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A few snapshot highlights from my ALA Annual 2013 conference in Chicago. 

  • Hearing Lois Lowry, Veronica Roth, Cory Doctorow, and Patrick Ness all speak eloquently about dystopia and teen lit at the Booklist Forum
  • Getting to meet, joke, and share my breakfast with on of my favorite authors, Patrick Ness, who was just as funny, thoughtful, and engaging as his books would lead you to believe.  Plus, I got an advance reader copy of his new book More Than This. Thanks to Candlewick!
  • Hanging about with all of the Artist’s Alley comics artists including Raina Telgemeier (Drama), Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy), Faith Erin Hicks (Friends with Boys), Gene Yang (American Born Chinese), Thien Pham (Sumo), Chris Schweizer (Crogan Adventures), Anthony del Col (Kill Shakespeare), and meeting new participants Paul Pope (Battling Boy), Jerzy and Anne Drozd (, Matt Phelan(Storm in the Barn), Laur Uy (Polterguys) and everyone else in Artist’s Alley.
  • Having more than 150 people pack the room for our Busting the Comics Code panel, with the marvelous Carol Tilley presenting on the history of comics censorship and the 1950s comics scare.  It was so exciting to be a part of that panel.
  • Dancing the night away at the release party for Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.
  • Being around 20 feet away from a favorite BBC mystery actor, Nathaniel Parker (aka Inspector Lynley), as well as seeing all of the other remarkable winners of the Odyssey Awards perform and accept their awards. Surprise bonus for getting to meet the lovely Elizabeth Fama, author of Monstrous Beauty!
  • Hearing all of the heartfelt and eloquent Printz speeches at the Printz Awards ceremony.  Benjamin Alire Saenz spoke with great sincerity, and by the time he finished, tissues were being passed along all of the rows of the audience.  The Printz Awards are why I always try to make it through to Monday evening, and this year was no disappointment.
  • Getting my copy of Elizabeth “Code Name Verity” Wein’s new book Rose Under Fire signed by the author, and I only had to wait about 45 minutes.  Sweet!
  • Gathering a stack of advance reader copies (or as we say in the biz, ARCs) to bring home.  Yay reading!
  • Getting to hang out with all of my favorite librarians from across the country, which is one of the best perks of being at ALA — we all get inspired just remembering why it is we do what we do.  We love being librarians, and for my peers and I, specifically being teen librarians.
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