Friday, May 04, 2012

IRA 2012

Over three days at the International Reading Association's conference in Chicago, I either met or got reacquainted with many wonderful people, signed a whole lot of books, and got very little sleep.

So the trip was a success!

On my first day, I had three one-hour book signings: one for Thirteen Reasons Why, one for The Future of Us, and one for both. But when I first arrived at the convention center, I ran into my friend Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Together, we stumbled upon R.L. Stine, and the three of us posed for a photo.

For some reason, the photo makes it look like Bobby (R.L.) is signing books behind us.

Jarrett and I met again while he was signing books with Matt de la Peña and Adam Gidwitz.

When we saw that b&w photo, we noticed that our true calling may not be as authors, but members of a boyband...or perhaps...a manband.

All we need is a catchy name. So if you've got a suggestion, we'd love to hear it!

Greg Neri and I decided to take a break from the signing and schmoozing to check out a museum of contemporary art. Each piece in there must've taken the artists at least a few minutes to complete (give or take).

On the second day, I sat on a panel with Rita Williams-Garcia, Heather Brewer, and Siobhan Vivian called "Bullies, Brats, and Bystanders: Combating Negative Peer Pressure with Young Adult Literature." It was one of my favorite panels I've been on. These authors are some of the nicest and most caring people you'll meet, and it was a privilege to be included with them.

This photo was taken by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts
as I'm about to sip from my lifesaving coffee.

The panel was followed by my final book signing of the conference. As an added bonus, Amy Reed stopped by with a signed copy of Crazy for me!

Leaving the convention floor to head home, I grabbed one final picture with Rita Williams-Garcia (one where I'm not sipping coffee...though my hand was trying to get near her coffee!).

And then...home.

Isaiah rockin' the tie-dye and munchin' a banana.

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