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Snack time

8 Jan

Monday.

Right back at it after Break.

It’s like we were never gone.

The bell rings. Sixth graders enter the locker room. They grab their stuff. They come to class. They mostly sit down and open their choice read books. There are always a few chatterers and stragglers who need a little herding or redirection, but, by the time I get in the room, the class is sitting, reading and eating their snack. I survey the room thankful for the routine.

And that’s when I spy him.

In a room full of kids eating healthy snacks, one boy has a giant tube of cotton candy.

While cotton candy might fall nicely into one of Buddy the Elf’s four main food groups (candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup) it does not qualify as a healthy snack in sixth grade.

I looked at the young man in question. He was nonchalantly reading his book as he pulled a strand from the tube. Although he avoided my eye contact, I could tell he was waiting to see if he’d get away with it. Maybe it was the smirk on his face.

He was a good sport when I sent him to his locker to put it away and get something healthier.

It’s good to be back.

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Kings, Queens and Thieves

3 Sep

As soon as I cracked open the newly designed paperback cover of The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, I was hooked (haha)  and tore through the next two books.

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Somehow, I missed the arrival of A Conspiracy of Kings. I don’t know why.

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But after hearing MWT talk at ALA this summer, I read the fifth book, Thick as Thieves.

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Thick as thieves has the newest cover design, not the luxurious style of the first four books.  They now have covers in the new style.

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Having read Thick as Thieves, I went back and read A Conspiracy of Kings. This is the sort of series in which you can do that. The first three books should be read in order. The two most recent books are about minor characters who appear in the first three. Although they are in chronological order, reading them out of order did not impede my understanding or enjoyment.

 

A jam packed day #alaac17

26 Jun

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All of Monday morning was taken up with a very productive Sibert committee meeting. After the meeting most of us piled into taxis and headed over to the Palmer House for a lunchtime presentation on the creation of art in picture books, hosted by Simon & Schuster.

Peter Brown, Jessie Sima, Marla Frazee, and Brendan Wenzel were four of the six artists who explained the process they went through to create the art for these books.

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After the luncheon, I went to meet my sister in the exhibit hall , where she had saved a place in line for us for the 2 p.m. book signing by Anna-Marie McLemore. I got an arc of Wild Beauty, which will be out later this year.

While in line, I noticed Little, Brown was nearby so I had my sister hold my place while I popped over to ask for, and receive, an arc of Jade City by Fonda Lee.

 

 

 

 

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From there we attended Booklist’s  on 50 years of YA, which featured  a panel of YA authors including Daniel Jose Older, Nicola Yoon, Kristin Cashore, Neal Shusterman, and Megan Whalen Turner.

We returned to our hotel after the presentation to rest, then get dressed for the Caldecott Newbery Wilder dinner. Although the speeches were excellent, the best moment of the evening occurred as Ashley Bryan was being escorted off the stage after receiving his Caldecott Honor Award. He turned to the audience and recited, in call and response style, Langton Hughes’ Motto:

I play it cool
I dig all jive
That’s the reason
I stay alive
My motto
As I live and learn
Is dig and be dug in return

Monday will be our day to pack in as much of Chicago as we can…and get some Chicago style deep dish pizza!

#alaac17 – Day 1

24 Jun

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The coolest things about this year’s conference is that my twin sister is here with me! This is her first ALA conference and we started off with a bang.

After checking in at our hotel, we headed over to the convention center to pick up our badges and take a swing through the exhibit hall.

 

downloadAfter that, our first stop was the Holiday House reception at the Park Grill in Millennium Park. It was a nice reception and, afterwards, we went up top to the Bean. After a few photos we wandered over to listen to the end of concert in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. We got to hear the Grant Park Orchestra, conducted by the Portland Symphony’s Music Director Carlos Kalmar, and pianist Conrad Tao play the end of The Firebird. It was a great introduction to Chicago.

From there we walked to an ice cream social hosted by Penguin Random House at the Chicago Athletic Association’ Stagg Court, a converted basketball court!

We ended the evening at a MacMillan dessert event, where lots of authors were on hand My favorite comment to my sister was, “Lemony Snicket is right behind you!”

Tomorrow is chock full of meetings for me, but there will be some fun author sightings and other fun conference events to tell you about.

 

 

On my way to Chicago #alaac17

23 Jun

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It’s been a whirlwind of a week. I said goodbye to my students, checked out with my principal, and flew out the school parking lot so I could get home in a timely manner. I needed to feed Lucy before dropping her off at Sniff Dog Hotel.

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When I got home I packed my bag. I like to do it after Lucy is settled at Sniff, because seeing the suitcase makes her nervous.

I was up earlier than I needed to be this morning and plan on getting to the airport earlier than necessary. It is just my nature. It is a four-hour flight to Chicago and I have a good book to read.

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And that is how I spent my first day of summer vacation. Tomorrow I’ll start posting about the conference itself.

 

 

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