Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Genre Luncheon was wonderful! I had a chance to catch up with one of my favorite people - Catherine Balkin. If you haven't checked out her web site Balkin Buddies: you are missing a great resource. Catherine used to work with Bill Morris at HarperCollins and most certainly knows publishing and authors. Not only will Catherine help you set up an author visit at your school or library, she has compiled a great set of resources on authors. You can find out how much the author charges for visits, etc. She also has a link to children's and YA authors by state, grade level as well as one to authors who are visiting your area. Wish I had this resource when I was a school librarian.

A myriad of authors sat at tables and we had a chance to get autographed copies of ARC as well as bound books. Stephen Chbosky was signing copies of Perks of Being a Wallflower - one of my all time favorite upper level YA novels. He took time to chat a bit and write in the copy he autographed for me. Very cool! It was so neat to watch the smiles on the attendees faces as they interacted with the authors. I have a pile of autographed books that I can't wait to read, or to revisit, such as Luna by Julie Anne Peters I was telling her about the two copies I lent out and never got back. Now I have an autographed copy and said I hoped if I lent it out again it would be returned because of the autograph. Her comment was I might see it on sale on EBay! What fun to chat and interact with the authors. Also was delighted to talk with Susan Kuklin and now have a signed copy of No Choirboy: Murder, Violence and Teenagers on Death Row I am not a big NF reader, but this book is incredible! If these interviews with teen inmates doesn't get even the most resistant teenage reader, nothing will. She is also a very cool lady!

I am sitting in Rollie Welch's session on street lit. Should prove to be interesting. He works with inner city teens in Cleveland. I was able to get a copy of Kendra signed by Coe Booth and it would most certainly fit into YA urban lit. Rollie frequently works with incarcerated teens. Rollie also has a street lit column in School Library Journal. He is also on the Best Books for Young Adults committee. He is referring to the lack of new titles he is gettting for review that have African American protagonists. Sad, but very true.

Gotta look for the Denim Diaries series. Very interesting! He is not pulling any punches about the types of books and his patrons. Very try sense of humor as he shares titles and a bit of history of street lit.