I spent yesterday snoring on the couch, recovering from the wonderful, high-energy weekend at the National Council of English Teachers Annual Conference. Thank you, thank you to everyone who stood in the long lines and who shared their stories of the impact my books have had on their students. You guys made me cry more than once – happy tears. Those stories humbled and honored me.
I am still fairly wiped out from the whole shebang, so let me pull my photos out of my back pocket and share them.
Here is Davis Macinnis Gill and I recreating our photo from last year. In last year’s acceptance speech and this year’s keynote address, I referenced The Scarlet Letter.
I ordered a Scarlet Letter shirt from Novel-t.com for the occasion.
Melinda Campbell from Tuczon, AZ had her students create a tree of students reactions to SPEAK, and she brought it all the way to Philly to share with me.
I did not take a picture from the podium of the 600+ people who listened to me at the ALAN breakfast because I was too nervous. Thank you for not laughing at my poem!
I went hunting for my friends on the convention floor before my signing. Here is Jerry Spinelli with editor Alvina Ling.
My buddy Kate Messner was there!
Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney.
I spoke on the panel about author blogging with Justine Larbalestier, Maureen Johnson, Lisa Yee, and Barbara O’Conner. It was a fantastic panel!! I raised a point for all teachers to contemplate: Should we continue to spend classroom time on letter writing or has the time come to teach children how to compose appropriate email communication? What do you think?
I was honored to meet Risha Mullins, the KY teacher who has had books (including TWISTED) pulled from her classroom by her district superintendent and NOT returned, even though the review committee approved them. Risha received oodles of support from her fellow teachers. I am sure there will be more details soon about the progress of this challenge.
Along with all the speechifying and booksignings and panel and friend-stalking, I had three bookstore events in the Philly area with other authors. Here is the crowd that came out to the Doylestown Bookshop to hear Jay Asher, Lauren Myracle, and me. Actually, the crowd was about three times as many people as you can see here – my phone couldn’t get everyone in one pic.
On Sunday morning, Sarah Dessen and I had breakfast with 100 fans at Chester County Book & Music Company. Here we are with the members of a writer’s group, The First Novels Club, who followed us to the enormous, weekend ending last event:
It was an epic signing at Children’s Book World In Haverford, PA with
T.A. Barron, Sarah Dessen, Steve Kluger, Justine Larbalestier, David Levithan, Lauren Myracle, Scott Westerfeld & Jacqueline Woodson. And me.
Yeah – it was a whirlwind. Exhausting. And wonderful and fun and energizing!