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 to the next chapter in John Lewis’s powerful story. Published posthumously, this series captures the lesser-known stories of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and will be a must-have, especially for school librarians eager to share important historical events in an accessible format.

Bake, Make, and Learn to Cook by David Atherton, illustrated by Rachel Stubbs (available 11.2.21)

2019 winner of the Great British Baking Show, David Atherton, knew he wanted to make a cookbook for kids, but also wanted to give it a healthy and accessible focus. He and illustrator Rachel Stubbs demonstrated how to make vibrant green Cakey Caterpillars and inspired loads of librarians for ways to bring cooking with kids into their programming!

Rez Dogs by Joseph Bruchac (available now!)

This novel-in-verse from acclaimed indigenous writer Joseph Bruchac is undoubtedly flying into order carts after today’s talk from the author. One of the most fascinating things we learned came when he shared that he drafted the verse for this book during the pandemic each morning as he walked with his dogs, recording them with his cell phone and then revising them in print later. In this way, he captured the oral tradition of a culture of storytelling that permeates his life and fuels his latest middle grades novel.

Hello, Star! by Stephanie V. W. Lucianovic, illustrated by Vashti Harrison (available 9.21.21)

Illustrator Vashti Harrison shared her experiences with illustrating this picture book, and we all wished it were already fall, so we could see it in person! Harrison typically works in a fully digital environment, but this book is her first book where she worked with traditional media like pastels and watercolors. Her willingness to share all the different techniques she tested along the way was a perfect mirror for the themes of curiosity and exploration in the text.


Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

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