Sunday, December 4, 2011

In My Totebag (43) NCTE/ALAN Wrap-Up Part 1: The Books

I've been debating this post: should I do it, how can I word it, can I fully explain how/why I feel so overwhelmed by generosity and appreciation this week without sounding like I'm bragging, is it going to send the wrong message to bloggers who aren't teachers or librarians and make them want to try to "crash" our convention, etc, etc, etc... Why was this so difficult? Because I am an educator, and I was lucky enough to be able to attend the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Convention and the ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents) Workshop two weeks ago. Did I pay to go? Absolutely (registration, lodging, meals, travel). Was it worth it? Without a doubt - even if I hadn't gotten a single book the knowledge I gained and the relationships I built will help me become better at my job working with kids every day. 

Why this IMM (or totebag as the case may be)? Because I decided I wanted my convention experience to include time spent in the exhibit hall also. I talked to publishing reps about what books they're excited about that they have coming up. I asked them for middle grades suggestions. I discussed books I like with them. I got some advanced copies of books they wanted to share with me to take back to my students. I waited in line to buy books to have signed by the authors who were in the exhibit hall. I spent money on buying many books and shipping multiple boxes home and I want to share them with a broader audience than just my classroom. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the school and library groups at these publishers, and came away with such an appreciation for them and how they support teachers (in a time when we're not always given the best public support) and how thankful they are that we get books into the hands of kids who read them.

Ultimately, I came to this decision: If I'm getting books in my role as an educator, I also feel bound by my role as a blogger to at least mention them on the blog and get the names out there because even though they weren't given to me in my role as a blogger, I still want to show my thanks by helping get the word out and publicize them. However, due to the number of books (120!) there was still the question of how to do this this week's IMM is a little different - the pictures of the book stacks are here instead of individual covers and I'm not listing each title individually with links because it would take way too long (I have other reviews to write and books to read and papers to grade) and make a huge post, but I am linking to goodreads for the titles that I'm most excited about. I hope you enjoy seeing some upcoming titles and can appreciate the intent of this post. And, if you're an English teacher or school librarian or soon-to-be-teacher, NCTE will be in Las Vegas next year, and it is one of the most incredible professional development opportunities I've ever had, and I encourage you to try to go!

In My Mailbox is a posting idea run by Kristi at The Story Siren (read all about it here: In My Mailbox) for bloggers to share the books they've gotten that week to help publicize as many titles as possible. It's a little preview on what book reviews to anticipate along with a way to build excitement about new titles coming out. All titles link to goodreads so you can add books to your "to-read" list.

The Books
AFTER OBSESSION by Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel
THE FUTURE OF US by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Stephanie Perkins
PAGE BY PAIGE by Laura Lee Gulledge (graphic novel)
THE FAERIE RING by Kiki Hamilton
ILLUMINATE by Aimee Agresti (March)
BLACK HEART by Holly Black - Book 3 Curse Workers series (April)
LEGEND by Marie Lu
THE NAME OF THE STAR by Maureen Johnson
BUNHEADS by Sophie Flack
EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton (January)
SHOOTING STARS by Allison Rushby (February)
DARKER STILL by Leanna Renee Hieber
STICK by Andrew Smith
THE FALSE PRINCE by Jennifer A. Nielsen (April)
PURITY by Jackson Pearce (April)
BREAKING BEAUTIFUL by Jennifer Shaw Wolf (April)
TAKE A BOW by Elizabeth Eulberg (April)
THE LIST by Siobhan Vivian (April)
THE DROWNED CITIES by Paolo Bacigalupi - Companion to SHIP BREAKER (May)
PANDEMONIUM by Lauren Oliver - Book 2 DELIRIUM (March)
STUPID FAST by Geoff Herbach
EMBRACE by Jessica Shirvington (March)
REASONS TO BE HAPPY by Katrina Kittle
GOLD MEDAL SUMMER by Donna Freitas (June)
WHEN YOU WERE MINE by Rebecca Serle (May)
A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHTMARE by Kody Kepplinger (June)
UNDER THE NEVER SKY Veronica Rossi by (January)
DITCHED: A Love Story by Robin Mellom (January)
THE RIVALS by Daisy Whitney - Book 2 THE MOCKINGBIRDS (February)
CINDER by Marissa Meyer (January)
SLIDE by Jill Hathaway (March)
EYE OF THE STORM by Kate Messner (March)
A WORLD AWAY by Nancy Grossman (July)
WELCOME, CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE by Shelley Coriell (May)

Not Pictured
BLOODROSE by Andrea Cremer - Book 3 in the NIGHTSHADE series (January)
FRACTURE by Megan Miranda (January)
CLOCKWORK PRINCE by Cassandra Clare - Book 2 Infernal Devices (December)
DEAD TO YOU by Lisa McMann (February)
THE WAY WE  FALL by Megan Crewe (January)

I cannot say enough how thankful and grateful I am for the overwhelming generosity of the publishers to teachers and librarians who spend so much of their own money to provide books that will be of interest to kids to help get them reading.
Thank you, thank you, thank you...most especially to these publishers who really took the time to excitedly talk books and share titles with me: Sourcebooks, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Bloomsbury, HarperCollins, Macmilian, & Little Brown!!!


  1. Great post Jillian! I wholeheartedly agree with you about feeling overwhelmed by the love, appreciation, and generosity of the publishers and authors given how little love, appreciation, and generosity teachers seem to be shown these days.

    I've already told my principal I definitely want to go next year... though I don't know if I can convince her about ALAN as well. Still, I'd be willing to pay that one my own dime.

    Do you think you'll go next year?

  2. Totally jealous of your awesome pile of books. There's too many to name that I wish I had. I'll be looking forward to your reviews...

    My IMM

  3. Beth, I'm definitely planning on going next year - as long as my principal will approve the days off. It was worth every moment and all of the knowledge and new ideas I'm bringing back to share with staff, and my students are excited about the books! The thing I love the most about ALAN is the number of authors we get to hear talk. Hearing their stories, histories, backgrounds, reasons for writing, etc is so meaningful to be able to bring back to my students as well.