NCTE in Boston – Amazing Weekend!

Last weekend, I attended NCTE (National Council for Teachers of English). What an amazing weekend. And, no…I’m not just throwing that word, amazing, around. It really did amaze me.

It amazed me to see so many kid & book loving people all in one place. It amazed me to see the sea of publishers’ booths. It amazed me to meet authors whose work I’ve admired for years. It amazed me to meet friends “for real” from my online community and The Nerdy Book Club. It amazed me to attend workshops given by these people for their teaching colleagues – and it amazed me how much it all made me miss being in the classroom. Inspiration everywhere!

And I left feeling just so, so grateful. Grateful that I have been blessed with this career. And grateful that there are teachers in the world like the ones I met at NCTE. I had many teachers and librarians thank me for writing, which I so appreciated and was humbled by. But, let’s face it–without the teachers like the ones below (and tons of others!) most kids wouldn’t pick up books, discover how opening the cover of a book can open up things inside of them that they never would have dreamed. Books do change lives. I’m proof of that.

So here’s to teachers and librarians! There are so many gifted, big-hearted people in the trenches with our kids every day. Thank goodness.

Here is my picture wrap-up of the most excellent NCTE, 2013. 🙂

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Hanging out in the Penguin Booth with the phenomenal Judy Blume. WOW! Also, there with Eileen Bishop Kreit from Puffin. Always so happy to see Eileen. :-)
Hanging out in the Penguin Booth with the phenomenal Judy Blume. WOW! Also, there with Eileen Bishop Kreit from Puffin. Always so happy to see Eileen. She’s a rock star in my book. 🙂
Happy to visit with lit agency friends! (Front:) Susan Meyer, Erin Murphy (my agent), Joan Paquette, Elly Swartz  (Back:) Jennifer Nielsen, Audrey Vernick, Nancy Tupper Ling, moi
Happy to visit with lit agency friends! (Front:) Susan Meyer, Erin Murphy (my agent), Joan Paquette, Elly Swartz (Back:) Jennifer Nielsen, Audrey Vernick, Nancy Tupper Ling, moi
My fabulous agent, Erin Murphy. Doesn't she have the best name ever? :-)
My fabulous agent, Erin Murphy. Doesn’t she have the best name ever? 🙂
Editor and Publisher, Nancy Paulsen, with "her girls" at NCTE. Beck McDowell, Nancy Paulsen, moi, Jacqueline Woodson
Editor and Publisher, Nancy Paulsen, with “her girls” at NCTE. Beck McDowell, Nancy Paulsen, moi, Jacqueline Woodson
Love these ladies!  Alyson Beecher and Cynthia Alaniz . SO fortunate to attend their panel :-)
Love these ladies! Alyson Beecher and Cynthia Alaniz . SO fortunate to attend their panel 🙂
Alyson Beecher who has been so very sweet throughout my debut journey. Loved meeting her for real!
Alyson Beecher who has been so very sweet throughout my debut journey. Loved meeting her for real!
Who doesn't love Jennifer Nielsen? Finally got to talk with each other in person!
Who doesn’t love Jennifer Nielsen? Finally got to talk with each other in person!
Dessert with some of my favorite Maine ladies: Susan Dee, Mary , Gigi McAllister, and Mary Lou Shuster
Dessert with some of my favorite Maine ladies: Susan Dee, Mary Bellavance, Gigi McAllister, and Mary Lou Shuster
Chatting with these great ladies about books. Thanks, Heather Jensen :-)
Chatting with these great ladies about books. Thanks, Heather Jensen and Amy Romanowski 🙂
Here I am with Gigi McAllister!! Yeah :-)
Here I am with Gigi McAllister!! Yeah 🙂
Here, I am with my editor and publisher, Nancy Paulsen. I could write something very long about how phenomenal she is, but then she'd have to edit it. :-)  So, let's just say that I'm blessed.
