Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TLA Reduex: Christie’s Speaker Notes

So, a couple of weeks ago I presented with Peter Coyl, the chair of the Stonewall Committee, and author David Levithan (Two Boys Kissing, Every Day) at the Texas Library Association about awesome books dealing with GLBTQI/QUILTBAG topics, issues and characters.
 (for those that don’t know, QUILTBAG stands for Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender/Transsexual, Bisexual, Allied/Asexual, Gay/Genderqueer. It’s a newer term, not as widespread in it’s usage, but it’s meant to be all-inclusive of the community and easier to say and be more memorable. 
At any rate, I promised people my notes (why they want them I have no clue) so here they are and downloadable on Scribd for all to enjoy.

Christie’s TLA in a Nutshell

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So I had an awesome time at the Texas Library Association last week. I got to meet Justin the Librarian and we talked and mutually fancrushed, and I got some wonderful ideas from his makerspace presentation that I’m implementing. He also reinforced what I’ve been thinking and saying (mumbling) all along:
IF YOU HAVE A TABLE and a CRAFT, you have a MAKERSPACE.
JUST DO IT.
 Karen and I got in tons and tons of author lines,
and I got hugs, HUGS I TELL YOU from Alex London!!!
We had dinner with Little, Brown Publishing and got to chat with Holly Brown, Kami Garcia, Paolo Bacigalupi and Libba Bray….
Did I mention Libba Bray?
 
Karen had a moment…  I had mine later with Rae Carson, Alex London,
and Laini Taylor, to name a few….


 
 I then crashed the Maverick’s 5th anniversary party on the advice of WONDER WOMAN ( @librariansti) who was at my panel in the morning, and while no one told me it was a fancy dress party, I actually found my people!
If you don’t know, the Maverick Graphic Novel List is an annual list done by librarians across Texas to recommend graphic novels to librarians of ll areas of interest. Tuan (the Joker above) was one of the founders, and I am going to haunt him for an interview for our Comic Week coming up.
And I got to meet some of the wonderful teens on Thursday who got to take advantange of the Teen Day- it’s an awesome program and if you can get your administration to do it, go for it. They get discounts, and a room just for them, and special speakers- and wonderful energy. (Otterbox rules!)
The exhibits wonderful, and I really enjoy how Texas does it’s author signings- with the majority of them in numbered booths to the side in a specific area. I really wish those at ALA would take note- it makes things a lot easier in the aisles.
I took That Guy along with me as roadie and geek, and unfortunately he had a huge work deadline so he didn’t get to meet as many authors as he would have liked, but we scrimped and saved and splurged on one big thing: the Dinner with an Author dinner, which was Zombie night. It was a wonderful event, and we got to hear passages read by Paolo Bacigalupi, John Campbell, Jonathan Maberry, Diana Rowland, and David Wellington. We got to hear about Maberry’s adult works, and got introduced to Bacigalupi’s zombie book that he wrote for his wife’s class (makes me adore him even more), and I got to geek out on other authors.
 And That Guy got his picture taken with Jonathan Maberry afterwards.
I’m still trying to figure out how to turn my google doc of my presentation notes into something that will play nice with blogger- if I can’t figure it out by Friday, then I’ll just cut and paste. My presentation with Peter Coyl and David Levithan went well- the best takeaway was to be the best to your library, and don’t cater to the censors.

And I took home two suitcases full of books and ARCs which I’ve yet to unpack, and I got to meet people I only talk to on twitter, and I met some wonderful new friends, so it was all good.

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The Relational Reading Revolution Revisited

Earlier today author Mindy McGinnis (Not a Drop to Drink, In a Handful of Dust) and I presented at TLA on the ways that you can use social media to get teens connected with authors and invested in a rich, rewarding, and affirming reading community.  You can read the initial post here.  And here is a look at our presentation:

Some additional notes:

Some hashtags to follow on Twitter includes #yalit and #amreading

Even if your library policy prevents you from having a library or school account, set up your own accounts so you have the information and can share it with your teens. Some of the information you can find includes new book release news, cover reveals, book trailers, movie adaptation news, etc. For example, the other day Scholastic Tweeted information about the title and release date for the next The Diary of a Wimpy Kid book. When kids come in and ask for these titles, you can prove how cool you are by letting them know the news. You can also share book trailers in the library or in the classroom without having a social media account but the social media will help you know what trailers are new and hot.

19 Authors to Follow on Instagram

When teens see that there is such a vital and passionate reading community out there, they see how cool reading can be.

What happens at TLA stays at TLA. Well, until I write this blog post.

So, last weekend TLA happened. This was my second year attending TLA and it was incredible.  Here are 5 of my highlights and 5 of the titles I am looking forward to reading.

