Friday, February 27, 2015

Catching up.

It's difficult keeping a blog as a library consultant, because:

A) I don't work directly with the public and don't have the same kind of fun stories I did when I was a children's librarian - like the time I asked a group of middle school girls if they had any questions and one said, "Do you dye your hair that color?" (For the record, I do not.) Or the time a parent changed a baby's diaper right on the floor of the early nonfiction section. (For the record, we did have a bathroom with a changing table.)

Don't get me wrong. I do have stories. I just can't tell you about many of them, because:

B) A lot of what I'm told as a library consultant is told in confidence, which means I absolutely can't put it online.

That being said, I can tell you about what I've been up to the last week or so. That I can do.

Last Wednesday, I held a training for youth services staff that focused on summer reading/summer programs/summer learning. (I struggle with the terminology, because even though the phrase Summer Reading has become synonymous with what goes on at libraries during the summer, it gets confusing when a library offers summer programming without a specific reading component.)  This was my second year doing this training, and my main goal was to make it as relevant and interesting to a library veteran as it might be to a first-timer.

After a brief introduction and some annual reminders (please remember to count adults at programs, etc.), we had presentations on how to increase teen involvement and how to partner with your local 4-H organization. In the afternoon, we had a showcase where local and regional performers gave member libraries brief previews of programs they could bring to a library. Finally, we closed the day with some crafts and activities that were tailored to different age groups.*

That evening, I gave a trustee orientation to new board members at one of my libraries. In addition to serving as a youth services consultant for our system, I'm also a general consultant for about a third of our member libraries, which includes giving library trustees an introduction (or refresher, in some cases) to governance, funding options, and available resources.

True story: I love library trustee orientations. This is how I know I shouldn't actually be a florist or a dentist or a physical therapist.

The next day, I went out to one of our member libraries in the middle of a huge weeding project and tackled their juvenile nonfiction section. Collection development is one of my favorite parts of librarianship, and weeding is hands-down my favorite part of collection development, so this was almost like a vacation day.

This week, I headed off to Albany to participate in NYLA's Library Advocacy Day, where library supporters from all over the state met with their legislators to promote funding and policies that benefit libraries and library users. I may eventually buy a suit for this event so as to blend in with the rest of the capital. We'll see.

*Full disclosure: I am not the biggest fan of crafty time. I worked as an arts and crafts counselor at a summer camp and never made one sand candle or tie-dyed t-shirt. I taught dance. However, crafts are kind of an awesome way to wrap up a long day of training, and people who leave early don't have to worry about missing anything really important.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New e-books added to NCLS

My Heart and Other Black Holes, by Jasmine Warga.

A stunning novel about the transformative power of love, perfect for fans of Jay Asher and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There's only one problem: she's not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel's convinced she's found her solution—Roman, a teenage boy who's haunted by a family tragedy, is looking for a partner. Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other's broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together.

Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard.

Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

When I Was the Greatest, by Jason Reynolds.

In Bed Stuy, New York, a small misunderstanding can escalate into having a price on your head—even if you’re totally clean. This gritty, triumphant debut captures the heart and the hardship of life for an urban teen.

A lot of the stuff that gives my neighborhood a bad name, I don’t really mess with. The guns and drugs and all that, not really my thing.

Nah, not his thing. Ali’s got enough going on, between school and boxing and helping out at home. His best friend Noodles, though. Now there’s a dude looking for trouble—and, somehow, it’s always Ali around to pick up the pieces. But, hey, a guy’s gotta look out for his boys, right? Besides, it’s all small potatoes; it’s not like anyone’s getting hurt.

And then there’s Needles. Needles is Noodles’s brother. He’s got a syndrome, and gets these ticks and blurts out the wildest, craziest things. It’s cool, though: everyone on their street knows he doesn’t mean anything by it.

Yeah, it’s cool…until Ali and Noodles and Needles find themselves somewhere they never expected to be…somewhere they never should've been—where the people aren't so friendly, and even less forgiving. 

Dragons at Crumbling Castle and Other Tales, by Terry Pratchett. (Audio, narrated by Julian Rhind-tutt.)

Dragons have invaded Crumbling Castle, and all of King Arthur's knights are either on holiday or visiting their grannies. It's a disaster!