Here, I am with my editor and publisher, Nancy Paulsen. I could write something very long about how phenomenal she is, but then she’d have to edit it. 🙂 So, let’s just say that I’m blessed.
An amazing panel on multi-cultural literature with authors, Mitali Perkins, Christina Gonzalez, and Matt de la Pena. Also, teachers, Cynthia Alaniz, Teresa Bunner (standing) and Alyson Beecher
An amazing panel on multi-cultural literature with authors, Mitali Perkins, Christina Gonzalez, and Matt de la Pena. Also, teachers, Cynthia Alaniz, Teresa Bunner (standing) and Alyson Beecher
At a fun Tweet-up with Marianne Knowles, Ann Haywood Leal, and Emily Mitchell
At a fun Tweet-up with Marianne Knowles, Ann Haywood Leal, and Emily Mitchell
Ellen Hopkins and Erin Dionne. :-)
Ellen Hopkins and Erin Dionne. 🙂
I got to meet Melissa Guerrette! Yeah! :-)
I got to meet Melissa Guerrette! Yeah! 🙂
Such fun to meet Colby Sharp in person!
Such fun and an honor to meet Colby Sharp in person! Nerdy Book Ambassador Extraordinaire.
Meeting the great Donalyn Miller, co-founder of The Nerdy Book Club and renowned author, was such a pleasure. A sweet author moment for me.
Meeting the great Donalyn Miller, Co-founder of the Nerdy Book Club phenomenon and acclaimed author/literacy expert, was such a pleasure. Such a sweet author moment for me.
Nerdy presenter, Teri Lesesne (AKA Professor Nana!) WOW! :-)
Nerdy presenter, Teri Lesesne (AKA Professor Nana!) 🙂 Teri shared a bunch of cool online stuff to help teachers turn kids onto reading and help teachers organize including vine videos and livebinder.com
Nerdy Co-Founder, Colby Sharp presents with Author, Jenni Holm :-)
Nerdy Co-Founder, Colby Sharp presents with uber-talented author, Jenni Holm 🙂 “We want to give kids experiences that change lives.” ~Colby “Help your students make connections to authors via Skype, Twitter, and fan mail.” ~Jenni
Nerdy presenter, Kellee Moye  :-)
Nerdy presenter, Kellee Moye 🙂 “Set high expectations and hold the kids to them.” “You might as well be *that* teacher that talks books.” “Give the kids choices re: books.” “Don’t just hand out books. You must book talk them!”
A Nerdy workshop!
The Nerdy audience! 🙂
Nerdy presenter, Katherine Sokolowski :-)
Nerdy presenter, Katherine Sokolowski 🙂 Conferences with kids should be like talking around a table.” “Going forward–it’s all about relationships. I’m not talking about me–I’m talking about *them* ” “Slow down. Talk less.”
Donalyn Miller! :-) "Every reader has value and their own voice."
Donalyn Miller! 🙂 “Every reader has value and their own voice.”
Nerdy presenter, Cindy Minnich, and YA author, Beck McDowell
Nerdy presenter, Cindy Minnich, and YA author, Beck McDowell
cindyminnich
Cindy Minnich presents at Nerdy Workshop! 🙂 “Our lives are constantly changing and we need to change with them.” “Have kids keep log of their lives.” “If we know where we are and where we want to be, we can plan.”
jackie woodson
Me with Jackie Woodson. Amazing writer. Phenomenal person.
This was actually at AASL the weekend before, but I SO loved being on a panel with these ladies. We spoke on using books to teach resilience and compassion: (1st row:) Jo Knowles, Kimberly Newton Fusco, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Karen Day, (2nd row:) Leslie Connor, Erin Moulton, Me, Cynthia Lord  (not pictured: Moderator, Susannah Richards)
This was actually at AASL the weekend before, but I SO loved being on a panel with these ladies. We spoke on using books to teach resilience and compassion: (1st row:) Jo Knowles, Kimberly Newton Fusco, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Karen Day, (2nd row:) Leslie Connor, Erin Moulton, Me, Cynthia Lord (not pictured: Moderator, Susannah Richards)

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