The talented Roxyanne Young took these photos of my talk on Middle-Grade and Chapter Books at SCBWI-San Diego last weekend and kindly gave me permission to use them. My school visit/speaker page needs a massive updating and I’m so grateful to have some recent images to include.
Apparently I talk with my hands a lot? What’s funniest to me is that this Boston Bay slide was onscreen for barely a minute. That’s an awful lot of glasses-waving going on there.
The rest of my slides were all about other people’s books—my favorite things to talk about, as you know. Here’s a taste:
(Just a sampling from the Chapter Books part of the talk.)
From left to right: Suzanne Santillan, me, Edith Hope Fine, Joy Raab, Virginia Loh Hagen, and Lori Mitchell at last week’s Greater San Diego Reading Association Authors’ Fair, held at Pacific Beach Elementary School. Photo shared by Lori Mitchell on Facebook. (Thanks, Lori!)
It was a pretty incredible day. I had sessions with two classes and then a booksigning. Both classes have been reading The Prairie Thief aloud, and it just so happened that the 5th-grade class was up to the Big Reveal chapter near the end of the book. I’ve never gotten to read this to a group of kids before! I usually read a section near the beginning, so as not to give away any of the book’s surprises, and when the class told me where they were in the book and asked me to read the next chapter, I was over the moon. Their reactions at the moment of the reveal were delightful and immensely gratifying. They jumped and and cried out in surprise. It was exactly the sort of reaction I hoped for when I wrote the book. What a treat for me to get to experience that moment with them! And then we had a nice long Q&A and they asked fantastic questions, really thoughtful stuff. Love love love.
The second class, a 4/5, blew me away with the papers they had written about Prairie Thief! And what timing, coming right after our conversation last week about how authors feel about critical approaches to their work. These kids did some serious analysis and I was very impressed by the quality of their writing. They, too, had a million questions for me about craft (seriously—they are studying it) and reading and lots of things.
Huge thanks to all the folks who helped put the fair together. A splendid day all around.
She passed by the SCBWI booth at the San Diego Central Library grand opening celebration where I was signing books, and I dashed down the street after her, hollering “Miss Rumphius! Miss Rumphius!” like a loon. Because I was Just That Excited to see her, lupines and all! She’s my role model, after all.
(Instead of lupines, I plant milkweed.)
The library celebration was marvelous. I never actually made it into the new building for the sneak peek! The line was four blocks long when I arrived for booth duty at noon. But I had a wonderful time visiting with Edith Hope Fine, Cindy Jensen-Elliott, and my other fellow local children’s authors at the SCBWI booth and chatting with our friends at Yellow Book Road on one side of our table and the very nice Mysterious Galaxy folks on the other—along with author Mary Pearson, whom it’s about time I met in person after all this time being Facebook friends, and YA author Kiersten White, whom I know from Twitter, and whose new book sounds very much up Rose’s alley. (Human daughter of ancient Egyptian gods: you have her at hello.)
(Isn’t that the most gorgeous cover?)
The street fair covered many blocks and was one of the best I’ve ever been to. San Diego Mini Maker Faire was there—I’m counting the days to the December event (December 7th, Del Mar Fairgrounds; spread the word!)—and lots of other interesting artisans and entertainers.
Not Miss Rumphius.
The Maker Faire booth. I finally got to see a 3D printer in action! It made that orange comb right before onlookers’ eyes. At least, I think it did. I wasn’t there for that part.
Happy to say I signed many copies of The Prairie Thief! And perhaps my favorite sight of all (after Miss Rumphius, of course) was this mother and son who sat down to read Fox and Crow on the spot. 🙂
I’ll have to make another pilgrimage downtown soon (with the kids, this time) to see the inside of the beautiful new library that was thirty years in the making.
Such fun visiting with lots of authors, teachers, and librarians at this weekend’s California Reading Association Professional Development Institute! Here are some of the lovely authors I spent the day with:
Same group, except Andrea has left and we’ve added the great Milly Lee!
Here’s my corner of the table. 🙂 Fox and Crow missed the photo op! It sold out before I remembered to get a picture. Speaking of photo ops, I love the Betty Birney/Erin Dealey picture happening behind me.
Next thing, for San Diego locals: My signing’s on Saturday! Yellow Book Road @ beautiful Liberty Station in Point Loma, 3pm. Come! Say hi! Eat cookies! Listen to me attempt a Scottish accent! (Serves me right for writing characters in dialect.)
We have an excursion to City Farmers Nursery planned for this afternoon. Rilla is planting her own butterfly garden. (The one that spans the width of our backyard isn’t enough for her, evidently.) 😉 She’s making a list. Excuse me, I mean a LEIST. So far, she’s got:
That was so much fun! Thanks to everyone who called or wrote in with questions. Here’s the podcast for those of you who couldn’t listen live. And don’t miss BookClubGirl’s follow-up post, which is chock-full of links and notes about the things we discussed.
(And after KidlitCon, the incomparable Kathy Baxter is treating me to a visit to Mankato, stomping grounds of Maud Hart Lovelace, and maybe, possibly, if we can work out the logistics, Walnut Grove as well! Plus? I get to spend the night with Margaret and family.)
November 20th, 3pm—this one’s for San Diego locals. Betsy-Tacy Re-Release Party at Reader’s Inc bookstore in La Mesa, CA. Come see me!
January 8th—ALA Midwinter here in San Diego. Mitali Perkins and I will be signing books at the HarperPerennial booth.
Plus also? I’ve been holding onto some booksy news which I’ll have leave to announce very soon. Did I mention I got back to work last spring? After a longish hiatus following our move here? I’ve got some exciting (to me at least) things bubbling and can’t wait to be able to tell you all about them.