This week brought to the forefront of my mind that I miss my people.
We taped our 40th (?) #AuthorFanFaceOff episode featuring an 8th grader from Illinois with the sweetest smile ever vs. the amazing and wonderful, Rita Williams-Garcia. I look forward to seeing "my people" every Monday. Our show gives so much joy to both the young challengers (although sometimes it may be hard to tell), the authors and to us, the hosts. The line up continues to be stellar. Shameless plug--please subscribe and share if you don't already.
This week reminded me how much I miss sitting side by side with my people and getting wow-ed by a keynote speaker. We learned about Jacqueline Woodson in third grade. We watched her read The Day You Begin, illustrated by our Castleton Elementary School friend, Rafael Lopez, and researched her from one of my favorite databases, FactCite. I love her recitation of the book. It never got old, even on Friday. Unrelated but related, the fifth grade ELA teacher was looking for a new read aloud. I met up with her with a pile of amazing books in my hands (many AFF episodes and or authors: One Crazy Summer, The Crossover, 14th Goldfish, The Parker Inheritance) and some not. Coincidentally, she chose Woodson's Harbor Me. Who knows? Maybe someday she will move into the AFF category...
Tuesday I was on a virtual panel through School Library Connection with four AH-MAZING school librarians. It really made me wonder how I landed there, honestly. But I reminded myself the message from Woodson's reading of The Day You Begin that we are all fabulous. So yeah, great to be with my people on the panel and "see" folks in the chat, too. Don't worry if you missed it! Check it out here.
It's been a long while since I took my hair down with my fellow librarians. Slight tangent here--Just on the topic of hair, one third grader told me this week that it is time for me to see my hairdresser. Indeed, my hair needs to be colored and the appointment was rescheduled twice but alas, Wednesday is the day! From the mouths of babes, eh? Thursday night, the New York Library Association sponsored a fundraiser with Big Ditch Brewing Company in Buffalo. It was fun to see familiar faces, including a guy who was in my very first graduate school class. At the time, I wasn't sure I was ready to take the leap into librarianship. He and the other cool, smart and kind folks in that class definitely had an impact on my new career path.
I miss book festivals and conferences with my people. About an hour before it was to begin, I registered for the "Anderson's Book Shop Children's Literature Breakfast" yesterday morning and am so glad I did. I multi tasked and only missed about 15 minutes of the whole event. Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is amazing period. Dan Santat had me laughing out loud in my not-Prius while I was driving to not buy some quinoa. Gary Paulsen had us all in tears. And the conversation between Meena Harris and Andrea Beaty was inspiring. I plan to spend a lot of money on books later today.
Today is Sunday. I am looking forward to this week (and not just because I am planning to get my hair cut and colored with turquoise highlights). We have two great AFFs scheduled Monday and Tuesday. My second grade lesson plan is about Teresa Carreno, a Maragita Engle book illustrated by Rafael Lopez. My Newbery Navigators chose to begin reading one of my all time faves, Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead. So even though I may not be seeing my people in person, this week's virtual challenges alongside the written and illustrated pages of friends will definitely do for now.
The 38th Episode with Lisa Graff and three former students of mine:
The Day You Begin:
From Dan Santat's Twitter, a glimpse into A New Day by Brad Meltzer (book birthday Tuesday!):
A NEW DAY by me & @bradmeltzer comes out this Tuesday (March 2)— Dan “DANley Tucci” Santat😷 (@dsantat) February 27, 2021
Sharing an early draft where SATURDAY, who is styled after the Dude from the movie, #TheBigLebowski, was actually drawn as @thejeffbridges in the 1st draft. Publisher came back with notes saying it was too weird 😂 pic.twitter.com/c51Ab1wZWt