ALA MidWinter, Youth Media Awards, and Celebrating My Inner Book Geek

Two years ago, I accidentally outed myself as a book geek.  I had always been a book geek but I just usually kept it quite.  No need to reveal just how obsessed I could be about books.  If someone asked about a book, I would share and leave it at that.  Due to several life circumstances aligning themselves in a fateful way, I started exploring where I could find other book geeks. One thing led to another, and I recently found myself in San Diego, CA at the American Library Association's (ALA) MidWinter Meeting. 
I thought that having been a frequent attender at the L.A. Times Festival of Books would have prepared me for ALA but this was a very different concentration of bibliophiles.  Walking around the exhibit hall surrounded by publishers, vendors, books, lots of people, more books, authors, even more books, I was in heaven.  And what was so cool is that no one was wondering why you would spend hours looking at books, talking about books, or gushing about books to editors and publishers.

An Abrahms Rep with some of their Award Winners!!!

Here are some of my highlights:

* Meeting up with Twitter Pals such as Mr. Schu (@mrschureads), Shannon Messenger (@sw_messenger), Suzanne Santillan (@suesantillan),  Cindy Pon (@cindypon) and many, many more...
* Being invited to a special luncheon hosted by MacMillan Children's Publishing Group on behalf of Mary Pearson (if you haven't read Mary's books go out and do so immediately) - not only did I get to spend time with Mary but also some wonderful ALA folks like Teri Lesesne, Walter Mayes, Liz Burns among others
* Spending time with my book buds Alethea (@frootjoos) and Marianne (@penwallace)
* Hearing Mitali Perkins speak at the USBBY Presentation
* Chatting with author/illustrator Kathryn Otoshi - she signed a copy of ZERO & ONE for me
* Networking with Publishers, Sales Reps, Editors, and more
And of course....Attending the Press Conference for the ALA Youth Media Awards
Congratulations to Random House on some heavy medal winners!!!

I was a lucky receiver of a signed copy of JANIS JOPLIN by Ann Angel.  Winner of the YALSA Excellence in Non-fiction.

Speaking of the ALA Youth Media Award...

Congratulations to BINK & GOLLIE  for winning the Giesel Award.  A definite favorite of mine and listed on my End of the Year MG picks.

Congratulations to FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB for receiving the Schneider Family Award - YA Pick.  This was my top YA book of 2010.  (When this was announced, I nearly jumped out of my seat.)

Congratulations to THE PIRATE OF KINDERGARTEN for receiving a Schneider Family Award for Picture Book.  This was featured in my National Inclusive School's Week picks.

Congratulations to ONE CRAZY SUMMER - not only did it receive a Coretta Scott King Award Author Award but also a Newbery Honor Medal.  This was one of my choices for the Newbery. 

Congratulations to DAVE THE POTTER: ARTIST, POET, SLAVE - this beautiful book received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and a Caldecott Honor Medal.  I had listed this is my Caldecott predictions.

Congratulations to JIMI: SOUNDS LIKE A RAINBOW which received the Coretta Scott King Illustrator honor award.  Another book I really loved and featured on the blog.

Congratulations to THE DREAMER which received a Belpre Author Award.  I loved this book and had it on my Newbery list.

Congratulations to A SICK DAY FOR AMOS MCGEE which walked away with the prestigious Caldecott Medal.  If CHALK couldn't win, then I am thrilled that AMOS did.

Congratulations to MOON OVER MANIFEST by Clare Vanderpool whose debut middle grade novel walked away with the big one - the Newbery Medal.  I wasn't expecting this but going to move it up to the top of my to-read pile.