ALA Annual Conference 2021

Inspirational Author Connects Emotionally to Participants #alaac21

This morning’s Scholastic Coffee Chat was very inspirational. At today’s 2021 Virtual ALA Annual Conference, Scholastic’s editor, Tracy Mack and author Ann Clare LeZotte spoke together about LeZotte’s newest book “Set Me Free.” While I’m watching on my laptop, I could tell the two have a very special relationship that has been developed over the last few years from working together. Mack asked LeZotte questions about her book. LeZotte, then answered them in two languages, English and in American Sign Language. I could tell from the chat responses of the participants that LeZotte’s words were creating very emotional responses. LeZotte is deaf and a former librarian. She drew her inspiration for her book from her own life and those of others she has interacted with over the years. As someone who’s parents were told by doctors to not teach her ASL, she had many lonely days. But as she came…

ALA Annual Conference 2021

Amanda Gorman and Loren Long @ #ALA Annual Conference 2021

On Wednesday morning, #ALA Annual Conference 2021 began with an amazing opening speaker session with Amanda Gorman and Loren Long. They were interviewed by “rock star” (to quote Gorman) Carla Hayden. Really, all three of these speakers are ROCK STARS! Gorman introduced us to her new book, CHANGE SINGS, which will be available in the fall. She has been working on the poem for over 3.5 years and wanted it to come out as close after the Inauguration as possible (before she even knew that she would be the Inaugural Poet). Gorman and Long discussed the transformation of her poem into a children’s book. As Gorman explained, poems are “divisible by units of sound, and children’s books are divisible by units of scene.” In thinking about turning the poem into a book, she had to think about “page turns,” and she wanted to give the huge topic of CHANGE texture,…

ALA Annual Conference 2021

Zwiers Picture Book Inspires an Engaging Lesson Plan #alaac21

A book trailer of “Where Do Words Come From!” by Zwiers and illustrated by Sr. Reny was presented at the beginning of this session during the Virtual 2021 ALA Annual Conference. Reycraft Books representative, Eileen Robinson and author Jeff Zwiers held a conversation in a live webinar about Zwiers’ latest picture book. Zwiers said this book was inspired from a question his daughter asked about where do words come from. They then started playing around with different word combinations. That activity parallels Jeff’s philosophy of encouraging children to create their own words instead of having them use memorization. Throughout the discussion, we were presented with colorful pages from Zwiers’ book. We could see that pictures of things in the book were created as word art. As Zwiers described the pages, they would be related back to Jeff’s background knowledge in language, reading, and learning as teacher trainer at Stanford University….

ALA Annual Conference 2021

Developing Your Collection, One #ALAAC21 Session at a Time

Though there is much to learn at ALA Annual Conference, everyone knows that the most common takeaway from sessions is titles to add to your next order! Here are the ones that are certain to receive a boost from day one at ALA Annual. Change Sings by Amanda Gorman, illustrated by Loren Long (available 9.21.21) The opening session, moderated by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, was a warm and effusive celebration of words and pictures, music and poetry, change and change-makers. After poet Amanda Gorman read a few lines from the book, and illustrator Loren Long talked about his inspirations and decision-making with the art, this beautiful picture book rocketed on to the lists of librarians everywhere. Run: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by L. Fury and Nate Powell (available 8.3.21) From the team that brought us the inimitable March trilogy, we can now look forward…

ALA Annual Conference 2021

Kheiriyeh at Virtual 2021 ALA Annual Conference #alaac21

From an at home setting, author and illustrator, Rashin Kheiriyeh spoke to participants via a live webinar from the Virtual 2021 ALA Annual Conference about two of her books. It was a special treat to hear this author read us the first page of her Persian inspired picture book, “Bahar, the Lucky.” Kheiriyeh illustrated this story in bright red and blues, that she said are similar to the color of a Persian rug. The author and illustrator said that this story is about a funny adventure by the main character, Bahar, who wants to be a fortune teller. It was noted by Reycraft, the book publisher, that “Bahar, the Lucky” is starred review from Kirkus and for ages 3 – 7. The second book discussed in the webinar was “Love on a Plate.” This soon to be published book is a days-of-the-week, lift-a-flap book. As a graphic designer, as well…

ALA Annual Conference 2021

ALSC Award Ceremonies and How to Watch #alaac21

While we miss celebrating our awards in person, staff, members, award recipients, publishers, and many others have worked incredibly hard to bring life and joy to our virtual ceremonies happening this week! Below is information on how to watch! Information is also available on the ALA conference scheduler and ALSC website. Odyssey Awards When: Thursday, June 24, 6-7:00pm CST The Odyssey Award is jointly given and administered by ALSC and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), divisions of ALA, and is sponsored by Booklist magazine. Hear from the producers, authors, and narrators behind the 2021 Odyssey Honoree and Award recipients! These recorded Zoom calls offer insight into the production process, and even feature some exclusive readings. Register in advance to attend this virtual ceremony. After the live session, it will be available on the ALA Annual Conference Scheduler as an on-demand session. Pura Belpré Celebración When: Sunday, June 27, 1-2:30pm CST…

ALA Annual Conference 2021

Stay engaged at a virtual conference #alaac21

It’s time for ALA Annual! I’m really doing my best to start the day strong- I am a mom of 2-under-2, life is crazy, I probably wouldn’t even be able to attend annual if it wasn’t virtual. I am so fortunate. BUT, let’s be real. I’m tired, my toddler keeps trying to mean mug the computer- I don’t want to have awkward IM conversations and I’m pretty sure my trusty laptop wants me to give it a week off. I just realized I was in a video queue to meet and author, chickened out and Xed out and tried to attend a video conference that is full. I’m trying to picture this as it was a “typical” in-person annual. I would probably awkwardly chat with said author, mispronounce something and stumble away opposed to what I just did, which is the equivalent of saying nothing and running away. I would…