readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Friday, January 22, 2010

So what happened at ALA, you ask?

Ok, other than the books (which I will get to in a moment)...

Besides stalking the HarperCollins booth for a glimpse of TELL ME A SECRET advance copies (!!!), I teamed up with Loriene Roy of If I Can Read, I Can Do Anything, an organization devoted to the literacy of Native teens and children, to talk about readergirlz/GuysLitWire/YALSA and publisher's third annual Operation Teen Book Drop!

We chatted with several groups of librarians who were working tirelessly in both urban and rural settings, community libraries and school libraries, to bring books into the hands of many teens. These people are passionate and dedicated, and we're really excited to have a chance to work with them. Many thanks, especially to Susan Hanks and Liana Juliano for everything!

And as a side note, LIBRARIANS ARE AWESOME! I knew when I met a bunch of Seattle/King County area librarians in the airport - including Judy Nelson, Angela Nolet, Dave Sonnen, Cecilia McGowan, and lots of others - that the trip was going to be fab (and it was really cool that they wanted my TELL ME A SECRET bookmarks - the first to receive them besides my mom!). Then I sat by Nancy Pearl on the way home! (Nancy: the answer to the secret question is..."takeoff decision speed.")

Highlights included meeting YALSA folks and being deemed an honorary YALSA rock star (thanks to Beth Yoke!), hanging out with my peeps at the HarperCollins meeting school/library/account divas Laura and Camilla and editors Tara, Rosemary, Molly, and Sarah - who are all rock stars in my book , seeing copies of TELL ME A SECRET fly off the table (and even signing some - surreal!), catching some of the Best Books for Young Adults panel discussion, especially hearing my editor's work with Jenny Valentine honored for Broken Soup (yay, Catherine!), and being present for the 2010 Youth Media Awards!!!! (Hooray for all of the very deserving winners, especially Libba Bray, Tanita Davis, L.K. Maddigan, Grace Lin, Jerry Pinkney, Tanya Lee Stone, and others!)

At the Kidlit/YA Tweetup organized by Mitali Perkins and Deborah Sloan, I ran into Kate Messner, Dawn Metcalf, Edith Cohn, Mitali Dave, Marissa Doyle, Ann Haywood Leal, Jennifer Rummel, EgmontGal, HipWriterMama, and so many others! Here are a few pics (my camera takes terrible inside shots, so I include credits...):

Here's one I stole from Edith Cohn (taken by Mitali Perkins - my first book-signing!) with Anindita, Edith, me, and Mitali of Alley of Books in the background:

And with EgmontGal Elizabeth Law and Mitali of Alley of Books (photo from Elizabeth's tweet, taken by Ann Haywood Leal!):

Plus a couple from the album of Judith Jango-Cohen with Harper friends Tara Weikum and Sara Shumway:

And here's one the inimitable Mitali Perkins and Vivian Mahoney (HipWriterMama!) after meeting Vivian in person for the first time, after working together on readergirlz for years!

I stayed with friends Kasson and Kathryn in Boston, who not only fed me, housed me, and even turned up their heat for me, but they carted me to and from the T-station so that I wouldn't get lost in the big (well, bigger) city. Then there was new music from Kasson and knitting wonders from Kathryn. Thanks, K&K! Here's my favorite thing I spotted in their house:

Plus some envy-worthy art from Etsy:

Now...on to the book stack. Here, let's look at them one more time and drool:

The publishers at ALA were exceedingly generous to us YA book groupies, and I picked up copies of (in order of the stack, release month in parentheses):

The Heart is Not a Size, by Beth Kephart (4/10)
Stranded, by J.T. Dutton (6/10)
Borderline, by Allan Stratton (3/10)
Very LeFreak, by Rachel Cohn (1/10)
The Timekeeper's Moon, by Joni Sensel (3/10)
Captivate, by Carrie Jones (1/10 - see her Story Secrets!)
Life As We Knew It/The Dead & The Gone/This World We Live In, by Susan Beth Pfeffer (3rd book in 4/10)
Tangled, by Carolyn Mackler (1/10)
Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver (3/10)
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green & David Levithan (4/10)
Illyria, by Elizabeth Hand (5/10)
Happyface, by Stephen Emond (3/10)

And a couple of copies of Tell Me a Secret for upcoming blog giveaways! What a weekend!


Liz Gallagher said...

Glad you had a blast, Holly! And can I just say that it's so fun to see worlds collide? Spotted: Vermont College friends w/you at tweetup! I heart the friendly kid/teen-lit world.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Such a lovely trip, Holly! I'm so happy for you!

JenFW said...

Wow, Holly, looks like big fun! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I am drooling over it all, esp that stack of books!

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