The 2013 American Library Association’s Annual Conference has brought me a multitude of unforgettable moments — mostly due to the fact that I served on the 2013 Newbery Committee and this was the weekend when the publishers of the honored and winning titles treated the Committee to celebratory meals. The restaurants were all distinctly different:
Friday night: We had dinner with Macmillan and Steve Sheinkin at Gioco — located inside a prohibition era building with a speakeasy back room — where there’s a large bookcase disguising a hidden door. A perfect setting to celebrate Bomb. We received the galley of Steve’s next book: Port Chicago 50.
Saturday: Lunch with Candlewick and Laure Amy Schlitz was at Blackbird, a sophisticated French restaurant. The fares are marvelous and the presentation impeccable — much like the honored book, Splendors and Glooms, and much like the publisher itself. Laura kept us spellbound with her storytelling and her elegant thank-you to all of us.
Saturday night: Katherine Applegate and HarperCollins took us to Everest, the restaurant on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange Building, overlooking the city lights — we saw a huge rainbow that night, much to everyone’s delight! Each member of the Committee also received a soft stuffed animal of a Mighty Silverback that wears a shirt saying, “The One and Only Ivan!”
Sunday: Lunch with Penguin and Sheila Turnage at Chicago Q, an urban BBQ place serving everything family style inside a quirky building, truly fitting for Three Times Lucky. We were given the bound manuscript and a short reading of Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, sequel to this Newbery honored book. Can’t wait to read it!