It's no secret that I LOVE libraries. I use my fabulous public library weekly. And librarians have a special place in my heart, because they do what they do with such joy and passion - they love books, and they love bringing books and people together. It's a wonderful thing.
This year, the YALSA YA Lit Symposium was in my backyard here in Portland, Oregon so my publisher had me attend the book blitz Saturday evening, which was SO much fun. Librarians in attendance were given six tickets each and with those tickets, they were able to go around and get signed books for themselves and/or for their library. I was able to chat with a bunch of librarians and signed a WHOLE bunch of books, and it makes me happy to think of some of those books making their way back to find homes in libraries or even some teens' homes when they're given away as door prizes and other things.
Three especially fun things happened during the book blitz.
1) A librarian said, "Since The Bridge from Me to You is on Soaring Eagle list, I'm wondering if you'd sign this bookplate for my own personal copy back home?" I was like - the what list? Turns out Wyoming has a state reading list called The Soaring Eagle list and my book is one of fifteen books that are nominated for the award that will be announced in the spring of 2016. Landing on a state reading list is always a fun thing!
2) A librarian came up to me and said, "You're probably not going to believe this but I'm Mrs. Smith's daughter-in-law. You know, your old teacher, Patsy Smith?"
She then proceeded to tell me that she was reading All We Have is Now back at home when she saw this dedication:
for Mrs. Smith, my favorite high school teacher, who asked the question, if you only had 24 hours...
and wondered if it might be the Mrs. Smith she was related to. What are the chances, she wondered? Still, she asked, and of course Mrs. Smith didn't recognize my name, because it's my married name. But when she saw my picture she was like - yes, that was one of my students!
So I got to sign a book for that teacher who I adore so very much. Isn't that cool?
3) A librarian (do you see a pattern here?) told me All We Have is Now is one of the best YA novels she's read in the past TEN YEARS! Holy Moly. Do you know how nice it was to hear that? Very, very, very nice.
Thank you YALSA and librarians for a great evening, and for all you do for teens and YA literature!
A great thing you can do for a book that you think might be good for reluctant readers is to nominate it for the YALSA Quick Picks List. I've had two books on the list in years past - I Heart You, You Haunt Me and The Day Before. Anyone can nominate by filling out THIS FORM. Publishers love it when books make these lists.
Have a great week!