19 May 2016

I went to #bea16: Middle grade and YA books!

The hottest category of books at BEA seemed to be YA/teen fantasy and middle grade.  I didn't brave the in-booth lines for Victoria Roth, Melissa de la Cruz, Leigh Bardugo, Kendare Blake, Sabaa Tahir (which was crazy), and Tahereh Mafi (which was completely bonkers, yikes).  But I did have tickets for some signings in the autograph area (and found a few surprises).

High on my list of middle grade books coming out this fall was Raina Telgemeier's Ghosts.  I loved her memoirs Smile and Sisters and the novel Drama.  Ghosts follows a tween after her family's move to the California coast for her little sister's health (she has cystic fibrosis and the coastal air will be better for her lungs) and the possibility that her new town might be haunted.  It comes out September 13, 2016 - I paged through it briefly and the colors are just gorgeous.  (There were some super-cute #goraina totebags in the Scholastic booth later on, but I didn't manage to snag one.)

I got to meet one of my literary idols at BEA - Ann Martin.  ANN freaking MARTIN.  She of the BSC and so many other books. I almost cried on her.  Ann (I'm just going to call her Ann) was there promoting her reboot of the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series that follows Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's niece, Missy Piggle-Wiggle.  So I got to tell her how much I loved the BSC, and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, AND that my nickname was "Missy" until college.  My Venn diagram is basically a circle for this book. *muppet-arms* Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Whatever Cure will be out on September 6, 2016.  (When Ann asked if I wanted it inscribed, I just blubbered that I couldn't decide if I would like it inscribed to my nieces, who are ten, or to myself, because she's ANN MARTIN and I lurrrve her - so she just wrote "Happy Reading!" *dies*)

I used my front-of-the-line pass at the Marissa Meyer signing (which meant I got to be about number 25 in line because a lot of us saved our passes for that one). This one was important to me because not only do I love the Lunar Chronicles series, I wanted to tell her how much teens and parents at my store love her books.  The heroines of the Lunar Chronicles are all smart and strong girls - they're mechanics and farmers and hackers first and fairy-tale heroines second and everyone loves to read about them and root for them.  So much.  Marissa was signing ARCs of her new standalone, Heartless, which is a backstory for the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, and that will publish on November 8, 2016.  (Gorgeous ARC production)

I lucked into this next book.  Shannon Hale tweeted about Squirrel Girl ARCs so I pottered on over to the Disney booth to ask if they were doing a galley drop.  It turns out that's what Shannon and Dean Hale would be signing that day!  So I hopped in the line (there were about 20-25 people already there) which led to the weirdest signing line wait.  The people who got in line behind me immediately started complaining about the wait (eh? it wasn't bad or long, so I don't know who peed in their Wheaties that morning), then they started complaining they didn't know what the line was for, and then after I explained 1) who Shannon Hale was and 2) what Squirrel Girl was they said it sounded dumb and then stayed in the line.  WTF? I got busy reading American Gods on my nook before I tried to strangle them.  (Also, at the same time, there was a thriller writer at a small press hawking her book to those of us in the signing line and a self-help publisher trying to interest us in a book about conflict resolution in marriage...probably not much overlap with Squirrel Girl fans.)  But then I got to the front of the line and geeked out with Dean Hale about the issue of SG where she convinces Galactus not to eat the Earth and *high-fived* and got super-cute squirrel ears.  The Unbeatable Squirrel-Girl: Squirrel Meets World is scheduled to publish on February 7, 2017 (*sad trombone*) but it looks adorable and I can't wait to read it.

And this last one was truly a surprise - on Friday, I was taking a break to have a bit of caffeine intake and a scone and people-watch when I saw a few familiar faces heading to a little out-of-the-way table in the autograph area.  Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton and a rep with a stack of books. Eeek, I thought I had missed their signing.  So I quick gathered up my stuff and scampered on over to the table to be nosy - turns out that they were finishing their signing and had moved out of the booth area because of someone else's signing (Leigh Bardugo's?) being sort of nuts.  So I got completely lucky and got a signed copy of Tiny Pretty Things (and a pin!) and got to chat with two awesome authors that I tweet with online (spoiler: they liked my twitter handle).  The next book in their series, Shiny Broken Pieces, publishes on July 6, 2016.

Next post: comics!

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