Well, That Happened

This past week’s online conversation (via Twitter, blog posts, comments) has centered around ALA, it’s Exhibit Hall pricing and admissions policy, ARCs, and, well, a whole bunch of things.

I was tempted not to post about it because it  has reached some complex levels, with multiple different arguments going on at the same time and, alas, sometimes statements being taken out of context. Kelly Jensen of Stacked blogged about it at The ARC Stops Here. If you’re scratching your head going “what”, please, read Kelly’s post even though it is long. Two entwined  yet different questions are raised, per my reading: is ALA Exhibits public or not? And if public, does the current fee and attendance structure work in a way that is best for ALA and its members? It looks to me like a fee structure used to encourage attendance by locals who otherwise could not afford to go is now being used by others who see this as a way to have access to exhibitors (specifically, publishers) so travel to Annual just for that exhibit pass. (Some of the people who do this are local; others fly or drive in, get hotel rooms, etc.)

If you’re wondering, why would a non-librarian/library staff member go to ALA, here’s the answer: there are people who are passionate about books and reading, see libraries as being part of that, and attend. Also, the publishers. Sometimes, they are teachers. Or booksellers. Or book bloggers. (As an aside, any of these people can join ALA as Associate Members, and also join Divisions, etc..) Actually, not as an aside: I LOVE that people appreciate what ALA does to the extent that they become members. In case Kelly’s post wasn’t clear, I’ll be clear: when Kelly then begins to talk about public access to the Exhibits, she is not talking about members, whether individual or associate or whatever. In case you’re wondering, the exhibit hall pass is one size fits all: one price, four days, doesn’t matter whether you’re member or not. Unlike other organizations (or, indeed, full conference registration) there is no difference between member or not for cost; and unlike other organizations, there is no structure about who attends what day, etc.

So. Discussion, good, right? Maybe this is an ALA loophole. Or maybe it’s what ALA wants. If it’s a loophole, address it, keeping in mind some now expect it. If it’s not, figure out what to do about the people attending who are unaffiliated with ALA or its typical target audience (library staff). Do those attendees know about the Associate Member rate? What encouragement are they given to join? What resources have been geared towards them attending?

Why resources matter: if you’re even a casual reader of book blogs, before any conference you see helpful posts from book bloggers (librarians and non-librarians) about conference attendance, tips and etiquette. They go from the ever popular comfortable shoes to “don’t push” (don’t ask). If ALA is looking at book bloggers as potential attendees, they may want to do something similar. (Tho I also think that anyone who goes to their first conference gets a bit swept away by it all and ends up with “too many books”.)

Because this — exhibit floor behavior — gets into the reason this even came up. The “ALA Book Haul” posts / videos going up within days of ALA. Some had fairly extensive lists of what items had been picked up. Kelly goes into this in more detail at her post. (I’m pretty sure that no one has posted, this time, about proudly pushing others away).

This is where it gets messy, as any talk of ARCs does. (Yep, the posts sometimes say “book” even though we all know an ARC is not a book.) So, in true blogger fashion, I’m using that as a bit of a springboard to two ARC related questions I have for you. In reading various reactions to this online, I saw two things that puzzled me and so throw it out to you to answer or mull over. And, sorry book bloggers, but the questions I have are more for librarians. You’ll see in a second, but if you do have an opinion/insight, please share.

One, whether or not librarians use ARCs as part of their jobs. I imagine some, such as academic librarians, may not, depending on their specialty. As a youth services librarian, my short list of how ARCS are part of my professional toolbox include collection development, readers advisory, booktalks, developing literacy, programs — and that’s just a quick, broad list. So, do you use ARCs as part of your job? Is it of value to you as a professional?

The second is how easy it is for librarians to “get” ARCs. I put “get” in quotes because it’s not like going to the ARC store. Some books have huge marketing campaigns and there are tons of ARCs to go around; others do not, so the supply is more limited. “Get” sounds a bit cold, because what I’ve found, at least, is that it involves communications with the staff of the publishers that is anything but cold. It’s not “gimme gimme gimme.” It’s a discussion on what books one likes, or doesn’t; what your teens are reading; what they want to read. I’ve found that face-to-face at conference is the best place for that discussion, because I may ask about the “big” ARC everyone knows about but as we talk and the publisher rep hears what I like they’ll pull out ARCs for books I didn’t know about. Seeing those copies in person, even though they are not the final book, allows me to flip through pages and read random passages to determine “yes” or “no.”

