PLA Confidential

My day at the Public Library Association Convention in Boston started when I met my friend, Alvina Ling, editor at Little Brown, for bagels at Au Bon Pain in the Prudential Mall. Next I signed books for L/B (they gave away 80 free copies of The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen), and for Random House (Monsoon Summer) and raced across Boylston street to the Colonnade for the YA Author Luncheon featuring Jerry Spinelli. To my amazement, L/B, who sponsored the event, had me seated at the head table, so I got to chat with Alvina again as well as with Mr. Spinelli. He was hilarious and inspiring as he reminded the packed ballroom that responding well to failure is the key to eventual achievement.

As he was talking, though, I kept glancing at my watch, noticing with a slightly panicky feeling that time was flying by. I was ten feet from the podium and didn't want to stand up in front of a spellbound audience to leave while Mr. Spinelli was still talking. By 1:45, though, I had to stand up and race back to the Convention Center, because my session was scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m.! Sweaty, disheveled, but delighted to be there, I started the powerpoint and launched in. About 150 librarians came, and once again, I got choked up looking out at so many people eager to serve immigrant kids. (And yet again, I ran out of handouts, even though I'd made 200 copies, so here's the link to view the annotated bibliography of best kids' and YA books between cultures that I distributed.)