Great Friends & Great Books at NCTE12/ALAN12

Imagine a conference center full of thousands of teachers who love books, reading, and writing more than anything.  Add in a hundred or so enthusiastic authors, an enormous exhibit hall full of amazing books, and a music-pulsing, neon-light flashing hotel lobby, and you can begin to imagine this year’s NCTE Conference and ALAN Workshop in Las Vegas.

 My conference began with a signing of EYE OF THE STORM, followed by a wonderful dinner with the Walker/Bloomsbury crew, including my fellow KidLitCares organizer Joanne Levy. Here’s the whole bunch of us showing off the team’s latest books.


(From left to right: Linette Kim, Susan Vaught, Michelle Naglar, me, Emily Eason, Donna Knoell, Megan Miranda, Shannon Hale, Sarah Maas, Jessica Warman, Lindsey Leavitt, Caroline Abbey, and Beth Eller)

The next morning, I headed to my first speaking engagement, where I met up with my fellow panelists, Donna Knoell, Anita Silvey, who talked about THE PLANT HUNTERS, which I started reading on the plane home, and Lindsey Leavitt, whose upcoming book GOING VINTAGE looks so funny. Here’s Lindsey…


My long-time online friend, author April Henry, stopped by my signing at Chronicle Books to say hello.  We figured out that we’ve been chatting over our blogs since 2006 or so but never connected in person until Saturday.


I spent an hour at Chronicle, signing SEA MONSTER’S FIRST DAY along with lots and lots of copies of OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW, which was on the NCTE Notable Books in the Language Arts list this year.

I also signed copies of REAL REVISION at Stenhouse, and the very first advance reader copies of HIDE AND SEEK at Scholastic.

This one’s the second book in the Silver Jaguar Society Mysteries with Scholastic, and it comes out April 1st.

 I got to spend much of Sunday morning with the Scholastic team and several hundred amazing teachers at the Scholastic Literary Brunch.  We shared excerpts from our new and upcoming books, using a readers’ theater format, which was so much fun. I got to read from CAPTURE THE FLAG, Blue Balliett’s HOLD FAST, and Eliot Schrefer’s ENDANGERED, along with Blue, Eliot, and David Levithan.

 After brunch, it was time for the session celebrating NCTE’s Notable Books in the Language Arts, where OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW was one of thirty books honored.  I was happy to see my friend Linda Urban’s HOUND DOG TRUE on the big screen, too!

Sunday night brought a Scholastic family dinner at a great Mexican restaurant whose name eludes me.  A few of us decided to forego the cab ride and walk back to our hotel instead.  Las Vegas is very shiny.


I’m not much of a fan of casinos and loud music, but the lights were pretty, and Las Vegas sure knows how to do dessert.

Monday kicked off the amazing, author-filled ALAN Workshop, along with a little time away from the city lights, climbing rocks at Valley of Fire State Park.  More photos to come in a future post, but now…it’s time for the quiet of home and some turkey this weekend.  Hope you’ve all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

5 Replies on “Great Friends & Great Books at NCTE12/ALAN12

  1. I’m so bummed that I had to leave you and dinner early, but it was truly a highlight to meet you, Kate! I think you had the busiest itinerary of any author there – I’m tired just reading your recap.

  2. Kate, It was wonderful to meet in person during ALAN. I hope next time our paths cross we have more time to chat. 🙂