Where’s my question. Right. So, one of the things I’ve seen is that librarians don’t have to do this face to face. All they have to do is email or call publishers to get ARCs and it’s easy. Is it that easy for you? For me, it is only that “easy” because I have an established book blog backing up my request. So, that doesn’t count because it’s not the librarian hat making the call. Going back in time to before 2005: no. It wasn’t that easy. Getting ARCs meant being lucky enough to see an announcement on a listserv or having a friend willing to pass one along.

So, those are my weekend questions for you: do you use ARCs? Are they only a phone call or email away?

Now I’m off to boil water to brush my teeth. Don’t ask.


YALSA Coffee Klatch

For a few years now, I’ve attended the YALSA YA Author Coffee Klatch at ALA Annual. It’s basically author speed dating: the room is full of numbered tables, you sit, and the authors rotate from table to table for about three minutes. I strongly recommend it! Though here is a tip learned the hard way: eat before you go. In the past they have had food (little stuff, pastries and the like) which typically is perfect for me; but this time, they had nothing. So, alas, the rule for any of these events is eat first.

Here are the authors who visited the table I was at:

Daniel Handler, for Why We Broke Up, Printz Honor Book (my review). Yes, he was very funny! He said we were the best table! I’m sure he was totally serious and did not say that to every table.

Wendelin Van Drannen, The Running Dream (Schneider Family Book Award), spoke about the book and people research process behind writing about a girl who loses her leg and gets a running prostheses.

Jenny Hubbard, author of the Morris Honor Book Paper Covers Rock (my review), offered these words on writing: “you’ve got to practice for a while before it really takes off.” (first photo).

Craig Silvey, author of Jasper Jones, Printz Honor Book (review coming next month), said about his writing: “I write the kind of book I’d like to read.”

Daniel Kraus, author of Rotters, Odyssey Award (my review of the print book), shared the cover of his new book,  Scowler, and said “it makes Rotters look like kindergarten.” He also brought along a copy of the audiobook of Rotters, complete with amazing new cover (the old cover was also amazing). (second photo).

Corey Whaley, author of Where Things Come Back, Printz Winner, (my review) spoke about his next book. He was vague on the details but very excited about it. We should be seeing it in the Fall 2013.

Melissa Marr talked about her new book, The Carnival of Souls, based on folklore. Also, witches and daimons! It wasn’t supposed to be a series, but — as Marr put it — it outgrew one book so there will be more than one.

Ellen Hopkins was the final visitor to our table. The words she left us with? “I love what I do. I love my audience.”

Flashback June 2005

As a brief reminder, I’m flashing back to reviews from years past. Here is what I was reviewing in June 2005:

The Order of the Poison Oak by Brent Hartinger. My review:It’s summer, and Russel has left town for a summer job in the mountains, working as a counselor for a sleepover camp. Part of the attraction of the job: he is tired of being “that gay kid who started the Gay Straight Bisexual Alliance.” It’s not that Russel wants to escape people knowing he is gay; he wants to escape being known only for being gay. Also at camp are his two best friends, Gunnar, who is straight but clumsy with girls, and since he’s in the Alliance everyone at school now assumes he’s gay; and Min, who is confident and outspoken and bi. . . . .  TOotPO is about romance; about falling in lust and falling in love and how the two aren’t the same; it’s about friendship and love and what happens when friendship gets in the way of love and vice versa. And it’s about independence and becoming oneself. And it’s about how growing up means becoming less self centered.” We can all be thankful I eventually stopped doing “only the initials of the book not the full name” in reviews. Let’s pretend that’s like my 1980s perm: best never mentioned again.

