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top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. The feature was created because The Broke and Bookish are particularly fond of lists (as are we!). Each week a new Top Ten list topic is given and bloggers can participate.

 Today’s Topic: Ten New Authors We Met at NCTE/ALAN 2017

Ricki

Kellee’s list is almost identical to mine. We see so many authors at the conference, and it’s funny that the authors that I took pictures with are similar to hers. I regret working on this post after her! I am going to go with my gut and stick with the folks I planned before I saw Kellee’s list. I was going to start with Rashani Chokshi, but I will try to shift my list slightly from Kellee’s!

In no particular order:

1. Varian Johnson, Author of The Parker Inheritance and many others

2. Rick Riordan, Author of The Lightning Thief and many others

3. Julie Murphy, Author of Dumplin’ and many others

4. Angie Thomas, Author of The Hate U Give

5. Joseph Bruchac, Author of Code Talker and many others

Kellee

I am so lucky to be able to meet and hang out with SO MANY authors at NCTE and ALAN. Here are a couple of authors I met for the first time (and remembered to take photos with!).

1. Rick Riordan, Author of The Lightning Thief and many others

2. Angie Thomas, Author of The Hate U Give

3. K.A. Holt, Author of House Arrest, Knockout, and Rhyme Schemer

4. Rashani Chokshi, Author of Aru Shah and the End of Time

5. Joseph Bruchac, Author of Skeleton Man and many others

What authors have you met before?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journeys and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover the next “must-read” book!

Kellee and Jen, of Teach Mentor Texts, decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too.

We encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting at least three of the other book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

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Last Week’s Posts

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**

Tuesday: Ricki’s NCTE/ALAN Reflection

Wednesday: Kellee’s NCTE/ALAN Reflection

Thursday: Ricki’s NCTE/ALAN Book List

Friday: Kellee’s NCTE/ALAN Book List

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 Last Week’s Journeys

Kellee

  • Have you not read the Whatever After series by Sarah Mlynowski yet? You really, really should! I love their premise: Each fairy tale seems to end in a happy ending, but is that really what makes the characters happy? The last one I finished, Dream On, looked at the “Sleeping Beauty” fairy tale.
  • It probably won’t surprise you to hear that Children of Exile by Margaret Peterson Haddix is a twisty, turny mystery adventure that is a bit dark and looks at a deep issue of human existence. Well, that’s exactly what it does. And there is a twist that I am still dealing with!
 Ricki

I REREAD The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas in preparation for my class tomorrow. I am so excited to hear what my students’ think about it. They always have such insightful comments about the books that we read.

I read Case Study Research by Robert K. Yin. I’ve learned that academia is all about stretching my brain about the many types of methodological approaches to studies. Yin is just one scholar who is known for case study research, and I wanted to learn more about his perspective.

I read (and LOVED) Love by Matt de la Peña. I will be purchasing this book in hardcover. Wow, wow, wow. Review to come.

I adored Prince and Pirate by Charlotte Gunnufson. This is a very funny book. I am excited that we are reviewing it this week.

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This Week’s Expeditions
Kellee

 

All of these are sequels! And I can’t wait to get to them 🙂

Ricki

My Adolescents’ Literature class ends this week, and I feel very free to read (rather than reread) anything that I want! My NCTE/ALAN TBR stack is whispering to me right now.

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Upcoming Week’s Posts

top ten tuesday 

Tuesday: Ten New Authors We Met at NCTE/ALAN 2017

Wednesday: Nina: Jazz Legend and Civil-Rights Activist Nina Simone by Alice Briaere-Haquet

Thursday: Prince and Pirate by Charlotte Gunnufson

Friday: Emily and the Spellstone by Michael Rubens

Sunday: Author Guest Post!: “Talking to Kids about the Sixth Mass Extinction” by Laura Perdew, author of Extinction: What Happened to the Dinosaurs, Mastodons, and Dodo Birds?

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 So, what are you reading?

Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

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One of the MAJOR perks of NCTE and ALAN is the BOOKS: hearing about new books, getting advanced reading copies of books, and hearing authors talk about their books!

Here are ten books that I cannot wait to read after NCTE/ALAN 2017: 
(P.S. I didn’t overlap with Ricki’s list at all on purpose–that does not mean that I don’t want to read those! I’ve read #1 and her 9 titles could have been on my list, too!)

1. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

I am actually surprised at myself that I haven’t read it yet! Anyone who read my raves about Scythe or read my gushing speech about Neal Shusterman know how much respect I have for him and how much I loved the first book. I was so lucky to get a copy of the sequel, and I have even heard it might be better! I cannot wait!

2. Knockout by K.A. Holt

House Arrest by K.A. Holt is a book that went under my radar for some reason until this year, and WOW, I fell in love with it! I raved about it at school the next day after I read it, and it got picked up immediately. Lucky me, Holt wrote a sequel, and I don’t have to wait for it since I just read House Arrest. I’m very much looking forward to hearing what happens next.

3. The Serpent’s Shadow by Sayantani DasGupta

Syantani DasGupta read us the first couple of pages of her book, and it is hilarious and adventurous and all of the things that I love in fantasy/mythology/adventure books! And on top of that, DasGupta was just one of the nicest and smartest people I’ve ever met (she studies narrative medicine and is a pediatrician, too!). Oh, and look at that BEAUTIFUL cover!

4. Talking Leaves by Joseph Bruchac

I think Joseph Bruchac’s talk at ALAN 2017 may have topped my favorite moment this year. It is even hard to explain, but I his talk just made me so emotional, and it made me realize that except for some of his creepy books, I haven’t read enough of his novels!

5. The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

I loved Varian Johnson’s Greene books, so I am so happy to get this newest. I also loved his personal connection with this new story.

6. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

I, of course, knew about Dumplin’ before NCTE/ALAN, but I just hadn’t read it, but I definitely am going to now! Julie Murphy is everything, guys! I loved her awkwardness yet confidence and her brilliance and stumbles. I can’t wait to read her words.

7. Bad Girl with Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten

I originally didn’t receive this one, but then my friend Beth, who had a copy at home, came to me to make sure I’d read it or gotten it. When I hadn’t, she gave me her copy. She said I must read it. An I will.

8. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

That dedication guys! And hearing Mathieu talking more about the importance of strong women in literature makes me want to pick it up!

9. The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis

Um, Christopher Paul Curtis. Period.

10. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

So, guys, I guess I am a pretty huge Holly Black fan. I was lucky enough to have dinner with her, and through the conversations we had, I realized that I have read a very large percentage of her books and loved every one. So, obviously I need to read her newest!
(Side note: My favorite Holly Black books are the Curseworker series, and it is her WORST SELLING! Fix this everyone! It is a must have for every 8th+ grade classroom! Such a wonderful trilogy!)

So many books I want to read!!! We’re lucky to live in a world where all of THIS goodness exists 🙂 

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I was aware of several of these books before I went to NCTE/ALAN, but attending the conference and speaking with the authors and publishers made me even more excited about them. I could make a list that has dozens of books on it, but these ten came to my head first, and I am genuinely excited about all of them!

1. Dear Martin by Nic Stone

The topic is of utmost importance. I am really looking forward to reading this one.

2. Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callendar

Hearing this author speak… wow, wow, wow. And Lizette said this book is incredible, and I trust everything out of that woman’s mouth.

3. Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

I was fortunate to meet Jewell at the conference. She is such an inspiring woman. I am really looking forward to this book.

4. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Katie Halata said this book is incredible and lives up to the hype. And I trust everything that Katie says.

5. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

The premise of this book is very intriguing to me. I am really excited to crack the cover.

6. Spliced by Jon McGoran

Everyone is raving about this book, and I am really interested to read it. The cover is really neat, and the story idea sucks me in!

7. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Who doesn’t love Laini Taylor? She is an incredible writer, and I am excited to read her newest series!

8. A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi

I will read any book featuring another culture, and I am looking forward to reading about the refugee experience in this book. I’ve heard it is excellent.

9. Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth

I heard a section of this book read aloud at the conference. It took everything in me not to cancel my next meeting and just read this book!

10. Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

This author was one of the kindest people that I’ve met. She has such a warmth about her. I am very, very excited about this book. The premise is really neat, and I think it’s going to be a favorite.

If you attended NCTE or ALAN, what books are you most excited to read?

RickiSig

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Every year when I am applying through my district to attend the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Annual Conference followed by the ALAN (Assembly on Literature of Adolescents of NCTE) workshop, I have to write up a rationale about why I like to attend the conference, and it is always hard to put into words. And each year the conference seems to be getting better and better.

