After I registered and picked up my very awesome tote bag that zips up into a nice little foldable bag (nice touch!) I went to lunch with Kelly where we talked books of course.
Then I wandered around the area for a bit to stake out where my meetings would be the next day (I have to plan things out!) and scoped out eating options since I have limited options sometimes (I have to eat gluten free). My best non book related find was discovering Annie's gluten free snickerdoodle bunny cookies at Target!
So back to the real ALA stuff! After my adventures, I went back to my hotel room to prep my notes and get everything together for my first committee meeting. Friday evening I went to the Anaheim White House for dinner hosted by Simon & Schuster (thanks for inviting me guys!)
Our guests of honor were Neal Shusterman and Kenneth Oppel. One of the best parts of this dinner was passing on a message to Kenneth Oppel from one of my teens about how awesome he is and how amazing Airborn is. I also got to sit with some amazing people and talk books, movies, and geeking out at ALA.
There were also these amazing cracker towers, which sadly I did not get to eat. But they look cool,don't they? Thanks again to Simon & Schuster for a lovely dinner!
Then it was off to Downtown Disney for the famed Little Brown Dance Party! First, Angie and I had to stop at the Lego store because there was a giant Beauty and the Beast display-(perfect for ALA!)
The Dance Party was in honor of Libba Bray and her new book, The Diviners
Drea, Me and Angie got into the 1920s fashion! And of course there was dancing!! Thanks for the invite Little Brown-it was awesome!
After some dancing, Drea and I headed off to the Macmillan Dessert Party (thanks Macmillan!), where I ran into lots of cool librarians and got to talk books and committee work.
Saturday I was up early to attend the HarperCollins breakfast (thanks Harper!) This is always a fabulous event with getting to meet librarians and talk books.
Then I attended Angie's session on "Not Another Boring Vampire Romance" She moderated a panel of authors that included Jackson Pearce, Kenneth Oppel, Cindy Pon and Kendare Blake.
I especially loved hearing Jackson talk about building friendship first before romance and Cindy talking about unrequited love. Her panel was awesome and funny and engaging.
Since I had lots of committee meetings this conference, I headed off to the exhibit hall to talk to vendors and track down the three books my teens asked for. I was very lucky to be able to come back with all three! (If you're wondering, they asked for The Rise of Nine, Promised, and Prodigy. I love getting to talk to the book reps and see what books they're looking forward to and looking at upcoming picture books.
I met up with Sarah and Meghan for lunch before we headed off to our first Printz Committee Meeting! I can't say anything about that though.
After the meeting was the Tor Dinner which was amazing! Thanks to Tor for the invite-I had a great time! I got to meet author Bruce Campbell and talk to him about his book A Dog's Purpose which is nominated for our state book award. Then I got to talk to author Blake Charlton and he told me how his books have been called "Harry Potter in the Special Needs Classroom" (I need to read them now!)
And then the event that made the most of my friends jealous on Facebook: I got to meet George R. R. Martin!! Pre-dinner there were cocktails when I got to spend time talking to Mr. Martin about his books, his writing for the TV show Game of Thrones, sex in YA lit (I asked what he thought of lots of YA books being referred to as "Game of Thrones for teens" and he joked "what is that? The story without the sex? Because that's the part the teens want to read!"), how The CW is bringing back Beauty and the Beast, a show he had written for, and how he has to travel back to the East Coast to get pizza every year. Then once we went inside, guess who was seated at my table?? Yep, George R.R. Martin again! It was wonderful and amazing and I had an awesome fangirly time. Plus, I got to meet some amazing librarians.
Sunday morning I was up early for the I had more committee meetings, then lunch with Meghan and Sarah again (those girls are awesome!). Then I made a quick round in the exhibit hall to chat with some vendors (Demco and Big Cozy Books about library furniture, School Library Journal about an upcoming webinar) and ran into some of my favorite YA authors! (Lindsey Leavitt, John Corey Whaley, Jessi Kirby and Lisa Schroeder)
Lindsey, Lisa and I have "known" each other via online and met at previous ALA conferences, so we decided, along with Cindy Pon, to organize a pre-Newbery cocktail party. It was awesome! I got to meet some fabulous librarians in person after talking them online (I love Twitter!) and I got to hang out and chat with Lisa about how cool it is that her book Chasing Brooklyn is nominated for our state book award.
Then it was Newbery time! I was very excited to be invited along as a guest of Bloomsbury books (thank you, thank you to Bloomsbury-it was lovely!!) I got to meet Leslie Margolis, Cylin Busby, and Sarah J. Maas, along with the wonderful team at Bloomsbury who is awesome. And of course, Lindsey and I had to take a picture to show off our (non-planned!) color coordinated dresses!
The speeches were amazing-Jack Gantos made me laugh and cry and it was everything you want in a Newbery speech! It was a wonderful evening and celebration of books!
Monday was my major session day! I attended sessions all day and even learned how to fold a five fold Origami Yoda!
One of the highlights of my sessions was attending the Odyssey Award Reception which is a wonderful reader's (and listener's) advisory session. The narrators were there and read portions of the winning audiobooks. It made me want to rush back to my library and order all the titles and listen to them immediately!
Odyssey winner Kirby Heyborne even wrote and shared a song about librarians which was hilarious!!