Last Saturday, I attended Book Expo in NYC. For me, BEA is equivalent to Christmas (or in my case, Hanukkah). Free books for the taking! It’s the best day of the year!
That pile may not look impressive, but it’s all YA, baby! And it doesn’t include the four or five picture books I snagged for my boys.
Some of this year’s highlights (in no particular order):
I got to tell the Patricia Polacco how much The Keeping Quilt meant to my third-grade class of ESL students. That story stayed with them for a long time.
I met Ann Redisch Stampler, who signed an adorable picture book. Only later did I realize that I reviewed her YA book, Where It Began, for Bookpage.
I chatted up a lovely Month9Books author and got to say things like, “My book is coming out next year!” (I said this a lot actually to a bunch of people, but not all braggy as it sounds here.) I also met a book editor for a pop culture website who might review my book next year.
I scored a copy of The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. Holy hell. The whole trip was worth that one book.
I met up with some old friends and ate lunch without anyone crying or asking me for things the minute I sat down.
I spent the entire day hanging out with my pal, Zoe, who flew in from the UK and who happily stood on lines for author she didn’t know so that I could score an ARC. She also took home her own books and shoved them into her suitcase, which she then weighed on my bathroom scale to make sure she didn’t go over the allotted 23 kilos.
Next year, I hope to attend BEA as a published author. I probably won’t be signing books at a booth, but no matter. I get to be part of something truly incredible — books — and everything they mean to a nerd like me.