I consider myself lucky that I get to attend this conference each year because it really does recharge my professional battery. I would not be the teacher I am today without my NCTE and ALAN peers, and I know I will keep growing because of these conferences and the people I know through them.

Like Ricki shared yesterday, we are huge advocates for ALAN. It is the organization where I have found all of my like-minded educators who believe that reading and access to a diverse and wide-range of literature is the key to a literacy education for our adolescents. (PLUG!: It is only $30 a year to join, and you get our newsletter and The ALAN Review!)

 

A few of the highlights this year include:

1. I am going to start with the same thing as Ricki: The “YA Lit IS Complex: Authors and Teachers Reframe the Conversation About Young Adult Literature and Text Complexity” session. It featured YA authors Laurie Halse Anderson, M. T. Anderson, Matt de la Peña, A. S. King, Julie Murphy, Jason Reynolds, and Angie Thomas. I was in charge of moderating Laurie Halse Anderson’s round table, and I had the pleasure of working with her and her brilliance. The session, chaired by the incredible Jennifer Buehler, was based on her book Teaching Reading with YA Literature which is a must read also. I really hope I get to be part of any future sessions Jennifer decides to propose!

Please feel free to check out my handout about the complexity within and activities to do with The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Andersonthat I shared at my round table on Slide Share (click here).

Also, check out the notes I took while Laurie talked on Twitter (click here).

2.  I was also very lucky to be part of the  “The Vision of ALAN: Rationales and Strategies for Using Young Adult Literature in Secondary Classrooms” an ALAN-sponsored session with some of my favorite ALAN people (including the one and only Dr. Ricki Ginsberg! And we forgot to take a picture together! We’re the worst!). Five roundtables, each hosted by a past chair of the Walden Award, focused on different young adult literature (YAL) topics including the literary merit of YAL, using YAL in the classroom, and research supporting YAL. Attendees will be free to move to the roundtable of their choosing, and will have opportunities to switch tables/topics during the session. Roundtable leader(s) will provide materials for attendees to take back to their school sites, including book lists, teaching strategies, and rationales for challenged titles.

Please feel free to check out my handout about text sets that I shared at my round table on SlideShare (click here).

3. Author panels are some of my favorite to attend and be part of! First, I was lucky enough to be the chair of an amazing author panel on the use of unconventional narrators within the author’s books and within the classroom. Katherine Applegate, Lisa Bunker, Josh Funk, and Adam Rex each shared some about their writing process and then also shared a way their book could be used in the classroom.

Please feel free to check out the presentation on SlideShare (click here).

4. I then attended an teacher dream come true session called Reading as a Personal Art which included Nancie Atwell (my education hero and this was the first time I’ve seen her speak!), Kelly Gallagher, and Penny Kittle. The focus was on how they include reading in their middle and high school classes, how they get include rigorous and thought-provoking activities with the reading, and how English teachers need to think of themselves as literacy teachers, not literature teachers. One of my favorite thing they shared was the cross-country social justice book clubs Penny and Kelly are doing in their classrooms.

5. The next panel I went to was another awesome author panel: Positive Social Engagement moderated by Michele Knott with Lisa Yee, Jennifer Ziegler, J. Anderson Coats, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, and Ammi-Joan Paquette. The panel looked at ways to use literature, and their books specifically, to help students find their place in our world and make sure that they are a positive part of the future.

(P.S. These are only some examples of the panels! Wowza, right?!)

6. The ALAN Breakfast was by far one of my biggest highlights for a few reasons: A) RICK RIORDAN spoke, and I actually got to meet him. I’d seen him here in Orlando two years ago, but it was an auditorium tour. You should have heard my students squeal when they saw my picture with him! B) NEAL SHUSTERMAN was awarded the ALAN Award for his outstanding contribution to young adult literature and gave a truly enthralling speech. C) I was the chair of the ALAN Award committee, so I GOT TO INTRODUCE NEAL!

Please feel free to check out my introduction on Google Docs (click here).

7. I also have to give a shout out to the publishers who sponsors dinners, cocktail hours, book signings, and so much more for the educators at the conference. We are lucky to have you!