Castle Waiting by Linda Medley. My review: “Castle Waiting is sophisticated; it doesn’t show or tell everything. There is a long wait to the mystery behind Jain’s leaving her home, and even when you do find out, questions remain. This GN asks, “what happens after ‘happily ever after,'” but it doesn’t answer the question. It just takes you along the journey.” This is my first “Plot” and then “The Good” but I wasn’t quite consistent with that usage.

A Room On Lorelei Street by Mary E. Pearson. My review: “Zoe, her mother, her grandmother, Opal (who owns the house with the room), Zoe’s friends and teachers, are full characters. Pearson does an exceptional job of creating a living, breathing person with a handful of words. She also creates heart-achingly flawed, human, realistic people. Zoe’s tug-of-war with herself about her obligations towards her mother are understandable and believable, because her mother is more than just a selfish drunk..”

Yes, this is practically the entire review but it was one of my favorite books of 2005 and remains one of my favorite books, period.

Back to the review: “All to often in fiction, both Young Adult and adult, there is the “evil parent”, the one who has failed to be a good parent because of (fill in the blank: career, drugs, spouse, selfishness). The “bad parent” is one-note, to the point where I stop believing the story is “real” because seldom, in the real world, are people one-note; another problem with the “bad parent” character is that the parent is usually so over-the-top bad no one in their right mind would stick around, so the main character who does so looks less. I lose patience with the characters and the story itself.

Pearson avoids both these pitfalls beautifully. This is how “bad parents” need to be written: whole. Flawed. No excuses. Mama has problems, but there is more to Mama than her problems. Full characterization is one of the many reasons that while Zoe has problems in her life, this is not a “problem novel.”

Another good point about this novel is that it is believably set in a working class environment. The struggle for money is real, and the impact of no money is real. Zoe lets you know how much is rent; how much for food; how much for school activities. Zoe is not playing at being a grown up.”

Keys to the Kingdom by Garth Nix, first three books in the series:Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday, Drowned Wednesday. My review: “Nix has created a complex world that is bizarre, strange, familiar, exciting, dangerous, and consistent. I have no idea if Nix is a “plotter” or “plunger” when it comes to writing, but I’ll say this: the world of the House, the Far Reaches, the Border Seas is Real. There may be contradictions; but there are no inconsistencies. At no point do you feel, “OK, now you’re just making stuff up” or even worse, “Hey, that’s not what you said about the Fetchers in Book One.” Nix makes you believe that the world of Keys to the Kingdom does exist, because how else could it be so full? Also good are the many literary and religious references.”

ALA Saturday: Edwards Luncheon

One of the highlights of ALA was the Edwards Luncheon with Susan Cooper.

An explanation of the Edwards Award, past winners, and information on Margaret A. Edwards (for whom the award is named) is at Wikipedia. (Yes, Wikipedia. I don’t have to login there or fill out a form.) Per the policies at the YALSA website,the award is given annually to an author whose book or books, over a period of time, have been accepted by young adults as an authentic voice that continues to illuminate their experiences and emotions, giving insight into their lives.” The nominated author has to be alive and be willing to attend the luncheon in his/her honor. The book the award is based on has to be at least five years old and has to still be in print.

Who can name the other award named for Margaret A. Edwards?

This year, Susan Cooper was honored by the Edwards Award for her The Dark is Riding sequence.

From my review of those books, back in 2005: ““Five children (Simon; Jane; Barney; Will; Bran) battle “the Dark.” The sixth person mentioned is Merriman Lyon, great-uncle to Simon, Jane and Barney. Will is an “Old One,” a group of people born to keep the Dark at bay. But, as with Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, the fight is not only for those who are born with special powers and abilities; it is also for those who are human. This is fantasy set in the real world; the fantasy elements come from extensive use and reference to Welsh, Cornish and other Celtic mythology and Arthurian legend. While knowledge of the myth and legend adds to a reading of TDIR, it is not necessary; as a matter of fact, my introduction to elements of both is from this series. So if you like adventure; mythical retelling; danger; history; and friendship, this is a series for you. . . . The risks are real. The dangers are real. This isn’t a phony adventure. And while some are born to the fight, like Will, others — like the Drew children — can join in the fight, also. Choice is important, whether one is or is not mortal, is or is not an Old One. While there is prophecy, there is still choice.”

