ALA Midwinter also would not have been possible without my tremendous volunteer and substitute, Meg Gutches. She's so good that some of the 6th graders (who may need to have their eyes checked) are sure that we are the same person! Not only was she able to run the library brilliantly, getting children books and keeping things organized, but she also took my texts during the Youth Media Awards presentation and pulled books for the students! Plus, she loaned me the suitcase that I brought back crammed with books!
There were lots of great moments at the conference that made me glad I went. While technically, books are a very small part of my actual job, they are a huge part of what I do in my spare time, and I do think this work benefits my students and colleagues. Here are my favorite moments:
- Meeting Library Jim in person! We go back to 2008 and have identical dogs. I saw very few librarians I knew, so I was glad to talk to him.
- Telling Michelle Bayuk of Quarto Books about a great but out of print version of the Aeneid that they may investigate.
- Gushing with a Scholastic rep over Gordon Korman's newest book and mentioning that one of my life goals is to interview him! Might happen!
- Hearing from publishers, especially Shadow Mountain, that they read my reviews and appreciated even the critical ones!
- Running into Carter Higgins masquerading as a librarian. I've been looking forward to her book A Rambler Steals Home.
- Catching up with Wendy Shang. We bonded over Jan Knudsen at Kidlitcon a while back.
- Hearing from Ramin Ganeshram that she has a new middle grade series in the works.
- Talking with Tim Tingle about basketball. He mentioned a book I HAD NOT READ!
- Discussing books with Zareen Jaffery and Hena Khan of Salaam Reads and getting a copy of Amina's Voice signed for one of my own Aminas!
- Shaking Caroline Cooney's hand! I love her books.