Sunday, February 15, 2009
So, I'm dividing my Maryland trip into two sections: the previous post was about my trip to Dunloggin, so scroll on down if you want to see that. This one's about my Clemente Middle School vist.
I was super-excited to return to Clemente this year. I went last year, too, and had lots of fun. I got hooked up with this school because my aunt and uncle and cousins happened to be sitting next to the school librarian, Ms. Gerard, at an Orioles game a couple years ago. I'm so glad they made that connection for me! Mrs. Gerard is one of the coolest librarians I've met (and I've met a lot!) She organized a book swap to pay for my visit, and did book talks complete with Mexican snacks to get kids excited about Red Glass.
Between presentations, I snacked on homemade pastries (courtesy of the library assistant!) and hung out with a bunch of library regulars who have read just about every book in the place. I was extremely impressed (I think they've read more books than me, and that's not an easy feat...)
Here I am with a very talented writer...
and an avid reader...
And now, for a bit of exciting news... My friend Maria Virginia Farinango and I got offered a contract from my beloved editor at Delacorte for the book we've spent years working on-- it's tentatively called The Queen of Water, and based on her amazing indigenous girlhood in the Ecuadoran Andes!!! We are over the moon...
Thanks for reading!
I'm finally recovered from the traumatic return flight with Toddler (he's nearly two now!) He had a meltdown on hour four of the flight, during the part where we couldn't get out of our seats, so I had to restrain this screaming, thrashing little creature for what felt like forever. (And he'd been such an angel on all our previous flights...)
Until that point, the trip went great. I spent two fun days visiting Dunloggin, my very own middle school from 1985-87. Some of the 7th grade reading classes just finished reading What the Moon Saw. What an honor!!!
I had some great conversations with former teachers of mine-- Mrs. Witt (in pic, she organized my visit), Mrs. Stanley (aka Mrs. Petrovich), Mr. Petrovich (in pic), and Mrs. Kehm.
The seventh graders did some cool projects based on the book-- like making their own book covers. Here are some of my favorites... there are definitely some students who have a future in book design!
They picked out "classic quotes" from the book for the back of their book jackets. I loved reading the quotes that somehow stood out to them-- it made me happy that they connected with these images and words. *Remember, you can click on the image to make it bigger!*
They also pulled out a bunch of metaphors and similes from the book (more that I'd known were in there!)
Shortly before I left for Maryland, I spent a Sunday afternoon at ALA in Denver, chatting with Random House folks and hearing Colorado teens talk about potential Best Books for Young Adults and loading up on free ARCs (advanced review copies). After the conference, I went to my friend Lauren Myracle's freedom-to-read event at The Tattered Cover. (She's one of the most banned authors of last year). Her event was a blast-- a perfect way to end the day-- she's as fun and funny and smart in person as she is in her books. Here we are with writer buddies-- Ron Cree (Desert Blood), Lauren (TTYL series; Bliss), Brandon Meyers (sci fi and fantasy), me, and Keira (avid reader!)
Okay, I'm going to do a post about my visit to Clemente Middle School now. If you haven't signed up for my every-other-month email newsletter, please sign up! That way you'll know about the book releases and tours and contests I have coming up this year. Also, if you haven't been to my new website yet, you should take a look-- my husband worked really hard on it.
Thanks for reading!