I read those books for the first time at the perfect age; I was about ten or eleven, the same age as the children in the books. I also read them out of order. Reading in order is, I think, more of my own adult preference for books and (at least according to my own childhood experience) and not a requirement to enjoy either a book or a series. In many ways, it set a standard for what I want in series books: existing mythology, a cast of characters, shifting point of view, a deep history; world-building; complex characters and tough decisions. (For the record, despite my love of the series, I’ve never been a fan of the ending!)

Anyway, it was on my “must” list to attend the luncheon and it was fabulous! If you want to hear Cooper’s speech, it’s at the SLJ article on the award and luncheon.

I took a few photos, but the only one that came out was the picture of the dessert, above!

School Library Journal sponsors the Edwards Award. My good friend Sophie Brookover (from Someday My Printz Will Come) was also at the lunch and we got our picture snapped (photo  from School Library Journal). I’m always relying on the photographs of others!

Review: The Silence of our Friends

The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long and Jim Demonakos, art by Nate Powell. First Second. 2012. Graphic Novel. Review copy from publisher.

The Plot: Houston, 1968. Two stories are intertwined; the story of a white family and a black family. Jack Long is the race reporter for the evening news. Larry Thompson is a local activist and college professor. They reach out and develop a friendship, based in part because both realize that “men of conscience have got to get together . . . , or nothing is going to change.”

A non-violent protest at the local historically black college ends violently when police move in to arrest the protesters. Not only are the arrests rough and brutal; a shot rings out, a police officer is injured, and violence erupts. A police officer is shot and killed; hundreds are arrested; and five black college students are charged with his murder.

Will Jack Long be silent about what he saw happen — that a fellow officer accidentally shot the police officer?

The Good: This is a fictionalized version of the author’s childhood; some things were changed, such as the date of the protest and the details that resulted in the arrests of the TSU Five.

On the surface, this is a story of a friendship and a protest and a trial. This is based on a real life event I knew nothing about; and I’m sure  there are many such incidents from the 1960s about which I have little or no knowledge. What struck me most from The Silence of Our Friends is not this big story of racism and violence and prejudice and charges; it was, rather, the little moments, the every day moments in the lives of Jack and Larry and their families.

Jack’s children play games and pretend — the casual use of the n-word will appall the modern reader, and it’s a word that their parents tell them not to use. It’s used by those around them, though. An old friend of the family comes to visit, and the Long family can no longer ignore the casual racism that surrounds them.

The dangers that the Thompson family face are more direct: what it does to a man who is refused service in a store. How two children can’t ride bikes to the local store without the risk of being run down.

Powell’s images are powerful and add to the story telling. For example, it’s not directly said that Jack has a drinking problem. Rather, his increased drinking is shown.

My favorite panel may be that of young Mark, washing out some tonic his mother put in his hair, dealing with a black eye from an encounter with a neighborhood boy (the implication is its the result of his family’s friendship with the Thompsons), and singing to himself the lyrics to Soul Man: got what I got, the hard way, I’m a soul man. Earlier, music had brought the families together. Now, they comfort him when he is alone.

One of Long’s daughters is blind. I loved the portrayal; scenes of her at school, learning how to use a brailler. She is always a part of the family; never explained away or distanced or made “other”. I was a bit surprised to learn from a Publishers Weekly interview that one of the things fictionalized was this — making a sibling blind.

Reviews and interview: Interview with author at The Daily Texan; BookDragon review; Comic Book Resources review; The Horn Book.

Review: Gilt

Gilt by Katherine Longshore. Viking. 2012. Reviewed from ARC from publisher.

The Plot: England, 1539. Kitty Tylney and Cat Howard are two teenage girls, living at the home of Cat’s grandmother, the Duchess of Norfolk. The Duchess may be rich and powerful, but she is also old and absorbed in her own affairs. Kitty, Cat, and the other girls who live crowded together in the maiden’s chamber are there because they have no where else to go. No one is really interested in them. Some are like Cat, younger sisters of younger sons, who have a name and connections but hand me down clothes and neither money nor power. Others are like Kitty, sent away from home simply because her parents don’t want her. Then there are girls like Joan and Alice, married off by their parents to husbands who have left their wives behind as they pursue their own interests.