8. The ALAN Workshop should probably have its own top ten list because it isn’t fair to give it only one spot when those two days are such a joy in my life, so I will share my top five panels I loved at ALAN:

  • MINE! 🙂 I presented with Julia Keller and Jodi Lynn Anderson on their science fiction books The Dark Intercept and Midnight at the Electric.
  • Joseph Bruchac was entrancing and also such a pleasure to talk to afterwards. I wish I could absorb all of his knowledge and stories.
  • The key notes were ON POINT this year! Monday opened with Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds and Tuesday started with Meg Medina. True brilliance.
  • The “In Conversation” panels were fascinating this year! Two examples: Chris Crutcher and Laurie Halse Anderson talked about sex, and Donielle Clayton and Cindy Pon spoke about diversity in sci-fi/fantasy.
  • The line up in general was fantastic. I am in awe of Laura Renzi and the vast array of authors that she put forth for us to experience.

9. Friends! My heart always feels just a little bit empty when I leave. I have some educators, publishers, and authors who I consider friends who I only see at conferences, so it is always hard to leave them. (Shout outs to Jennie, Michele, Aly, Jason, Dani, Wendy, Daria, Katie, Beth, Beth, Lee Ann, Sarah, Jennifer, Ricki of course!, and all of my other wonderful PLN friends! Also, I was so happy to meet Amber and Kristen!)

10. Books and Authors! So. Many. Books! I already had a problem choosing, and now it is worse. And so many authors to swoon over! I have so many photos; too many to share, but if you want to check them out, you can view my Google Drive folder (click here) if you’d like.

 

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Ricki's NCTE:ALAN Reflection

Every year, I think to myself, “Golly, that was the best conference yet.” This year was no different. I was fortunate to be invited to be a part of several phenomenal sessions. I learned so much from my colleagues and from the many wonderful authors who attended the conference.

It’s no secret that the ALAN Workshop is my favorite part of the conference. I live and breathe ALAN. If you aren’t an ALAN member and love young adult literature, I highly recommend this organization. Please feel free to contact me (or Kellee, for that matter) if you’d like to learn more!

My favorite part of the conference was the ALAN Workshop. This should come as no surprise to readers. I am a diehard ALAN member. As we say during the workshop, #IamALAN. If you aren’t an ALAN member and love young adult literature, I highly recommend that you join. The assembly is like a family—the members are extremely accepting and their passion shines.

I so enjoy the time I spend with old friends at NCTE and ALAN. Two of my students attended this year, and one commented, “It’s so interesting how well you know these people because you only see each other once a year.” It’s quite true. I consider some of my greatest friends to be the folks that I have met at this conference. Based on my work with The ALAN Review, I was able to meet new friends this year, particularly the reviewers for the journal.  It is is such a wonderful community to be a part of, and for that, I am very grateful.

A few of the highlights this year include:

1. The “YA Lit IS Complex: Authors and Teachers Reframe the Conversation About Young Adult Literature and Text Complexity” session. It featured YA authors Laurie Halse Anderson, M. T. Anderson, Matt de la Peña, A. S. King, Julie Murphy, Jason Reynolds, and Angie Thomas. I was in charge of moderating M. T. Anderson’s table, and I was shocked at the turnout for this entire session. Someone counted 300 people in the tiny room. I feel so, so lucky to have been a part of this session, which was chaired by the incredible Jennifer Buehler. I have my fingers crossed that she does the session again next year.

2. The CEE-sponsored session about YA voice, culture, family and identity. Benjamin Alire Sáenz spoke, and he (once again) captured my heart.

3. The Meet the Editors session. This is my third year with this session as a presenter (with The ALAN Review). I love hearing what scholars are working on, and this year, I was able to connect with some people who I’ve always wanted to meet.

4. Getting to dine with some of my favorite bibliophiles and authors. Kellee Moye makes me so happy!

5. The “Vision of ALAN” session. It was so fun to work and present with some of my favorite colleagues. Our roundtable was focused on research in YAL, and I loved sitting beside my friend and soulmate, Wendy Glenn.

6. The “Future is Now” session. WOW! This is a massive session that features preservice and new teachers. It’s incredible!