Luckily, there's a spare suit of armour and a very small boy called Ralph who's willing to fill it. Together with Fortnight the Friday knight and Fossfiddle the wizard, Ralph sets out to defeat the fearsome fire-breathers.

But there's a teeny weeny surprise in store...

Fourteen fantastically funny stories from master storyteller Sir Terry Pratchett, full of time travel and tortoises, monsters and mayhem!

Katie Friedman Gives Up Texting! And Lives to Tell About It, by Tommy Greenwald. Illustrated by J.P. Coovert.

When a text goes wrong, Katie Friedman learns the hard way that sometimes you need to disconnect to connect.

Here are a few things you need to know about Katie Friedman:

1. Katie is swearing off phones for life! (No, seriously. She just sent the wrong text to the wrong person!)

2. She wants to break up with her boyfriend. (Until, that is, he surprises her with front row tickets to her favorite band, Plain Jane. Now what!?)

3. She wants to be a rock star (It's true. She has a band and everything.)

4. Her best friend is Charlie Joe Jackson. (Yeah, you know the guy.)

5. And most importantly, Katie's been offered the deal of a lifetime—get ten of her friends to give up their phones for one week and everyone can have backstage passes to Plain Jane. (A whole week!? Is that even possible?)

Pinstripe Pride: The Inside Story of the New York Yankees, by Marty Appel.

Get the complete story of the Yankees, from Babe Ruth to Carlos Beltran—with twenty-seven World Championships in between—in this middle grade adaptation of Pinstripe Empire, a celebrated adult nonfiction tome from author and former Yankees PR director Marty Appel.

The New York Yankees are the team of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, Don Mattingly, Reggie Jackson, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter; the team of forty American League pennants, twenty-seven World Championships, and nearly forty Hall of Famers.

With more than a century’s worth of great stories, folklore, and photos, plus an introduction by Yankee television broadcaster Michael Kay, Marty Appel—who Bob Costas calls “a fine storyteller with a keen eye for detail”—tells the complete story of the Yankees from their humble beginnings, with no stadium to call their own, to today, when the team’s billion-dollar franchise presides over Yankee Stadium. Middle grade sports lovers, baseball fans, and Yankee acolytes will find a treasure trove of facts, tales, and insider details in Pinstripe Pride

Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11, by N. Griffin. Illustrated by Kate Hindley.

Who stole the hamster from Room 11? A once-happy class is set on edge in this humorous, highly relatable mystery perfect for middle-grade readers. The day the hamster disappears from Smashie McPerter's class begins like any other. Well, except for the fact that the teacher is out sick and Smashie's class is stuck with Mr. Carper, the worst substitute in the world. And except for the mysterious business with the glue. And except for the fact that Smashie is wrestling with a terrible problem, which only partly stems from her extreme aversion to hamster feet.

As the peaceable and productive days of Room 11 turn into paranoia-fueled chaos, as natural suspects produce natural alibis and motives remain unmotivated, Smashie and her best friend, Dontel, are forced to the limits of their parlor-room detecting to set things right.

(All descriptions from OverDrive.)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Frozen Tea Party at Flower

Last week I realized it had always been winter and would always be winter, so I stopped fighting it and started reading The Snow Child, watched Fargo, and cut up all of my sundresses to make into a quilt.*

However, Suzie Renzi-Falge at Flower Memorial Library in Watertown took a decidedly more upbeat path and threw a Frozen-themed tea party. I'll let her talk about it:

We originally only planned for 50 kids (lol) and heard a lot more hustle and bustle so planned for 100. We had 211 total participants (including adults) but ended up having about 170 kids...luckily we had enough food stuffs and crafty things to make up the difference.

The tea party itself was in our community room. Myself and many of our clerks helped make homemade snowflakes that we hung from the ceiling. We cleaned up our collection of teapots and cups/saucers and made them the centerpieces of the tables. Though we did not actually serve the kids tea, they did have a few juice selections to choose from. I also made eight dozen Frozen themed cupcakes and when we ran out of those we had cookies on back log...

The first 45 families got a free book to take home. The first 50 kids each got their own tea cup to take home.

We had crafting stations where the kids could make their own snowman and make watercolor snowflakes. (Paint at a big event is a lot of messy fun, kids love love loved it.)

We had two different games to play with a random assortment of prizes. The games were Throw the Snowball Through the Snowman and Pin the Nose on Olaf.

