Thursday, January 31, 2008

This is going to be my last bit of "work" for today as my neck is telling me I am over doing it, but how else does a person get anything done when there aren't enough hours in the day?

I finally got my thank you emails written for the wonderful publisher events I attended at ALA Midwinter. I know I should have sat down with stationary or thank you cards and a pen but no one can read my hand writing anymore. Mary had to call me to ask what the gift tags said on the Christmas presents! Although I love all the meetings and presentations at ALA I adore the publisher events as I get to talk to other people who love YA and children's books as much as I do.

One of my favorites is the Abrams luncheon. This year I actually got to meet William Sleator and talk to him about Interstellar Pig while he signed the ARC for his new book Test. What a gracious man. We talked about how teens want to turn Interstellar Pig into their own board game - my son certainly did. That was the highlight of the luncheon, not me sending my plate of chicken and pasta up into the air and almost into Jeff Kinney's lap. It is a good thing he's a young guy - he got out of the way of the flying food fast! I was so embarrassed as it made a lot of noise and everyone looked my way. At least it happened before the authors started to speak! I was pretty pleased with myself chatting with Kinney about his Diary of a Wimpy Kid books as I had read the second one too and then it happened. I am one of the most clumsy people in the world and me trying to perch a plate of food on the edge of a small coffee table is just asking for a disaster. I am still finding tiny flecks of chicken sauce on my favorite cowboy boots! Anyway, our discussion included comments about how older teens are reading these books too. I was pleasantly surprised as I see them as elementary level books, but because of the graphic format they appear to be ageless. That is one of the things I love about the graphic format - no matter what the content (heaven forbid - even the classics) teens will read them. :-)

Speaking of unique formats, one of my favorite chick lit authors is Lauren Myracle and her instant message style novels starting with TTYL. I have to admit I had to ask someone what TTFN meant as I cannot remember ever saying Tah-tah (I am not even sure that's how you spell it) for now to anyone, but then again I grew up in the sticks of Upper Michigan so that's no surprise! So, when I saw that Myracle was one of the three authors (Lockhart and Mlynowski too) who got together to write the new HarperCollins chick lit road trip book, How to Be Bad, I had to read it. It might have had something to do with the pain meds, but I found myself laughing out loud as I read it, especially when they break into a small town museum so they can visit the lengendary alligator Old Joe, all 16 feet of him. Even behind glass he has poor Mel hyperventilating. She is the rich girl who recently started working at the Waffle House with Vicks and Jesse and is footing the bill for their road trip to Miami. Almost as funny is when they stop to eat and all there is to choose from is a hot dog cart. Poor Mel, the other two don't realize she is Jewish, even after she orders only the bun. They are on their way to visit Vicks' boyfriend who isn't making their long distance relationship easy with his few and far between short text messages. So the very religious Jesse, who is running away from the realization that her mother has breast cancer, "borrows" her mother's car and suggests the road trip. The reader gets to know the three very different girls as they meet a guy for Mel, crash at a party, drive through a hurricane, stay in a pirate hotel, and much more before arriving in Miami. This is the perfect beach read book and a good laugh was much needed after I read the wonderful, but gut wrenching, Wake by Lisa McMann, but that will have to wait until another posting. TTFN!! :-)