ALA Midwinter 2017

#alamw17 “Absence tells a child that their stories don’t matter” – Aisha Saeed

Micah Bazant's "Everyone Is Welcome Here" poster

Today’s ALSC Mini Institute session “Passing the Mic: Muslim Voices in Children’s Literature and Lessons Learned in the Pursuit of Equity and Inclusion” offered highly personal and deeply moving accounts of what it felt like to grow up either invisible in popular media and books or, even worse, seeing your religion and culture reviled or ridiculed when they were mentioned. Authors Hena Khan and Aisha Saeed, and Zareen Jaffery, Executive Editor of the new Simon & Schuster imprint, Salaam Reads gave suggestions for anyone who wants to make sure that Muslim children feel welcome in our libraries. One important step is visibly indicating that your institution is a caring and safe space, for example through displaying books, programming and posters such as this one: Aisha Saeed shared a delightful story of her young son’s joy upon discovering Hena Khan’s It’s Ramadan, Curious George. As a huge fan of all things…

Tweens

Middle Grade and Young Adult: Another Author Interview

Back in November, I did an interview with two authors who have written both middle grade and young adult books. It was fascinating to see their different and similar experiences in writing for two audiences.  Today, I’m interviewing Corey Ann Haydu, the YA writer of three books. Her first first middle-grade novel, Rules for Stealing Stars, is in stores today! Books: OCD Love Story (2013), Young Adult Life by Committee (2014), Young Adult Making Pretty (2015), Young Adult Rules for Stealing Stars (2015), Middle Grade ALLY: Are you in a different mindset when writing MG and YA? How do you think differently about your audience? Corey: I’ve found there’s a bit of a mysterious, lovely thing that happens in my brain when I’m writing MG. It opens up a new little pocket of imagination for me that has its own life and really took me by surprise. It’s reflexive– writing MG loosens up my mind…

ALA Midwinter 2015

ERT/Booklist Author Forum #alamw15 #comics

A fabulous way to kick off the conference: seeing 4 of my favorite comic creators and champions. My favorite bit so far is learning about their favorites from childhood. Cece Bell loved Archie and her big brother’s National Lampoon, Jeff Smith read the Sunday strips and Mad magazine, Francoise Mouly read books like Asterix, and Gene Luen Yang loved superhero comics. Francoise Mouly and Jeff Smith are discussing the power of comics because they are hand drawn. The reader can see the hand of the artist and that personal touch allows comics creators to tackle very personal topics in a way that is different from prose authors. Comics creators are also different from painters because they are in the business of communication. Comics should not be open to interpretation, their message should be understood if the creator did their job.

Tweens

Middle Grade and Young Adult: An Author(s) Interview

It’s a holiday weekend, hooray! I hope everyone has had a most excellent Thanksgiving. I thought for a holiday weekend treat, we’d do something fun here today, so I asked a couple of authors to participate in an interview just for ALSC and YALSA blog readers! The two authors I asked to participate have something in common: they write both middle grade and young adult books. As a librarian who works with all ages, and especially with the “tween” ages (where ALSC and YALSA’s services overlap!), I find myself needing to be familiar with both types of books. The exact definitions of Middle Grade and Young Adult are subjective and amorphous. For the purposes of this post, we’ll just say that the intended audience for middle grade is slightly younger than the intended audience of YA, but both can be enjoyed by all ages. Our authors: Alison Cherry Books: Red…

Awards & Scholarships

Deadline for Bechtel, Hayes, & Baker & Taylor is Nov. 1

ALSC is reminding members to apply for professional awards this fall. Applications are open and several deadlines are approaching. Below is list of ALSC professional awards which are available for submission or nomination.  Please consider applying or nominating a colleague: Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship Deadline: Extended to Saturday, November 1, 2014 This fellowship provides a $4,000 stipend to allow a qualified children’s librarian to spend a month or more reading at the University of Florida’s Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature. Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Award Deadline: Saturday, November 1, 2014 This $4,000 award was established with funding from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, in honor of Maureen Hayes, to bring together children and nationally recognized authors/illustrators. ALSC/Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Grant Deadline: Saturday, November 1, 2014 This $3,000 grant provides financial assistance to a public library for developing an outstanding summer reading program for children.

Books

Friday Highlights @ #alsc14

Friday was a whirlwind of excitement, from start to finish–how can you top a day that begins with Breakfast for Bill and ends at Fairyland? It exceeded all expectations! Highlights included: -Gene Luen Yang’s revelation that as a pre-teen, he smuggled home comics in oversized Egyptology library books. He also had an amazing, hilarious–and pretty convincing–theory about how Superman is really Asian. -Rita Williams-Garcia read aloud parts of her childhood diary, which included a prophetic letter to William Morrow (which later became her publisher). -Tim Federle’s astute observation that kids don’t classify books and authors as “GLBT” or “Asian.” To them, “books are books.” -Pam Munoz Ryan said that she personally didn’t become an avid reader until she was in 5th grade. She pointed out that sometimes it just takes some kids a little longer than others and that books enter a person’s life at the right time. -Author Ginger…

ALA Annual 2014

The Jeff Kinney of the 80’s #alaac14

While ALA has MANY popular youth & teen authors signing at booths and listening to your fangirl stories, popular authors of the 80’s also make appearances. Ann M. Martin, Babysitters Club, and Judy Blume were among those popular authors. As I walk around the exhibit hall with my Wimpy Kid fan that says, “Millions of kids are readers because of this book,” I remember the days when this was said about Judy Blume. If you hadn’t read Are You There God, It’s Me  Margaret, you would get crazy looks from your friends. Kids would read this book so that they wouldn’t get left out of the conversation at lunch-even boys. One of my ALA goals was to meet Judy because I was that kid who read EVERYTHING by her (including Forever when I was in the 6th grade). I was that kid who had to be strongly encouraged to try…