The kids could dress as their favorite character from the movie if they wanted, and let me tell you, there were some very cute kids... including one little boy in an all white tuxedo.

We did not show the movie as there were too many other activities going on, but we did play the soundtrack in all of the areas.

My advice to others is to plan for triple, lol. Maybe have a costume contest or show the movie too, if time and space allows. I really loved the movie Frozen and apparently so did everyone else, so it was an easy theme for winter. Another take could be a Prince and Princess theme party.

Bottom line is people in the North Country are bored and want these kinds of activities to get their kids out of the house. It cost us around $250 for this party, for supplies and prizes. A good deal for all.

Sounds like a great library program at exactly the right time of year. Thanks for sharing, Suzie!

*Okay, not really. I don't know how to make a quilt.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New e-books added to NCLS

Listen, Slowly, by Thanhha Lai.

A California girl born and raised, Mai can't wait to spend her vacation at the beach. Instead, though, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. Mai's parents think this trip will be a great opportunity for their out-of-touch daughter to learn more about her culture. But to Mai, those are their roots, not her own. Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place she wants to be. Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn't know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives. To survive her trip, Mai must find a balance between her two completely different worlds.

Perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia and Linda Sue Park, Listen, Slowly is an irresistibly charming and emotionally poignant tale about a girl who discovers that home and culture, family and friends, can all mean different things.

Masterminds, by Gordon Korman. (Also available in audio, narrated by Ramon De Ocampo, Kelly Jean Badgley, et al.)

Eli Frieden lives in the most perfect town in the world: Serenity, New Mexico. In this idyllic place, every lawn is perfectly manicured and everyone has a pool and a tree house. Honesty and integrity are valued above all else. The thirty kids who live there never lie—they know it's a short leap from that to the awful problems of other, less fortunate places.

Eli has never left Serenity . . . Why would he ever want to? Then one day he bikes to the edge of the city limits and something so crazy and unexpected happens, it changes everything. Eli convinces his friends to help him investigate further, and soon it becomes clear that nothing is as it seems in Serenity. The clues mount to reveal a shocking discovery, connecting their ideal crime-free community to some of the greatest criminal masterminds ever known. The kids realize they can trust no one—least of all their own parents.

Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America, by Carole Boston Weatherford. Illustrations by Jamey Christoph.

Gordon Parks is most famous for being the first black director in Hollywood. But before he made movies and wrote books, he was a poor African-American looking for work. When he bought a camera, his life changed forever. He taught himself how to take pictures and before long, people noticed.

The Paper Cowboy, by Kristin Levine.

Though he thinks of himself as a cowboy, Tommy is really a bully. He's always playing cruel jokes on classmates or stealing from the store. But Tommy has a reason: life at home is tough. His abusive mother isn't well; in fact, she may be mentally ill, and his sister, Mary Lou, is in the hospital badly burned from doing a chore it was really Tommy's turn to do.

To make amends, Tommy takes over Mary Lou's paper route. But the paper route also becomes the perfect way for Tommy to investigate his neighbors after stumbling across a copy of The Daily Worker, a communist newspaper

Tommy is shocked to learn that one of his neighbors could be a communist, and soon fear of a communist in this tight-knit community takes hold of everyone when Tommy uses the paper to frame a storeowner, Mr. McKenzie. As Mr. McKenzie's business slowly falls apart and Mary Lou doesn't seem to get any better, Tommy's mother's abuse gets worse causing Tommy's bullying to spiral out of control.

(All descriptions from OverDrive.) 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

New e-books added to NCLS collection!

A Cold Legacy (The Madman's Daughter #3) by Megan Shepherd.

With inspiration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman's Daughter trilogy—perfect for fans of Libba Bray—explores the things we'll sacrifice to save those we love . . . even our own humanity.

After killing the men who tried to steal her father's research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet's secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor's own walls.

Then she uncovers the truth about the manor's long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—which forces her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. Juliet must decide if she'll follow her father's dark footsteps or her mother's tragic ones—or make her own. (Description from OverDrive.)

A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat, by Emily Jenkins. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

In this fascinating picture book, four families, in four different cities, over four centuries, make the same delicious dessert: blackberry fool. This richly detailed book ingeniously shows how food, technology, and even families have changed throughout American history.

