There was a wide selection of wonderful new books among popular book vendors like Candlewick, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster. Lee & Low's emphasis on diverse books like Parrots Over Puerto Rico has made them a particular favorite for me. I also fell in love with a wide array of books about art. Emily's Blue Period by Cathleen Daly tells the story of Picasso's Blue Period for a young audience. The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLaughlan is a beautiful story about Henri Matisse as a young child. Yuyi Morales has a beautiful book called Frida. And a lovely book called Edward Hopper Paints His World has a stunning painting featuring a sign for "Phillies" created by illustrator Wendell Minor right on its cover...sure to appeal to our local Philadelphia crowd. Hip hop lovers will be excited by Laban Garrick Hill's new book When the Beat Was Born. For discussion about the Caldecott Medal there is a wonderful book about Randolph Caldecott that explains who he was and why the famous award for picture books bears his name called Randolph Caldecott, The Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing by Leonard S. Marcus. Melissa Sweet, who has had numerous award-winning books including this year's wonderful picture book about Horace Pippin, has a lovely new book forthcoming about Roget and his famous thesaurus that is perfect for integrating into elementary writing lessons. Famous authors and illustrators like Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen, and Jon Scieska all have wonderful new books out as well that should not be missed. Finally, one of my favorite books about math is a book called Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animals Lives by Lola M. Schaefer.
Among YA authors, there are several exciting books coming out or newly released. Ally Condie has a book called Atlantia that is very different from her Matched series. Scott Westerfeld, author of the Uglies and Leviathan series, has a new novel entitled Afterworld. Meg Wolitzer has a new novel entitled Belzhar (pronounced Bell Jar) that involves two teens, a classroom, journal writing, and the works of Sylvia Plath. PJ Hoover has a new middle grade novel called Tut that will also have associated media components including a Minecraft world. Jandy Nelson, Marie Lu, and Cat Winters also have promising new books soon to be released.
Technology is always a highlight of library conferences and the standout new tool for me was in the area of assessment. One of the challenges with assessing new publications in science is the lag in citation appearances. The University of Pittsburgh (yay Pitt!) has developed technology that tracks initial mentions via social media from publication date eliminating the lag of waiting for future publications with citations of a given publication. It's also interesting to note that while the statistics show a huge increase in ebook purchase as well as an increase in ebook lending by libraries, the demand for hardcover books has reached an all-time high and continues to increase with the digital age. For all of the soothsayers who thought paper would disappear, it doesn't look like it will be happening any time soon. It only takes one massive ice storm that knocks out power for a week to see the virtues of the non-digital world, even for the most tech-oriented among us.
I could rattle on for pages about the amazing experiences from ALA, but I would only be entertaining myself. Suffice it to say that the world of libraries, information, and stories in all of their various formats is thriving and growing in wonderful ways.
|Jen Bryant & Melissa Sweet|
|Claire Rudolph Murphy & Brian Collier|
|Meg Wolitzer - Belzhar|
|PJ Hoover - Tut|
|Marie Lu - The Young Elites|
|Cat Winters - The Cure for Dreaming|
|Ally Condie - Atlantia|
|Jandy Nelson- I'll Give You the Sun|
|KG Campbell and Kate DiCamillo|
|My awesome UK edition of The Book Thief!|
|Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen|