Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Show Me the Dudes

Do you want to know why Missouri is called the Show-Me state? Apparently, the people in Missouri aren't even sure. But they call themselves the Show-Me state anyway, and that's good enough for me!

I flew to Missouri to attend the Missouri Association of School Librarians conference. On the way, I took a photo of two of the Channel Islands, right off the coast from where my flight originated. The Channel Islands are where Island of the Blue Dolphins is set.

At the conference, I gave a couple of workshops. Here's the audience for my first workshop. Can any of you spot the two dudes? Yep, that's about the ratio at these conferences.

The conference was held at Tan-Tar-A Resort, which is beautiful. These school librarians know how to live it up. But I wasn't there to (purely) enjoy resort livin', I was there to work. But I also got to meet Heather Brewer and Mary Downing Hahn!

That's Ms. Hahn in the above photo. Unfortunately, though I talked to her several times, I never got a photo with Ms. Brewer.

But I wasn't there just to enjoy resort livin' and meet cool authors, I was get an award! 700 school librarians, dressed in their sparkliest clothes, dined at circular tables while the award-winning authors and committee members ate on rectangular tables on the stage. Feeling like I was on display, I tried to eat with whatever manners I could remember.

Each author, before receiving an award, was introduced by a student presenter. Kelsie Henry gave me a wonderful introduction.

Ms. Henry also sat beside me during the dinner, and was kind enough to fill me in wherever my manners lacked. But I got her back by telling her mom, into the mircrophone during my acceptance speech, that Kelsie picked at her dessert before she even started her main course.


The Gateway Award is voted on by high school students in Missouri, and was a tremendous honor to receive. (The glass book pictured above didn't come with those frogs...I just thought they looked cool admiring my award.)

And here's the committee responsible for putting Thirteen Reasons Why on the eligible list of books. Thank you all so much!

For those of you who heard my speech, here's that newspaper photo I told you about, taken in my elementary school library.

Heading home, here was a beautiful mountain range we flew over.

From islands to mountains to the people, this is a beautiful country.

Of course, I couldn't wait to get home, where I had this little dude waiting for me...

(If you haven't already, and if you LIKE Thirteen Reasons Why, then you should head over to its very own newly created Facebook page.)


Sabrina Steyling said...

Congratulations on your award, Jay! That glass book is cool - and so are those frogs!

Love Isaiah's lil smile...such a cutie! What a great way to be welcomed home! <3

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Eeeeh! That smile! Sounds like such a cool event and glad you got to see Missouri. I need to visit there when it's not snowing.

lyancey said...

Thank you for agreeing to come to our conference in Missouri. I loved both your sessions and I am enjoying telling my students I got to see you. What a treat!

Looks like your welcome home committee was very glad to see you! :)

Megan Bostic said...

You are doing some awesome things, Jay. And I might add, your baby is A-dorable!

m. christine weber said...

I love Island of the Blue Dolphins! And congrats again on the award! It’s lovely, and so are all of the people who hosted you, from the sound of it. What a cool trip!

Kathy Sharp said...

Enjoyed your workshop - Monster at the End of the Book has been my son in law's favorite since he was a boy and he reads it to his toddler. Your contributions at conference were a hilight for me. After such a talented first novel, I look forward to what comes next.
A Missouri Librarian, Kathy

Svanhildur said...

Awesome that you got an award! You totally deserved it.

Paula@Reading Lark said...

Glad you enjoyed your trip to the Show-Me state. Sad that I didn't get to attend the conference. Near-misses like that with awesome authors are frustrating. :(