In 1710, a girl and her mother in Lyme, England, prepare a blackberry fool, picking wild blackberries and beating cream from their cow with a bundle of twigs. The same dessert is prepared by a slave girl and her mother in 1810 in Charleston, South Carolina; by a mother and daughter in 1910 in Boston; and finally by a boy and his father in present-day San Diego.

Kids and parents alike will delight in discovering the differences in daily life over the course of four centuries.

Includes a recipe for blackberry fool and notes from the author and illustrator about their research. (Description from OverDrive.)

Jackaby, by William Ritter.

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary—including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby's assistant.

On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it's an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it's a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police—with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane—deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in a debut novel, the first in a series, brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre. (Description from OverDrive.)

The Question of Miracles, by Elana K. Arnold.

Sixth-grader Iris Abernathy hates life in Corvallis, Oregon, where her family just moved. It's always raining, and everything is so wet. Besides, nothing has felt right since Iris's best friend, Sarah, died.

When Iris meets Boris, an awkward mouth-breather with a know-it-all personality, she's not looking to make a new friend, but it beats eating lunch alone. Then she learns that Boris's very existence is a medical mystery, maybe even a miracle, and Iris starts to wonder why some people get miracles and others don't. And if one miracle is possible, can another one be too? Can she possibly communicate with Sarah again?  (Description from OverDrive.)

Red: A Crayon's Story, by Michael Hall. (Audio, narrated by Robin Miles.)

Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let's draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. 

But Red is miserable. He just can't be red, no matter how hard he tries! Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective, and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He's blue! 

This funny, heartwarming, colorful picture book about finding the courage to be true to your inner self can be read on multiple levels, and it offers something for everyone! (Description from Goodreads.)

The Truth About Twinkie Pie, by Kat Yeh.

Take two sisters making it on their own: brainy twelve-year-old GiGi (short for Galileo Galilei, a name she never says out loud) and junior-high-dropout-turned-hairstylist DiDi (short for Delta Dawn). Add a million dollars in prize money from a national cooking contest and a move from the trailer parks of South Carolina to the Gold Coast of New York. Mix in a fancy new school, new friends and enemies, a first crush, and a generous sprinkling of family secrets.

That's the recipe for The Truth About Twinkie Pie, a voice-driven middle grade debut about the true meaning of family and friendship. (Description from OverDrive.)

Vivian Apple at the End of the World, by Katie Coyle.

Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple never believed in the evangelical Church of America, unlike her recently devout parents. But when Vivian returns home the night after the supposed "Rapture," all that's left of her parents are two holes in the roof. Suddenly, she doesn't know who or what to believe.

With her best friend Harp and a mysterious ally, Peter, Vivian embarks on a desperate cross-country roadtrip through a paranoid and panic-stricken America to find answers. Because at the end of the world, Vivan Apple isn't looking for a savior. She's looking for the truth. (Description from OverDrive.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Blind Date with a Book

As you may know, I'm not very crafty, but this doesn't mean I don't appreciate craftiness in others. Imagine then my delight in seeing this Blind Date with a Book display at Flower Memorial Library in Watertown!

The Seuss valentines are a particularly nice touch.

I've seen this concept before in other libraries, but never with such flair.  I almost hated to unwrap mine when I got it home...

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New e-books added to NCLS

And We Stay, by Jenny Hubbard.

When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.

The Carnival at Bray, by Jessie Ann Foley.

It's 1993, and the Teen Spirit Generation pulses to the hum of the grunge movement. Sixteen-year-old Maggie Lynch is plucked from her blue-collar Chicago neighborhood to a small town on the Irish Sea. Surviving off care-packages of Spin magazine and Twizzlers from her rocker uncle Kevin, she wonders if she'll ever find her place in this new world.

When tragedy and first love simultaneously strike, Maggie embarks upon a forbidden quest to fulfill a dying wish. Her pilgrimage takes her from the coastal town of Bray to a dodgy youth hostel in Dublin and finally to a life-altering Nirvana concert in Rome. Maggie finds adventure, amazing music, and a mess of trouble, but also a previously untapped strength in herself to really live.