Young, pretty, bored. Dreaming of life at court, with dances and pretty clothes and handsome men. In the meanwhile, making their own fun, in ways not quite proper. Late night festivities that include dancing and drinking and boys.

Kitty, abandoned by her family, values Cat and her friendship more than anything, because it’s the only thing Kitty has. She’ll do anything for Cat, follow her anywhere, help her with anything. All of Cat’s dreams come true when she captures the eye of the King, and she brings her friends along for the good fortune. Dreams sometimes turn to nightmares; how far will Kitty go to help her friend?

The Good: It’s not a spoiler if it’s history. Wait, was I the only teenager who adored English history?

Some books, like Grave Mercy, are about historical time periods that are not well known. Others are about more famous time periods. Longshore plunges into the Tudor Court, one of the more fascinating time periods in English history. It is the court of Henry VIII, known for his six wives. Catherine Howard was one of them. Henry’s wives get labels, and Catherine’s is flighty. Or young. Or guilty. The challenge, here, is how to tell the story of the tragedy of Catherine Howard? A teenage girl married to an older man, in a court where intrigue ruled, family mattered, connections were everything, but when push came to shove it was every man (or woman) for himself. A place of beautiful clothes, rich food, and elaborate etiquette. Love, lust, sex, and marriage were four very different things. Romance and relationships were not simple, and politics, power, and the long game mattered more than feelings or one individuals wants or needs.

Gilt is told not through Cat’s eyes, but through that of her best friend, Kitty. One of the fascinating parts of Gilt is the details about the daily life of Kitty and Cat, starting with the maids chamber, one room with a hodgepodge of beds. Chores or other duties may occupy the day, but at night Cat turns the room into party central, full of young men and dancing. Kitty and Cat have less (privacy, room, clothes, and jewels) than the Duchess; yet they have much more than others. They are the fortunate girls:  they have a place to sleep, even if its a crowded chamber; they have clothes, even if they are hand me downs. They have something else: hope of one day, somehow, escaping by going to the King’s Court, where anything is possible. Raised to marry who their families decided, with little or no education, the best they can dream of is the parties and dancing of court life. As Cat describes it, “The English court is beautiful and cut throat, and anyone going there has to be both. Or at least act as if she is.” Cat’s goal is to get there; Kitty’s goal is to remain friend’s with Cat.

It’s not a spoiler that Cat gets to court; her family ignores her earlier wild days and presents her to the king as young, virginal girl. Cat is the life of the party, and the king falls for that vibrancy. “Former queens had helped the poor, changed the king’s view on religion, or begged for mercy for rebellious commoners. Cat enabled him, in his decrepit old age, to enjoy life again.” Cat is also a teenager; about fifteen at the start of the book, and the book explores just why Cat does what she does. Trouble comes from two fronts: her relationships before she met the king, which she and her family hid; and, then, what she does at court. On paper, knowing what happens, it seems stupid for Cat to do what she does; Longshore shows a Cat who is impulsive and self-centered, who isn’t sure who to trust or what to do so does what she wants. In other words, she is a typical teenager in a very untypical situation. She realizes there is danger (“all talk is dangerous“) yet just can’t help herself.

While Cat’s fate is known to the reader going in, Kitty’s is not. I’d guess that most readers may be familiar with Cat’s place in the wives hierarchy, but not as familiar with the other players. Kitty is based on a real person, as are almost all of the characters in Gilt. Every now and then, a name is tweaked or an age made more convenient. The question becomes, then, not will Cat survive, but will Kitty? And at what cost?