1.  I MET A.S. KING


On Thursday, I had a couple of hours to kill and a bag full of stuffs, so I walked over to the parking garage to unload and figure out what my plan of action was. Suddenly, I got a cryptic text from my friend Stacy (from Girls in the Stacks): “Where are you?”  She then let me know that she was standing there talking to A. S. King (my hero).  So I texted her back, “I will be there in 5!”  I then proceeded to run down 9 flights of stairs, cross the street, and run through the exhibit hall to have the moment I have been waiting over a year to happen.  But there she stood – A. S. King.  I would like to say I totally kept my cool but the truth was, I was a dork.  She was very gracious about it.  And after she left, I broke down sobbing – although luckily it was in the Little, Brown booth.  Witnesses proclaimed that it was “cute”, but I think here they meant cute as a code word for “dorky”.  It does not matter because I MET A. S. KING.  Friends stood in line and got me a signed copy of her upcoming title (October) Reality Boy, which I have already finished reading.  That’s right, after being gone for 4 days I spent all day Saturday ignoring my children and not doing all the blog things I was supposed to do and read Reality Boy.  I am here to tell you that A. S. King has once again written an amazing, insightful book that I will gush about. This is also the story of how Stacy became my hero by making sure I got to meet A. S. King.

2. I Had Dinner with Mind Games author Kiersten White, Sweet Venom author Tera Lynn Childs, and Through Her Eyes author Jennifer Archer

Because of the superfab Naomi Bates at YA Books and More (we are going to start vlogging together about School/Public Library cooperation), I got invited to a Harper Collins dinner which involved a bunch of people from Harper Collins – and me apparently. I sat right next to Kiersten White (and this time managed not to cry thank you).  I really liked Mind Games and it was nice to get to talk to her about it. I also met Jennifer Archer, author of Through Her Eyes, and Tera Lynn Childs, author of Forgive My Fins and the Medusa Girls series. It was an amazing experience and I learned a lot about the publishing side of things.  We had a very interesting conversation about how there is a need for more books with MCs that are POC, but how they don’t tend to sell as well. It was enjoyable and informative. Also, yummy.

3.  A. S Howard reveals the cover to the sequel of Splintered, Unhinged.

Sometimes you have a moment of being in the right place at the right time.  That is what happened to me when I ended up being at the cover reveal of Unhinged, the sequel to Splintered.  I love the colors and the way the two covers work together.

4.  It’s Time for Tea in Texas

A special thanks to everyone who put together the Texas Tea, where I met a wide variety of my favorite authors and got to learn up their new or upcoming titles.  Pictures are Sharon Flake, who was a good sport and put on the mustache, John Corey Whaley, who is just adorable, Krissi Dallas, who always has a rockin’ presence, Tessa Gratton, who is very excited about her mythology inspired The Lost Sun coming out soon, and Lisa McMannon, who shared her inspiration for her book in the multi-author Infinity Ring series.  I also met Matt De La Pena who talked about growing up as a multi-racial young man and shared a short story he wrote for something called One Teen Story, a literary magazine for YA readers (which is new to me).

5. Writers are Readers!

Look, there’s Michael Buckely – author of the N.E.R.D.S series – reading Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson at TLA. It was so fun to run into authors who were gong to booths to try and get titles that they wanted to read.


And here are a few of the books that I heard about that I want to read

Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines: Described as “The Avengers meet The Walking Dead”.  This book is already out, but it is part of a 4 book series that hasn’t gotten enough publicity.  That tagline should make it easy to sell.

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis: About a girl living in a post-apocalyptic world who must defend what little water she has.  Dystopian and environmental, a winning combination.

 
Counting by 7s by Holly Golberg Sloan: I ran into award winning author John Corey Whaley and THIS is the book that he was going to get an ARC for.  He says it is fabulous and should be a strong contender for the Newberry.

Winger by Andrew Smith: First, this book has the best cover ever. Seriously. Everyone who has read it raves. And A. S. King is a fan.

Infinityglass by Myra McEntire: Speaking of best covers ever. Is this not amazing?  I am a HUGE fan of the Hourglass series by Myra McEntire (as are my teens) and I can’t wait for the next installment.  If you haven’t read it yet, check it out.

How about you? What were your fave TLA highlights?  What upcoming titles are you looking forward to?

And did I mention – I met A. S. King!!!!!!

TLA Baby!

Tuesday night I left work and drove 4 1/2 hours to make my pilgrimage to TLA.  TLA baby, here I came! It was a truly amazing day where I met a ton of amazing teen authors, talked to publishers and yes, I received some ARCs (which will get their own post).

