How I Spent My Summer Vacation

me with glamour girls Mary Nethery and Betsy Bird

I have always loved Chicago and I love it even more when I’m there for ALA! Uber-blogger, Betsy Bird, does an awesome job of hitting the highlights. She even created a music video homage to Randolph Caldecott (in which I have a cameo)

I got to catch up with Silver Sister, Jenni Holm

and even have lunch with Jenni and her brother, Matt, both dressed in full Baby Mouse Dragon-slayer garb.

Matt even got a compliment on his shirt from a group of teenagers we passed while looking for the “very close” (as in 2 miles away!) restaurant in Chinatown.

The reason I got to go to ALA this year was because the book Mary Nethery and I wrote together won a 2008 ASPCA Henry Bergh award. Here we are, bright and early Monday morning at the ASPCA booth with public school librarian extraordinaire, Alecia Marcum (if you are ever invited to Natcher Elementary in Bowling Green, Kentucky, go!).

I had an afternoon signing at the Random House booth where there were actually Hattie fans waiting for me when I arrived! That was touching enough but later I was walking around and an about 15-year-old girl came up to me and said, “Are you the lady who wrote Hattie Big Sky?” She nearly swooned when I said yes. Of course, we had a photo opp (on her camera, not mine; darn) but that made my already-full heart even fuller.

We had such stars (and tears) in our eyes that neither of us thought to take photos at the moving and inspiring ASCPA awards. Emily Easton, our wonderful editor, did snap a photo with Mary’s camera and as soon as I get it from Mary, I’ll post it here. If you ever have a chance to go to this awards ceremony, go. It will make your mascara run, but leave you feeling so good about the world.

The award itself is stunning. . .and heavy. It’s difficult to photograph but hope you get the idea here. It’s a crystal “book” with the title and our names engraved on it. See how proud Winston is of me?!

Tuesday morning we signed bright and early at the Walker booth, both of us fully charged with caffeine.

Mary with her six sugars Americano
Us at the Walker booth
One of the things I love best about the Two Bobbies is how it inspires people to tell us their own stories. We had a great time signing books and listening to many of those stories.

We did receive one other honor of sorts at the conference. When we finally had a chance to visit the Little Brown booth, we learned that the F&G for our next book together, Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle (due out in November) was the first one stolen from the booth! Here is where it was:

And here is the sign put up to prevent other disappearances:

And here is what the cover looks like so you can see what would’ve been at the booth:

Got home last night in time to have dinner with Tyler before he flew back to New York. We all celebrated Quinn’s 27th birthday. Not sure how my baby got to be 27, but there you have it.

After spending the morning checking emails and writing thank you notes, it’s now back to work. But after those marvelous few days in Chicago, I’m wearing a huge smile on my face as I get back at it.

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