7. Taking fangirl photos with some of my favorite authors, and capturing these moments with my two students.

8. Neal Shusterman‘s ALAN Award speech and Rick Riordan‘s breakfast speech. My goodness. These two men are FORCES.

9. The ALAN Workshop keynotes! Both were incredible! Jason Reynolds, Brendan Kiely, and Meg Medina make my heart feel full.

10. All of the books! I don’t even know where to begin! I am going to cut this post short. It is time to READ! 🙂

RickiSig

 

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journeys and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover the next “must-read” book!

Kellee and Jen, of Teach Mentor Texts, decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too.

We encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting at least three of the other book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

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We’re back!!

Thank you all so much for understanding about our time away. NCTE and ALAN were as amazing as always, but we are happy to be back 🙂

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 Last Few Week’s Journeys

Kellee

Ironically enough, while I am at NCTE and ALAN, a conference about teaching English and adolescent literature, I get very little reading done because I am going from about 6AM to 11PM! But traveling to and from the conference then 5 days off when I get back do help on the reading front.

  • Before leaving for NCTE, I made sure to read This is Not a Valentine by Carter Higgins and Hidden Dangers by Lola M. Schafer because I was lucky enough to spend a dinner with them at NCTE, and I wanted to make sure I’d read their newest. Both are ones I highly recommend though for very different reasons! I love the innocence and sweetness in Valentine and Hidden Dangers is terrifyingly interesting!
  • Dude by Aaron Reynolds isn’t coming out for a while still, but when I saw a galley, I made sure to check it out, and it made me actually laugh out loud.
  • Matt de la Peña is having a really big Winter 2017/18! First, let me tell you about Love. At ALAN last year, Matt read the poem that would become Love to us, and I flat out cried because it was such a beautiful love letter to his daughter. I couldn’t wait to read the final picture book, and MAN! it did not disappoint. Loren Long took Matt’s beautiful poem and added art to turn the poem into a picture book about love for all humans. BEAUTIFUL! Miguel and the Good Harmony is a perfect companion to Coco! The movie and book are about passion and family.

  • I have a tradition of reading the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book on my way to NCTE each year because it comes out right before the conference. This year, the story fit because Greg is going on a family vacation, but as with all DoaWK stories, everything does not go as planned. I just really love these books!
  • I’m still listening to the Whatever After series, and I finished with book #3 which was a retelling of “The Little Mermaid,” but with a MUCH better version.
  • My book club is Skyping with Michele Weber Hurwitz on Friday, so I wanted to make sure to read all of her books. Last but not least is her newest Ethan Marcus Stands Up which looks at school and ingenuity and family and friendship. I know my kids are going to love this one!
  • Emily and the Spellstone by Michael Rubens is a pun-y and adventure-filled story about Emily who gets thrown into quite a predicament when she finds out she is a Stonemaster and has a demon at her beck-and-call. I’ll definitely be reviewing this one here.

  • I read the first Musnet book a year ago, but I was so excited to learn that there are THREE more of them! I finished the whole series, and I cannot wait to review them!
 Ricki

My sister-in-law bought these books for my son’s birthday. We love the Please, Mr. Panda book, so we were very excited to read Thank You, Mr. Panda and I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda. All three books are excellent. My son is currently sleeping with these books in his bed. This is reserved for his favorite books. 🙂

I REREAD If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan for my class this week. We are thrilled to be Skyping with her on Wednesday!

I also read several other books at the conference, but I can’t seem to remember the titles. I promise I’ll remember them for next week!

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This Week’s Expeditions
Kellee

  • I’m currently listening to Whatever After #4 which is the retelling of Sleeping Beauty.
  • I am so excited to read the first and second book in the new Haddix series: Children of Exile and Children of Refugees.
  • I haven’t jumped into my NCTE/ALAN books yet because I had some books here I needed to read first, but the first two I am going to pick up are Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman and Knock Out by K.A. Holt. I CANNOT WAIT!

Ricki

I am not sure which NCTE book I’ll read first. I am actually interested in spying on other bloggers to see what everyone is reading before I make my decision. 😉

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Upcoming Week’s Posts

Tuesday: Ricki’s NCTE/ALAN Reflection

Wednesday: Kellee’s NCTE/ALAN Reflection

Thursday: Ricki’s NCTE/ALAN Book List

Friday: Kellee’s NCTE/ALAN Book List

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 So, what are you reading?

Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

 Signature andRickiSig