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ALA Annual 2011: Michael L. Printz Awards Presentation and Speech by Paolo Bacigalupi

When Paolo Bacigalupi walked up onto the dais at the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans, there was an endless sea of screaming.  A very large portion of it came from all over…but there was some serious excitement coming from the corner he later pointed toward when thanking his fabulous people at Little Brown Publishing.  There was a little fuss and photography as he received his award–a beautiful bronze upright placard–and then he moved on to speaking.

He began with the idea that standing in front of all five hundred of us was both beautiful and terrifying, as a writer’s place is behind a computer screen, hidden from faces.  But he fell into things with a few fascinated looks at his new trophy and a few well-placed expletives (“I just won a f*cking Printz award!”), and moved on to thanking everyone who stood with him during production and publishing of Ship Breaker, no matter how crazy and different and unsettling things got, including his wife, his editors, and the Posse at Little Brown.

The biggest thank you was to his father, who introduced him to Science Fiction–or more, to reading.  Science Fiction was not just his gateway drug to reading, but the drug.  

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ALA Annual 2011: Printz Honor Awards Presentation

We were all really excited to hear from the winning authors at the 2011 Printz Award ceremony. Everyone was enthusiastically yelling and cheering for them and their worthy publishers. For many of us, it’s the highlight of the conference. Here are some of the highlights of the Printz Honor speeches. The fabulous speech by Paolo Bacigalupi, Printz Winner for Shipbreaker, will be featured in a separate blog post soon.

The first speaker of the evening was Stolen author Lucy Christopher. Christopher said her Printz Honor book about a girl, captured and held in captivity in the hot and bright desert of Australia, was not unlike her experience standing before the audience. She joked that, “it’s hot and the lights are bright here too in NOLA.” She said that the most important part of the book was getting the world right. The great sandy desert in Australia where the book is set was aptly named and really helped her to shape the book into the captivating read it is. She said that a part of what she’d felt and experienced she used in the book. She said, “I was not kidnapped, not even once, but in a different way this life is an entirely true story.” Christopher was born in Wales and she said her family moved to Australia  when she was 9 and she didn’t want to go. She had to take special education classes to catch up and at lunch time she went to the library where it was air-conditioned. The librarian, an American, said she could sit under the AC but had to read. She read a lot of Australian authors – she adored every word John Marsden (When the War Began series) ever wrote. Australia in those stories was beautiful and terrible.  She was torn between being scared and in love with it and wanted to write about a land she both loved and hated. Stolen is about fear, excitement, alienation and yearning – all things that teens can relate to.

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What is “Pottermore”?

Summer months are always a lot of fun. But this year, July is particularly special to me (and I’m sure many others) because the final Harry Potter movie will be released!  I get shivers every time I see the trailer. If you haven’t seen it yet, definitely go check it out HERE.











I’m pretty sure I’ll be re-reading the Harry Potter books, and re-watching the Harry Potter movies, for the rest of my life. And I know I’ll love seeing new generations of all ages discovering this special series for the first time.  But I confess to being a little sad at the thought of no new Harry Potter books or media anywhere on the horizon…that is, until I heard about the very cool web site that J. K. Rowling plans to launch in October 2011 called Pottermore!!

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The Hub: Tweets of the Week – July 1, 2011

A special #ala11 edition of Tweets of the Week:

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ALA Annual 2011: Margaret A. Edwards Award Luncheon

Saturday, we gathered to celebrate Terry Pratchett and his lasting contribution to young adult literature at the Margaret A. Edwards Award Luncheon. Unfortunately, Pratchett, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008, was unable to join us. Prachett’s U.S. children’s’ editor, Ann Hoppe, and long time fan and fellow author, Gail Carriger, (Soulless, first book in Parasol Protectorate series, and ALEX award winner), presented on his behalf.

Pratchett’s books have touched the lives of many readers young and old. And Saturday afternoon we talked, over lunch, about how his books have impacted us and the readers we work with. As Carriger pointed out, Pratchett’s books appeal to a wide audience, young and old, male and female, but no matter how famous he became he was always a gracious man. “It is no surprise that he became Sir Terry Pratchett, for he was noble,” she said after recounting a story about meeting him for the first time, and his grace in the face of her obvious adoration and enthusiasm (and the fact that she happened to be dressed in a corset and velvet dress at the time).

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Remember Sweet Valley High?

My name is Casey and I am a Sweet Valley High junkie.

I was a HUGE fan of the series created by Francine Pascal in 1983. The books, about identical twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, hold a special place in my heart. The numerous ghostwriters who actually wrote the books used their words to create incredible visuals in my head; I loved the detailed descriptions of the twins’ looks, their rooms, their friends, their clothes. The characters and storylines are beloved memories of my childhood and adolescence.

Then…I grew up. I still have my original books, but I didn’t read the other series about the Wakefield twins in junior high and elementary school. I didn’t watch the TV show. Series creator Francine Pascal continues to publish compelling YA lit; her series Fearless was featured in 2001 on YALSA’s list of “Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.”

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