Sunday, November 3, 2013

Getting excited for AASL 2013 National Conference! Author events galore

Librarians Gone Wild -- that's the term my family has for my trips to library conferences. They energize me, giving me a chance to meet authors, visit with other librarians, and learn so much.

In just two weeks, I'm heading to Hartford, CT for the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 2013 National Conference. This week I'd like to preview some of the fantastic author events that will be happening at the conference. Rocco Staino & I are the author events co-chairs, and we've been working hard to plan some fantastic events!

Friday night, November 15th, is the Author Banquet with Libba Bray and Shane Evans. This promises to be a real highlight of the weekend. I hope my librarian friends have bought tickets!
Libba Bray definitely knows how to travel - at least in her books. Whether she’s on a deserted island with a gaggle of Beauty Queens, on a cross-country road trip Going Bovine with a dying teenage boy, or solving murder mysteries with The Diviners in 1920s New York City, this girl knows how to have a good time.

Libba’s newest book, The Diviners, is a mix of crime thriller, paranormal fantasy and historical drama set in the 1920s, mixing the occult, the uppercrust and the underworld. It follows young Evie who comes to New York to live with her uncle, and finds herself investigating a rash of occult-based murders. I love this trailer for The Diviners. If teens are looking for a creepy, fun, smart mystery, I definitely recommend this.

Libba is in the midst of wrestling with the sequel to The Diviners, and I'm curious how she's developing Evie's character, as well as some of the terrific supporting characters.

Shane Evans won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award in 2012 for his stirring picture book Underground. His illustrations effectively weave together dark and light, representing both the fear and hope that escaping slaves felt on their journeys to the North. As his friend and collaborator Taye Diggs wrote in the Horn Book,
Shane is a “renaissance man. A true artist, in every sense of the word. Illustrator, painter, sculptor, photographer, singer, songwriter, musician, composer…the list goes on. He’s the type of cat who just randomly picks up a guitar, and next thing you know, he’s teaching you how to play.” 
Shane will bring his guitar, sing for us and share his dreams. Come and be inspired by Shane’s spirit and art, as he reflects on how we can all be true to ourselves.

Every day I try to connect children with books that inspire them, that make them want to reach out and connect to other people. These two artists fill me with those same feelings. I can't wait for a chance to hear their presentations.

Check in later this week for other highlights from what's promising to be a fantastic conference.

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©2013 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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