Along the way, Kitty has her own romantic intrigue: two different men that she likes, in different ways. Upon meeting one for the first time, “I pressed the name into my memory like a late summer bloom into the leaves of a book.” I won’t say that one is “good” and one is “bad,” but, rather, they each are trying to work the system of the Tudor Court. Do they like Kitty — or do they like that she is Cat’s friend? Who will they be loyal to, when the end comes? And when the end does come — ARGH. I want to say specifically why I adored the ending, but I don’t want to give the ending away.

Gilt is part of a three book series; I love that it covers 1439-42,when Henry was in his late 40s/early fifties, rather during his younger, handsomer time period. It also makes me very curious as to who the next book will be about! Because, and you know I love this with a love that is pure and true, the Tudor Series are a series about a time period not one person. From the author’s website: “All the books are set in the court of Henry VIII. They are all about real people and actual events, embellished by my imagination. They won’t be follow-on stories, but some characters will pop up in all three books with varying degrees of importance.”

If you haven’t guessed from all the gushing so far: yes, this is a Favorite Book Read in 2012.

Other reviews: Girls in the Stacks review; Author Interview at Omnivoracious; Kirkus blog review by Leila Roy.

Flashback June 2007

As a brief reminder, I’m flashing back to reviews from years past. Here is what I was reviewing in June 2007:

Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets: The Mad, The Bad, And The Dangerous by Catherine M. Andronik. Reviewed from ARC. My review:  “Ah, some of the original bad boys. The revolutionary who became Mr Conservative; the drug addict, brilliant, who constantly disappointed; the man who inspired the infamous “mad, bad, and dangerous to know;” the free love, fire-starting, bigamist; and the guy with the talent from the “wrong side of the tracks” who just as it looked like he could have it all — got TB and died. Andronik does a wonderful job of introducing us to William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Keats, weaving mini biographies of individuals against the broader story of England in the early 1800s. She explains how these five not only lived lives that were far from boring; but how poetry influenced them and how they influenced poetry. As a teen, I loved Shelley; in college, it was Byron; and now, after reading this, John Keats is the man.”

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson. My review: “Hattie is alone in her struggle, alone as she has been all her life. Except she’s not. She has neighbors who become friends; including a warm, loving German family. Remember the year. World War I is raging, sons have left to fight in the war, sacrifices are being made for the war effort, and a family that speaks German is not popular, to say the least. But this family reaches out to Hattie, and she discovers that family can be people who are not bound to you by blood. I love the details — we know exactly how much Hattie has in the bank, how much things cost, we add and subtract and hold our breath, hoping it will work out. $400 is a lot of money — will it be enough? How can a teenage girl earn more? The language is wonderful: “The stew tasted of sage and carrots and hope.”

Lions, Tigers and Bears: Why Are Big Predators So Rare? by Ron Hirschi, photographs by Thomas D. Mangelsen. Boyds Mills Press. My review:So why are big predators so rare? Disappearing habitats. Many need room to roam; they need enough prey to sustain themselves and their offspring. And for many reasons, their natural habitat is disappearing because people are moving into their backyard. Other reasons: vary from hunters to global warming, war to road building. While this book is sobering, it’s not all doom & gloom; Hirschi includes information about steps people are taking to help the animals. It’s rather interesting to read how people can make a difference in the lives of wild animals. Hirschi includes a list of organizations dedicated to helping wildlife at the end of the book. Hirschi offers just the right balance of “things are bad” with “it is still possible to change things.”

Review: My Sister’s Stalker

My Sister’s Stalker by Nancy Springer. Holiday House. 2012. Review copy from publisher.

The Plot: When sixteen-year-old Rig’s parent’s divorced, he went to live with his mother while his sister, Karma, stayed with their father. The two haven’t really kept in touch in the four years since, especially since she left for college,

One day, Rig, missing her searches the Internet for her rather distinct name. What he finds chills him: a website by someone obsessed with his sister. Photographs that could only be taken by someone watching his sister.

Will Rig be able to convince his parents that his sister is in danger? Will he be able to save his sister?

The Good: My Sister’s Stalker is a suspense/mystery, building around the questions of who is stalking Karma and what can be done to stop her?

