ALA: Day 2

It’s technically Day 3 now, but I just got back to the hotel, so now I can give a very quick wrap-up of the day.

Today was the YALSA pre-conference on the topic “The Sins of YA Literature.” I gave a speech on comic books as a “sinful” form of literature, which was a lot of fun. When the time came for Q&A, a gentleman in the audience was kind of enough to ask me if I’d like to talk about my upcoming book, so I got to talk about Boy Toy a little bit.

I sat through the rest of the pre-conference and really enjoyed myself. Some terrific speeches and great insights, capped off by legendary writer Nancy Garden’s recounting of the legal wranglings that led to her book Annie on My Mind being reinstated in Kansas City school libraries, a landmark case in the annals of anti-censorship.

After the pre-conference, I had about ten minutes to rest before I had a dinner with several librarians. it was a blast! I got to spend a lot of quality time with Sally Leahy, Kevin King (who’s on record saying that Fanboy “kicks major ass!”), Josh Carlson, Ashley Flaherty, Ty Burns, and April Becker. Jenny Williams and David Thomas from Houghton Mifflin were my babysitters and they did a great job as hosts.

After dinner, I went to the YALSA 50th anniversary reception, where I got to catch up with John Green, Barry Goldblatt, and Nicole Gilbert. I also met Alan Gratz (Samurai Shortstop) and so many cool librarians that I can’t possibly list all of their names.

And now I’m back at the hotel, exhausted, but happy. I love being here, mingling with librarians and my fellow authors. There’s such a sense of camraderie, a sense of common purpose — producing great books for kids to read. I’m tired, yes, but I wouldn’t have changed a single moment of today.

Tomorrow I’ll be on the convention floor, but my schedule is actually — gasp! — wide open!

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