Unlike other YA novels, this story is beautifully character-driven and devoid of far-fetched coincidence. It avoids the tropes of being set in nameless suburbia or told in a sardonic first-person voice. The time period will appeal to the counterculture teens of today who have posters of Kurt Cobain plastered on their walls as well as the older set of readers who grew up with Maggie. Additional bonus features and suggested reading lists create an entire experience for any age. 

Firebird, by Misty Copeland. Illustrated by Christopher Myers.

In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl—an every girl—whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl's faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird.

Lyrical and affecting text paired with bold, striking illustrations that are some of Caldecott Honoree Christopher Myers's best work, makes Firebird perfect for aspriring ballerinas everywhere.

Green is a Chile Pepper, by Roseanne Thong. Illustrated by John Parra.

In this lively picture book, children discover a world of colors all around them: red is spices and swirling skirts, yellow is masa, tortillas, and sweet corn cake. Many of the featured objects are Latino in origin, and all are universal in appeal. With rich, boisterous illustrations, a fun-to-read rhyming text, and an informative glossary, this playful concept book will reinforce the colors found in every child's day!

 Popular, by Maya Van Wagenen.

Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help a shy girl become popular?
Maya Van Wagenen is about to find out.

Stuck near the bottom of the social ladder at "pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren't paid to be here," Maya has never been popular. But before starting eighth grade, she decides to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell.

The real-life results are hilarious, painful, and filled with unexpected surprises. Told with humor and grace, Maya's journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence, along with a better understanding of what it means to be popular.

The Story of Owen, by E.K. Johnston.

Listen! For I sing of Owen Thorskard: valiant of heart, hopeless at algebra, last in a long line of legendary dragon slayers. Though he had few years and was not built for football, he stood between the town of Trondheim and creatures that threatened its survival.

There have always been dragons. As far back as history is told, men and women have fought them, loyally defending their villages. Dragon slaying was a proud tradition.

But dragons and humans have one thing in common: an insatiable appetite for fossil fuels. From the moment Henry Ford hired his first dragon slayer, no small town was safe. Dragon slayers flocked to cities, leaving more remote areas unprotected.

Such was Trondheim's fate until Owen Thorskard arrived. At sixteen, with dragons advancing and his grades plummeting, Owen faced impossible odds—armed only with a sword, his legacy, and the classmate who agreed to be his bard.

Listen! I am Siobhan McQuaid. I alone know the story of Owen, the story that changes everything. Listen!

(All descriptions from OverDrive.)

ALA Midwinter 2015

After a canceled Monday flight - and a very nearly canceled Tuesday flight - I'm finally home from ALA Midwinter 2015.

As a member of the 2015 Sibert Award committee, I spent most of the conference deliberating with eight supercool librarians about the most distinguished informational books for children. For those who might have missed the Youth Media Award announcements, we chose The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus, by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet as our medal book, and the following five titles as our honor books: Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson; The Family Romanov, by Candace Fleming; Josephine, by Patricia Hruby Powell, and illustrated by Christian Robinson; Neighborhood Sharks, by Katherine Roy; and Separate is Never Equal, by Duncan Tonatiuh. (All owned by North Country libraries! Yes!)

What an amazing experience. Being on a book award committee is not unlike being in the most intense book club ever. You read, you re-read, you take multiple rounds of notes, and then you discuss at length with a savvy group of readers who offer diverse insights and perspectives. As Abby the Librarian (who served on this year's Newbery Award committee) said: "I think it has forever changed how I read; although I no longer have to take detailed notes on each book, I think I will always read more deeply than I used to." 

True story, Miss Abby.

Keeping the secret until Monday morning once we'd decided on our winners was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, but I sequestered myself in my hotel room with Chex Mix*, PBS**, and the latest Flavia de Luce*** until I fell into a restless sleep, waking up every hour that I might not oversleep for the Youth Media Awards ceremony.

The event itself was a joy to attend, especially when the chair of my committee, Deb Taylor, was honored with the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement! Not a dry eye within my line of sight, and I've never seen so many people up on their feet so fast for a standing ovation.

I'm so proud of the work we did on the Sibert committee, and I'm looking forward to meeting all the authors and illustrators in San Francisco this summer. For now, there is laundry, grocery shopping, shoveling, and catching up on my (non-eligible) reading.

*Taking me right back to high school.
**James Norton, you're adorable.
***Not my favorite in the series, sad to say.