Yesterday, I attended my first book festival: the Jan Paris Book Festival, sponsored by Sam Houston State University (the school I'm "attending" online to pursue my Master's Degree in Library Science). The bookfest was held in San Antonio, and featured an illustrator--David Diaz--and two authors, Naomi Shihab Nye and Jeanne Birdsall--as keynote speakers. I was blown away by their passion for their work, and their love for libraries and librarians as well. One workshop I attended was presented by the Texas Scoundrels and Sweethearts, a group of Austin-based children's book authors. I purchased a couple of their books just from hearing them talk about them! Another workshop was all about running the library on a shoestring budget; we got a free felt puppet and lots of advice on fundraising/ costsavings.
Since this blog is all about the books, here's what I bought, and what I've had to read lately for my YA Lit class that I've enjoyed:
Brains for Lunch and The Emerald Tablet were written by authors from the Texas Sweethearts group. The first, I'm sharing at home and at school; the second is for my own son, who likes fantasy novels now and then.
Smoky Night was illustrated by David Diaz, and won the Caldecott Award. We got to watch him paint while he answered questions and talked about the illustrating process. After hearing Naomi Shihab Nye speak, I just knew I had to read at least one of her works....so Habibi is all mine!
The Tequila Worm is a required read for my YA Lit class...but don't let the title fool you. It is not about teenagers drinking tequila after the football game. This book is about a young girl from the Valley who gets a scholarship to attend a private high school in Austin. There are lots of beautiful vignettes of life in the barrio, and the customs and rituals that bind the families there together. I really enjoyed this book.
I have to get back to reading--this week, I have to make the time! Keep reading!