Saturday, January 20, 2007

Good morning from Seattle. This city is very hilly and none of the hotels I have meetings at are very close together. But, walking uphill to the IBBY session last night was well worth it. Terry Trueman was hilarious. Terry had done a number of online chats with my students when I taught at UHCL and they loved him, and his books. His Stuck in Neutral is a Printz Honor book and opened the eyes of many teens in relation to cerebral palsy. The sequel to it Cruise Control is from Paul's perspective. Shawn, the disabled 14-year-old's older brother, Paul, is angry about his father leaving. Paul feels like the weight of caring for Shawn is on his shoulders and he cannot accept a basketball scholarship to go away to college. In his latest YA novel, No Right Turn, Trueman takes on the topic of parental suicide and how 16-year-old Jordan has been not dealing with it well for the last three years. Will the 1976 Corvette and a girl bring him out of his depression? Trueman told us last night that the Vette on the cover is his. He also told a hilarious story about being out on the road with it and having a car of girls pull up next to him. They were all interested in him until he rolled down the tinted windows and they saw he was an old bald guy! He had us snort laughing!

I was supposed to go to a breakfast this a.m. but my knee had a different idea when I got up. It decided Tylenol and some elevated time is what it wanted. Lots of walking yesterday, and sitting for hours in one spot, aggravated it big time. I won't be climbing stepladders while talking on the phone any time in the future. Or, I should say falling off of stepladders while talking on the phone! It has been over two weeks and the knee is getting worse, not better.

Was listening to the trash truck outside the hotel this a.m. and had to chuckle as I thought of the scare I had while on island. We stopped to drop off trash and all of a sudden a guy came hopping out of the dumpster, with a curtain rod in his hand. We didn't realize anyone was there so he really startled me. Dumpster diving is a common event on St. Thomas, but that is the first time I have actually seen someone come over the top of the huge dumpsters. These dumpsters are the size of a semi trailer and deep so how he came hopping out of there is beyond me. I was proud of myself. I was able to keep myself from screaming when he hopped down next to my side of the car. But, I did lose a cat life for sure.

For the first time in the almost 20 years I have been attending ALA I went to the exhibit opening. I even stood in line to get a Chaucer bobble head doll. Not sure why, but the two fellow NC librarians I was with wanted one. It will look cute on my desk. Had a chance to stop and chat with publishing people. Many fun freebies and lots of food too. Tried to win something by throwing a stuffed fish through a hole at the Amazon booth, but no suck luck. I blamed it on my new bifocals! :-) There were so many bags of free books, posters and other goodies on people's shoulders that I am surprised we weren't knocking each other over. But, what fun. Not sure I want to do this every time, but it was certainly interesting.

Had the absolute pleasure of talking to Arthur Dorros and met his very sweet son, Alex, who co-authored Numero Uno with his father. This new Abrams title is a very entertaining tale of two villagers, Hercules and Socrates, who are continuously arguing about who is number one - numero uno. Hercules insists he is because of his strength. Socrates is as confidant he is numero uno because of his intellect. It isn't until the villagers send them away for three days so they try to figure out how to build the bridge without Hercules' strength or Socrates' intellect that the villagers decide what they didn't miss was the arguing! And, the bridge is built without them, well sort of! The illustrations make it clear that the huge boulder that the arguers dislodged from the hillside cave entrance (it took both brawn and intellect) rolled into the river and became the center support beam for the village bridge. This is a must have book in elementary collections and will be a wonderful read aloud title, which will result in very interesting conversations, I am sure. Can't wait to read this autographed copy to Michael on my next visit to Green Bay. Which, should be soon as Kegan is getting himself ready to enter this world. Can't wait to hold my newest grandbaby.

Okay, time to check for student emails and get myself going for the another long day.