Sunday, July 1, 2007

Newbery-Caldecott Banquet

ALA – Sunday, June 24, 2007

We went back to the exhibits again (there is no rest for the greedy). Cecil Castellucci was signing in the Candlewick Booth. I’d been meaning to pick up some of her books, so stood in line to have her sign Beige and Boyproof. When I introduced myself, she said, “Oh, yeah, you wrote that Warrior book.” I nodded, pleased that she’d heard of it, and she said, “It’s on my reading pile.” I brilliantly told her I had a reading pile, too. Then she pulled out an autograph book and asked for MY autograph! One of those unique ALA moments.

And I thought, that’d be cool to do at my book signings. Because readers are as important as writers when it comes to story.

I asked Laurie Halse Anderson to sign Speak, which I’d read but didn’t own. Her editor, Sharyn November, was sitting with her in the Penguin booth. I introduced myself because I knew she and my agent, Christopher Schelling, were friends.

Martha and I had lunch in a tapas restaurant on 7th Avenue, then back to the hotel to chill before the evening’s festivities and to sort out the takings.

VOYA had invited me to their awards reception at the Grand Hyatt from 4 to 6, because The Warrior Heir made their Perfect Tens 2006 list. So I put on the polka-dot dress and my black wrap and cabbed up there. I chatted with Nancy Werlin, (Rules of Survival) and Paul Acampora (Defining Dulcie) whose books made the same list. The party also honored the Top Shelf winners and several other lists.

Then back to the Hotel Monaco to meet Hyperion staff and on to the Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder awards banquet. Saw Cindy Lord collect her Newbery Honor for Rules. Yay! Susan Patron delivered a very funny acceptance speech for her Newbery for The Higher Power of Lucky, referencing the whole scrotum controversy. She said a 6th grade class emailed her and said they’d found the word “scrotum” in the dictionary, so if they banned Patron’s book, they’d have to ban the dictionary, too. Sometimes the young ones are the wisest of all.

Hyperion Books for Children was well represented, because Hyperion illustrator Kadir Nelson received a Caldecott honor. I sat with Jonathan Yaged, Hyperion’s new U.S. publisher, author Roland Smith, Alessandra Balzer, Donna Bray, Angus Killick, Scottie Bowditch, and others from Hyperion’s editorial and marketing staff.

Met up with YAckers Martha Levine and Jody Feldman, all glitzed up for the party. Jon Yaged introduced us to Mo Willems.


John Robison said...

Just saw your blog and dropped in when I was googling Christopher Schelling - he also represents my brother, Augusten Burroughs, and me.

best wishes,

CindaChima said...

John: I've been known to Google Christopher Schelling as well. I think I spooked him the first time we talked on the phone because I asked him if he was still in a band.
I met your brother when he came to Cleveland on a book tour.

Best, Cinda