SCIBA Children's Literacy Tea :: Some great new books and authors

One of my favorite events of the year is the Southern California Independent Bookseller Association's Children's Books & Literacy Dinner. You get to buy books from independent bookstores; meet authors, eat dinner with them, and listen to them make hilarious/touching/inspiring speeches; take home a whole bunch of brand new books and get them signed by the authors; and share the experience with other book lovers. (Here are my photos from the 2011 event. Sadly, I missed this year's dinner.) As nerdy as it sounds -- although I doubt it sounds that way to any reader of this blog -- it's an event I get really excited about, and I come home starstruck and extra enthusiastic about renewing my commitment to children's literature.

So, imagine my delight when I found out SCIBA hosts other children's literacy events. Last fall I attended the Children's Books & Literacy Brunch in Del Mar. And now that I'm a librarian member of SCIBA, I was invited to the Children's Literacy Tea, which was held last Sunday at Mrs. Nelson's Toy & Book Shop.

(If you've never been to Mrs. Nelson's, you must! It is like heaven for us children's literature lovers: fantastic selection, knowledgeable staff, great author visits, and fun atmosphere. I just wish it wasn't so far away from where I live!)

After daintily nibbling on finger sandwiches and scones, the event's program began with the publisher reps talking about new books they're excited about. Here are a few highlights:

  • Zoe Gets Ready by Bethanie Deeney Murguia (picture book)
  • Bird & Squirrel: On the Run by James Burks (middle grade graphic novel)
  • Sleuth or Dare #1~3 by Kim Harrington (middle grade mystery)
  • The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen (middle grade court intrigue)
  • The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to Their Younger Selves edited by Sarah Moon (YA non-fiction)
 Random House Children's:
Simon & Schuster:
  • ABC ZooBorns! by Andrew Bleiman and Chris Eastland (non-fiction picture book)
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce (picture book)
  • Zorro Gets and Outfit by Carter Goodrich (picture book)
  • Nightsong by Ari Berk (picture book)
  • Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer (picture book)
  • Lulu Walks the Dogs by Judith Viorst (middle grade 
  • The Unwanteds: Island of Science by Lisa McMann (middle grade dystopian)
  • The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse (YA dystopian)
  • When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle (YA romance)

Then it was time for the guest authors to introduce themselves and talk about their books. They're all first-time authors and their enthusiasm and excitement was absolutely contagious. Afterwards, there was a signing and we got to spend a few moments with each of the authors.

the authors at the SCIBA Summer Children's Literature Literacy Tea
The authors from left to right: Bethanie Deeney Murguia (Zoe Gets Ready); Lisa M. Stasse (The Forsaken); Lissa Price (Starters); Elana K. Arnold (Sacred); Scott Speer (Immortal City)

Since I haven't read any of the books yet, I'll let the authors/publishers tell you about their books (the titles link back to the source I got the summary from):

Zoe Gets Ready by Bethanie Deeney Murguia:
Zoe Gets Ready is a story about how one little girl chooses her outfit for the day. It is Saturday and no one tells young Zoe which uniform or pants or skirt are required. Zoe surveys her closet and gleefully imagines how each item might allow her to more fully experience the day.

While this book is covered with glittery little girlie goodness, it contains some very universal messages. Zoe Gets Ready is a story about the power of daydreaming. It is an ode to unstructured time. And in a world where we are often encouraged to fit into predefined, predetermined costumes and characters, this story is a reminder that the right outfit can make you feel more like yourself—not someone else. It acknowledges the complexity of identity—that on any given day, for example, there are moments when we choose to be bold and moments when we choose to be meek. Most of all, it celebrates the ability to believe in unlimited possibilities.
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse:
As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.
The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.
Starters by Lissa Price:
In a future Los Angeles, becoming someone else is now possible. Sixteen-year-old Callie discovers the Body Bank where teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. But when her neurochip malfunctions, she wakes up in the mansion of her rich renter and finds she is going out with a senator’s grandson. It’s a fairy-tale new life, until she discovers her renter’s deadly plan.
Sacred by Elana K. Arnold:
Growing up on Catalina Island, off the California coast, Scarlett Wenderoth has led a fairly isolated life. After her brother dies, her isolation deepens as she withdraws into herself, shutting out her friends and boyfriend. Her parents, shattered by their own sorrow, fail to notice Scarlett's pain and sudden alarming thinness. Scarlett finds pleasure only on her horse, escaping to the heart of the island on long, solitary rides. One day, as she races around a bend, Scarlett is startled by a boy who raises his hand in warning and says one word: "Stop."
The boy—intense, beautiful—is Will Cohen, a newcomer to the island. For reasons he can't or won't explain, he's drawn to Scarlett and feels compelled to keep her safe. To keep her from wasting away. His meddling irritates Scarlett, though she can't deny her attraction to him. As their relationship blossoms into love, Scarlett's body slowly awakens at Will's touch. But just when her grief begins to ebb, she makes a startling discovery about Will, a discovery he's been grappling with himself. A discovery that threatens to force them apart. And if it does, Scarlett fears she will unravel all over again.
Immortal City by Scott Speer:
Jackson Godspeed is the hottest young Angel in a city filled with them. He's days away from becoming a full Guardian, and people around the world are already competing for the chance to be watched over by him. Everyone's obsessed with the Angels and the lucky people they protect - everyone except for Madison Montgomery.
Maddy's the one girl in Angel City who doesn't breathlessly follow the Angels on TV and gossip blogs. When she meets Jackson, she doesn't recognize him. But Jackson is instantly captivated by her, and against all odds the two fall in love.
Maddy is swiftly caught up in Jackson's scene, a world of glamour, paparazzi - and murder. A serial killer is on the loose, leaving dead Angels' wings for the police to find on the Walk of Fame. Even the Guardians are powerless to protect themselves in the face of this threat & and this time it's up to Maddy to save Jackson.

book haul from SCIBA Literacy Tea

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for coming out! It was such a thrill to share SACRED for the first time.