Although the exhibit halls were amazing, and I’ll get back to them, the fun truly began at the Texas Teen Author Tea.  Here we were invited to speed date with a wide variety of amazing teen authors.  There were 60 authors in total present, but I didn’t get to date them all.  The even was introduced by Andrea White, author of the fabulous Surviving Antarctica, which I have loved for a long time and being a new Texas transplant I had no idea she was a Texas author.  Ms. White, it was announced, gave some money to YART, the Young Adult Round Table, and they were starting some cool online resources including something called SPOT, the Spirit of Texas Reading Program.  My favorite was when she said that our goal – authors, librarians – was to help teens learn that “books are relationships”, a book is more than just two covers with pages in between.  Well said.

Then the speed dating began!

First I dated Morgan Matson, author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and the upcoming Second Chance Summer, and Jessi Kirby, author of Moonglass and the upcoming In Honor.  Both of these ladies were incredibly nice and I was lucky to later get signed copies of books by both.  Second Chance Summer and In Honor are both contemporary titles and I am so excited to read them.  As much as I love paranormal and dystopian – and you know I do! – it is always great to have those contemporary titles that help teens see the real world they live in just a little different, to open their hearts and minds and just be.

I had just tweeted that I hoped I got to meet David Lubar and bam – he sat down right next to me.  David is funny, not surpringly.  I also got the opportunity to tell him how much I appreciated authors like him who participated in the Yalsa-bk listserv discussions (Alex Flinn and Jonathan Maberry post frequently as well).  And then he mentioned the possibility of Zombie Weenies! I know he would also want me to mention the Weenies Topical and Literary Index, where he painstakingly indexed his weenies stories.  With David Lubar I met Christina Mandelski, the author of The Sweetest Thing.  My favorite part was when she told us that she took cake decorating classes to help her write this book and admitted to being obsessed with The Food Network.

I then got to meet Mary Lindsey, whose book Shattered Souls may have the most fabulous book cover ever.  She did a great job of selling her book and talked about the book cover process and it was very cool.  I ran into her again later and we chatted some more.  She shared that she was in the process of writing a very cool sounding Poe inspired book that I honestly can not wait to read.  With Mary came Greg Leitich Smith, author of Chronal Engine and yes, husband to Cynthia Lietich Smith.  He came bearing dinosaur tattoos and as far as I am concerned, there can no be enough dinosaur books.

I also met (cue squeeing) Megan Miranda, author of the breathtaking Fracture and learned that she has a background in science that helped influence the book.  Stasia Kehoe talked about her book, Audition, and how it really delves into the question of identity and talent and passion.  Also, audition has ballet and dance is really popular right now.  Here is my true confessions moment: I always wanted to be a ballerina, I own a copy of Center Stage and watch it often, and I watch Dance Academy on Teen Nick – purely for professional reasons, of course).  Then P. J. Hoover talks about her undying love of mythology and how it plays into her book series which begins with book 1, The Emerald Tablet.  Fans of the Percy Jackson series will love these.

After being sad for a few moment about the authors I didn’t get to speed date, which for me included Orson Scott Card, I returned to the exhibit halls where I had to buy a new copy of Shiver so I could have it signed by Maggie Steifvater.  Being a huge Shiver fan, this was quite the moment for me and Maggie was incredibly nice and gracious to everyone who stood in that line.

Then – bam – the moment truly had a moment of synergy as just that moment John Corey Whaley had written his Why YA? post about Love is the Higher Law and who should I meet?  Why yes, David Levithan himself.  He is, of course, one half of the brilliant writing partnership behind the truly marvelous Will Grayson, Will Grayson.  And it turns out, he is a book editor.  He is, in fact, the editor of The List by Shiobhan Vivian.  I have been dying to read this book so yes, yes I did buy it and get it signed.  I also got a picture of the wonder team.

Then, the most amazing thing happened! I met Barry Lyga.  That’s right folks, THAT Barry Lyga.  Author of the fabulous, and fabulously creepy, I Hunt Killers.  He himself is not creepy, just the book.  But fabulously so.  Barry himself was very personable.

I also met and talked to a look author named Beth Fehlbaum.  Her book, Hope in Patience, is a 2011 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.  Hope in Patience is about one young girls journey of recovery from abuse.  Fans of the Dave Pelzer books will want to read these.

I learned at the Harper Collins booth that Robison Wells was going to be at TLA today, a truly devastating realization for me as I left last night.  Thursday, in fact, is teen day and they are having a ton of great authors, groups of teens, lots of great ARCs and a huge Divergent/Insurgent moment.  I ran into a bunch of great librarians, authors and book bloggers and I am sure there will be lots of great posts in the next few days about it all.  I love conferences because they are this moment when all of us – authors, publishers, librarians – come together and rejuvenate.  We are all working towards the same goal: to get books into the hands of teens.  It’s nice to get together in person and share our stories of success, those moments when we learn how a book made the difference in someone’s life.