Sorry! My internet has been out all day, but here’s the updates! The Texas Library Association conference is still on despite the weather. Though as the name says, this event is primarily for librarians, book bloggers and other book fans will also be crowding the aisles and standing in line for ARC (Advanced Readers’ Copy) giveaways. I won’t be there this year but I’ve put out a call to friends who are going to pick up one particular ARC I’m dying to get my hands on. It’s called LEARNING TO SWEAR IN AMERICA about seventeen-year-old physicist Yuri Strelnikov, who comes to Pasadena to help NASA stop an incoming asteroid. This debut novel is by my friend from the SCBWI Blueboard, Katie Kennedy. Her book comes out in July but I can’t wait that long!
Those of you who are attending but are not librarians, please remember it is a kindness to post online reviews of any ARCs you pick up, and pass the ARCs on to someone else who will also post reviews.
There’s still time to sign up for next week’s Houston Writers’ Guild conference, featuring a keynote by YA author Jay Asher! This is also a great opportunity to meet three literary agents, Amy Boggs from the Donald Maass Agency, Michelle Richter from Fuse Literary, and Peter Knapp of New Leaf Literary and Media.
Here’s what’s going on around town this week. Scroll down to see the conference updates, and if you haven’t already, you can subscribes to get notifications of these weekly posts via Subscribe to Updates on the left sidebar.
KidLit Author/Illustrator Events
Join awesome local booKseller Murder by the Book as they host three authors of young adult books as they discuss and sign their novels. Local author Joy Preble, will sign THE A-WORD, A SWEET DEAD LIFE series and FINDING PARIS. Robin Epstein will sign HEAR, and Adam Silvera presents his debut novel MORE HAPPY THAN NOT.
THE A-WORD: Jenna Samuels and her guardian angel brother battle heavenly head-honchos and earthbound bullies in this hilarious, Texas-set follow up to “The Sweet Dead Life.”
It’s been almost a year since Jenna Samuel’s stoner brother, Casey, bit the dust and returned as her guardian angel. A year since Casey and his angel boss, Amber Velasco, saved Jenna’s life and helped her foil the bad guys more or less. A year in which Jenna has solved the true mystery of the universe: how to get one Ryan Sloboda to ask her out. Jenna’s feeling mighty cheery about life and love. But Casey, whose doomed relationship with Lanie Phelps (who has no idea her boyfriend is, well, dead) isn t doing much to distract him, has his own big question: Why is he still hanging around?
Bo Shivers, a heavenly head honcho Jenna and Casey didn’t even know existed, might have the answer. Bo knows something big is coming. Something that might just change everything for Jenna Samuels, who once again finds herself up to her non-winged shoulders in heavenly secrets of global proportions just as she’s finally found the perfect Homecoming Dance dress.
HEAR: Kassandra Black used to get away with things. She was her high school’s anonymous vigilante, exposing bullies and predators. But when she’s expelled for breaking into another student’s car just weeks before graduation, her acceptance to Columbia is revoked.
Now her future depends on behaving herself for the summer at Henley University under the watchful eye of her great-uncle Brian. If she successfully assists him in his HEAR program (Henley Engineering Anomalies Research), and if he puts in a good word for her, she can at least go to college “somewhere.”
As Kass gets to know the four other HEAR students, she realizes that she overlooked the Anomalies part of their acronym. They ve all been recruited to help Brian run experiments that gauge Extrasensory Perception including, to her astonishment, Kass herself. But Kass would know if she were “psychic”; right?
MORE HAPPY THAN NOT: When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.
Why does happiness have to be so hard?
APRIL 21: KWAME ALEXANDER, MG AUTHOR 6:00 PM
James Hogg Middle School, 1100 Merrill St, Houston, TX 77009
Newbery award winning author Kwame Alexander will celebrate literacy and discuss his newest book, BOOKED. In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER, soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read.
ADMISSION: In order to go through the signing line and meet Kwame Alexander for book personalization, please purchase one of his books from Blue Willow Bookshop. At the time of your purchase, they will issue a signing line ticket that indicates your place in line. Your book and signing line ticket can be picked up at the event.
APRIL 23: DAV PILKEY, MG AUTHOR 11:00 AM
Outreach Center of West Houston, 725 Bateswood, Houston, TX 77079
SuperAuthor Dav Pilkey will discuss and sign his novels for kids, including his CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS series. As a special treat, attendees can have a photo op with Captain Underpants!
ADMISSION: In order to go through the signing line and meet Dav Pilkey for book personalization, please purchase a CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS book from Blue Willow Bookshop. At the time of your purchase, they will issue a signing line ticket that indicates your place in line. Your book and signing line ticket can be picked up at the event.
Join SCBWI-Houston for our first Illustrator’s Day! We are excited to have Geisel Award winning author-illustrator Greg Pizzoli present a workshop featuring peeks into his process, hands-on exercises, illustration critique, and discussion. It promises to be a day full of information and inspiration.
APRIL 21: 2016 SPELLABRATION ANNUAL ADULT SPELLING EVENT
The Woodlands United Methodist Church
2200 Lake Woodlands Drive
Get ready for the 2016 Spellabration Adult Spelling Event! The King of the Texas Renaissance Festival won again in 2015! Will he be able to spell out the competition again?
The Celebration of Reading supports the Houston Blueprint for Community Action and funding for literacy programs.
SEPTEMBER 15-18: BETTER BOOKS WORKSHOP, SAN FRANCISCO, CA
AGENTS: Heather Alexander/Pippin Properties;
EDITORS: Abby Ranger & Andrew Harwell/HarperCollins Children’s Books; Kate Sullivan/Delacorte Press, Random House
APRIL 29-30: WASHINGTON WRITERS’ CONFERENCE, BETHESDA, MD
AGENTS: Diana Finch/Diana Finch Literary Agency; Jess Regel/Foundry Literary + Media; Kirsten Carleton/Prospect Agency; Paul S. Levine/Paul S. Levine Literary Agency; Peter Rubie/FinePrint Literary Management; Victoria Skurnick/Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency
OCTOBER 20-23: FLORIDA WRITERS’ CONFERENCE, ORLANDO, FL
AGENTS: Diana Finch/Diana Finch Literary Agency; Dawn Michelle Frederick & Stacey Graham/Red Sofa Literary; Melissa Jeglinski/The Knight Agency