 Before Rig can do anything to find out what is happening with his sister, first he must address his family issues. His parents were a case of opposites attracting: his all-business father and his arty mother. Each thought the other would change as time went by; Rig’s father thought his wife would settle down, his mother thought her husband would loosen up. Instead, they split up, and the children stayed with the parent they were most like: Daddy’s girl and Mommy’s boy. Needless to say, that the relationship between Rig and his father is shaky at best. Rig has to set aside the family disagreements and past hurts to help his sister.

My Sister’s Stalker is very fast paced; once Rig acts on his discovery, things start happening rather quickly. A lot happens, and I don’t want to reveal the twists and turns. I will say this: Rig is not one to sit back and relax. He’s not one to stay at home while his sister’s in danger.  Both the action and the page length (a trim 128 pages) make this an ideal selection for reluctant readers.

ALA 2012 in Anaheim

This week I’ll be heading off to the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim (Twitter Hashtag #ala12).

It’s going to be a flurry of activity and meetings and exhibits, meeting friends, and getting the chance to meet online friends for the first time.

Here are some of my highlights:


ASCLA Web Presence Committee Meeting, Saturday, June 23, 2012 – 10:30am to 12:00pm. I’m chair of this committee.

Margaret A. Edwards Luncheon, Saturday, June 23, 2012 – 12:00pm to 2:00pm. It’s Susan Cooper! How could I not! Luckily, the Web Presence Committee is in the same hotel, so I can run and make it on time.

Fabulous Films for Young Adults Committee Meeting (YALSA), Saturday, June 23, 2012 – 4:00pm to 7:00pm. I’m a member of this committee. Unfortunately, this is the same time as the YALSA Happy Hour so I won’t be at the Happy Hour. I may be able to get to The Great YA Blogger Meet Up (Degrees Wine & Patio Bar at the Marriott, 8 pm on Saturday); to be honest, it depends on how tired I am after dinner.


YALSA’s YA Author Coffee Klatch, Sunday, June 24, 2012 – 9:00am to 10:00am. I’ve gone to this a few times in the past, and it’s always fun to meet the authors.

(Re)telling Stories: Fanart, authorship, and how stories are shared, reconstructed, and retold, Sunday, June 24, 2012 – 4:00pm to 5:30pm. I’ll be on this panel.


Michael L. Printz Program and Reception, Monday, June 25, 2012 – 8:00pm to 10:00pm. Personally speaking, I get the most out of this when I’ve read all the books. And I just realized I still haven’t read Jasper Jones! I guess that’s what my plane reading will be.

I hope to see you in Anaheim!

Here a Fan, There a Fic

Are you part of a fandom?

If you have participated in a fandom, please fill out Robin Brenner’s survey over at No Flying, No Tights: Fanworks & Libraries.

As Robin explains at NF, NT, “As part of my professional research, I am conducting a survey on the connections between fan works (including fan fiction, fan art, and fan videos), literacy, authorship, libraries, and storytelling.  And I want your input! I am hoping to hear back from readers of all types, age ranges, and interests, from teens to librarians to beyond both of those groups.  This research will be presented at two different panel presentations, one at the American Library Association Annual Conference (June 2012) and one at the Young Adult Literature Symposium (October 2012.)”

I’m pleased to say that Robin has invited me to be on both panels! The ALA one is on Sunday afternoon: (Re)telling Stories: Fanart, authorship, and how stories are shared, reconstructed, and retold. The YA Lit Symposium program is YA Literature and Fan-Created Work.

And now, some quick “me me me” plugs.

Wondering how fanfic applies to libraries? I’ll give a quick plug to an article Carlisle Kraft Webber and I wrote a couple years ago for School Library Journal, When Harry Met Bella.

For something more recent, you may also want to check out the chapter Fandom as a Form of Social Networking by me, in Teens, Libraries, and Social Networking: What Librarians Need to Know, Edited by Denise E. Agosto and June Abbas, one of the books in the Libraries Unlimited Professional Guides for Young Adult Librarians Series (May 2011).

Back in 2008, Carlie Webber and I presented on the topic of fandom at the first YA Lit Symposium: Explaining and Exploring Fandom, Fan Life, and Participatory Culture