Man, it's hard to get back once signed off. Things have been so crazy (in a good way) that I'm just now getting a chance to sit down and finish my IRA story.
So, I went back to the IRA conference on Wednesday, just pumped up on the reading buzz. Getting exposed to 4,000(?) people all in the same place for the purpose of reading gave me an intellectual contact high. I still feel brainy from it.
I remembered my camera this time too! First thing, I stopped by the Red Brick Learning booth, where my signing for Stone Arch Books was held on Tuesday. First person I saw was my friend and Stone Arch Acquisitions Editor Michael Dahl. He's the guy wearing the great tie in the picture below. Michael is a terrific guy whom I love discussing boys reading with because he's enormously knowledgeable and very dedicated.
We don't often get a chance to catch up so I tricked him into going to lunch with me a little later. In the meantime, I kicked around and found that there was a graphic novels for young readers workshop going on and I ran upstairs to jump in at the middle. That's where I met Matthew Holm, c0-creators (along with his sister Jennifer) of Babymouse, a very fun graphic novel series for young readers, which, frankly looks like anyone of any age would enjoy. Very fun presentation of the trials and tribulations of an artist, a writer and a mouse, PLUS a great discussion of kids and reading. One insight Matthew shared was that a researcher told him that kids make no distinction between the multiple communications channels open to them, that a text message is a call is an email. Very interesting. Here's Matthew, making like we're old friends (thanks, Matt):
After that engaging discussion, I ran back downstairs to meet John Scieszka, who was around and signing books somewhere. Lo and behold, he was just feet away from the Red Brick booth, signing TruckTown books at the Simon & Schuster AND.....
Meeting a hero is so much fun. Hope we get a chance to meet again soon. So, International Reading Association is a great organization and the Minneapolis conference was a great event. I can't wait for next year's, which I hear is in Chicago.