Monday, January 28, 2013

ALA Midwinter

This morning I had the pleasure of watching the ALA Awards with 40 incredibly awesome young people. The fourth and fifth graders had recently Skyped with Katherine Applegate, so when The One and Only Ivan was announced as this year's Newbery winner, kids were pretty pumped. Not to mention, Ivan is kind of like a hometown hero in these parts, having spent the first part of his life at the B&I only a few miles down the road.

My students and I also spent a good chunk of time digging through the kid-books I picked up at the ALA Midwinter Conference exhibition hall this past weekend. Most of the books aren't even published yet, which was pretty exciting for a class full of avid readers! Here's what I picked up in two afternoons:

Among my favorite purchases was Wang's Cozy Classics (I picked up Moby Dick and Pride & Prejudice for some expecting friends of mine!). I love the feeling of simplicity in these books, even though 1) it's not easy to summarize a book in 8 words and 2) the characters made of felt probably took a heck of a long time to make.

I'm also looking forward to reading Platypus Police Squad by Jarrett Krosoczka, Sidekicked by John David Anderson, and P.S., Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia. Plus, I got so many cool new posters and fun new bookmarks to pass around! 

In addition to good books, there was good company! I spent Saturday night hanging out with Nerdy Book Club folks. What a fantastic bunch of people! It was wonderful getting to meet so many Twitter friends face-to-face and talk about great books.  

And, I also got to meet Tom Angleberger! This picture made me a rock-star in the eyes of my students today. 

What a great couple of days it has been! Being around so many fantastic books and enthusiastic people has been completely energizing (which, I'm sure, is a sign I must be an introverted extrovert...), and just the kick-in-the-pants I needed to motivate myself to finish my report cards. I can't wait to start reading!

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