ALA: 7 Published Books, 7 ARCs and Some Susin Nielsen Love

In total, I brought home 14 books from ALA. Of those 14 books, 6 were published books I paid for, 1 was a free published book and 7 were ARCs.

I had heard a lot about people going wild in the exhibits, gunning for stuff like a scene out of Life As We Knew It. And there has been much buzz about that 22 minute ALA book haul video that’s floating around. Stacked has a very thorough post on the whole thing. I’ll admit to watching most of it and being overtaken with jealousy at the Gary D. Schmidt ARC.

It might just be me and my 700 square foot world, BUT WHERE DO PEOPLE PUT ALL OF THESE BOOKS? I have three very skinny, small Ikea bookcases to my name. One shelf is taken up entirely by The Series of Unfortunate Events. Another houses the complete works of Leonard Marcus. That leaves me with 2.75 teensy bookcases. Thus, I have to be extremely selective about the books I bring into my life.

Perhaps the best solution to all of the debates around people going crazy on the ALA exhibit floor is to simply ban exhibit entry to those who live somewhere with an affordable housing market. Us Vancouverites and New Yorkers would be very dainty and respectable because we barely have room to brush our teeth, let alone store an extra book or two. I kid, I kid.

For those interested, this is what I scooped up:

6 Published Books I Purchased

 

From L to R: Stay by Deb Caletti, I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, The Monster’s Monster and Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell, Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S.King, Amulet #1 by Kazu Kibuishi

Stay completely floored me in the sense that I was never able to sympathize with girls in relationships with scary dudes before reading this book. Jon Klassen is Canadian (!) and I Want My Hat Back has saved my butt zillions of occasions in storytimes with rowdy six-year-olds. Patrick McDonnell makes my heart warm. A.S. King makes complex things easy to understand. A signed Kazu Kibuishi will bring me tons o’ cred with nine-year-old male patrons for the foreseeable future.

 

1 Free Published Book

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

My pal Kay and I are apparently the only people in the world who have yet to read this book. Please don’t tell Mr. Schu. But it will get read!

6 ARCs

 

 

L to R in order of pub date: Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead, Everyday by David Levithan, Amulet #5 Prince of the Elves by Kazu Kibuishi, Drama by Raina Telgemeier, In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz, Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

 

I think these were probably on most school and youth librarian’s lists to grab, so nothing terribly original here. But I want to tell you – especially you Yankees – about this, the seventh and most blessed ARC:

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen by Susin Nielsen. Tundra Books. Pubs September 11, 2012

Susin Nielsen is the next big thing. There is an episode of The Simpsons where Bart brings Santa’s Little Helper in for show-and-tell and Milhouse proudly brags “I knew the dog before it came to class!” Not to liken Susin to a cartoon dog, but this captures how most Canadian librarians feel about Susin Nielsen. We are going to feel very smug and brag alot when she gets 200 person signing lines at future ALAs.

She is a mix between Tom Angleberger, Jack Gantos and Susan Juby with just a touch of a teenaged Dav Pilkey (she isn’t afraid of some potty language). She was a screenwriter for Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High (the original series pre-Drake). Degrassi taught every Canadian born between 1979-1984 about being a teenager. She is funny, smart and somehow has access to the brain of a Grade 7 boy. If you haven’t read Word Nerd or Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom, you are missing out. My buddy Vikki has a great review of Clooney here.

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen is about a thirteen-year-old boy (named Henry K. Larsen, not surprisingly). Henry’s brother shoots a classmate before shooting himself. Tough stuff? Yes. Will Susin Nielsen somehow manage to infuse this terrible tragedy with enlightening-but-sensitive humour? If her track record is any indication, yes. I will be celebrating Canada Day this weekend lounging in Saskatchewan and reading this book (right after I wrap up a Quill & Quire review of another Canadian favourite’s new YA novel). I can’t wait.

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