar with. One woman hadn't been familiar with it, but was extremely ecstatic when she heard that the book was about synesthesia--she said she had a student who had synesthete, but when she tried to tell her students about it, they thought she was making it up.

Wendy and I walked the floor quickly after her signing (we only had a half hour until the floor closed), and got books signed by Peter Sis at the Harper booth, and then Pale Male by Meghan McCarthy, and said hi to authors Holly Black and Sarah Beth Durst.

Last night I attended the ALAN cocktail party--it was packed with publishing folk--agents, editors, a ton of authors, teachers, marketing folk, etc. I won't name drop like crazy this time, but will mention two things. Thank you to Betsy Bird for introducing me to Susan Beth Pfeffer. I loved her books as a kid, especially Kid Power. Another highlight was giving Sara Zarr a hug for her National Book Award nomination for Story of a Girl. Sara and Sherman Alexie had been in the office here and there last week for the various festivities, but I hadn't had the chance to actually say hello.

And on that note, Congratulations Sara and Sherman for your National Book Award nominations, and congratulations Sherman for the Medal for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I absolutely love both of their books, so if you haven't had a chance to read them yet, I highly recommend them--they are both absolutely amazing.


And now go bid for your favorite snowflake and help fight cancer!