Thursday, April 19, 2012

TXLA 2012--Day Two


So I know this is a book blog and not a food blog, but I feel my hotel restaurant merits a mention.

We started the day with a DELICIOUS breakfast in the Hilton Hotel lobby restaurant, creatively called The Cafe. They have a huge buffet spread including an omelet station, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, pastries, fresh fruit, and a yogurt station with tons of toppings. I gobbled down two puffed pastries filled with a semi-sweet cream cheese/ricotta mixture (I'm sure they were fat- and calorie-free) and topped with a tangy strawberry sauce. Absolutely divine. We loved it so much that we ate dinner at The Cafe again Wednesday evening, and dinner was just as amazing as breakfast. We plan to eat at The Cafe again for dinner on Thursday (the manager said they change the buffet choices each day). Awesome.


At 10:00, I traveled to the "Let's Be Honest" session with Robie Harris, author of several picture books for young children. Ms. Harris's books have been controversial because they are early sex education books for youngsters. I read It's So Amazing! A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families when I was working on my MLS. In a children's literature class, we had to read several "controversial" picture book titles, and It's So Amazing! was one of them.

"There is nothing shameful or dirty about body parts, or in knowing what those parts are called." --Robie Harris

I feel like I can write an entire post just on this one session. While not well-attended (we had maybe 15 participants), the session gave me lots of food for thought. Ms. Harris is clearly dedicated to providing children honest books that help them understand themselves and the facts of life. As a mom of two young boys myself, I have already put Harris's Who Has What on-hold at our public library for when I return home this weekend. My boys, ages 5 and 7, are definitely aware of their own bodies and no doubt are curious about other people's bodies. Some of my favorite quotes from this session:

"People may disagree, and that's okay. But how can we not answer our children's questions truthfully?" 

 My favorite, favorite moment in this session actually came from an audience member's response to my question. I had asked Ms. Harris about teachers and administrators who bring a book about sexual health back to the library, after having taken it from a student because it was "causing a disruption in class." Lots of heads were nodding when I asked this--after all, what librarian has not dealt with this situation? The audience member responded,  

"I just tell my principal, where do you want kids to learn about sex ed, if not from a book? You would hope it would be from their parents, but it often isn't. Is it better if they learn from their friends? The internet?"


Tera Lynn Childs and me!

At noon, I traveled over to the First (Hopefully) Annual Texas Tea with the Authors. This is a ticketed event ($20, worth it!) that worked a bit like speed-dating. Our table had eight librarians, and the the authors rotated tables when the they "clanged the triangle" (because this is Texas, after all!).

There were 58 total authors (what a turnout!), and I got to meet 12 of them: Gareth Hinds, Kiki Hamilton, Shannon Hale, Geoff Herbach, Brian Falkner, Madeline George, Lisa Desrochers, Elizabeth Eulberg, Chris D'Lacey, Jordan Dane, Tera Lynn Childs, and Brent Crawford. All were very friendly and smiling, even though I am sure it was a whirlwind for them during that time.

I am already looking forward to next year's Texas Tea!


My name in lights! Well, sorta. Either I didn't read the description closely enough, or this session description was misleading. As a member of the new Spirit of Texas committee, I had to attend this session because they introduced our group along with the Lone Star, Maverick, and TAYSHAS committees. The first hour of the session was like a business meeting--lots of introductions and presentations of awards. It wasn't until the second hour that we got to hear anything about the books on the lists. I left for about 30 minutes to attend the Tera Lynn Childs author signing, so I missed most of the book talks. Bummer.


I loved this session! For me, there are NEVER enough book talks at TLA! This session featured several publishers giving rapid-fire summaries of upcoming YA fiction releases. Audience members heard about a whopping 42 books in only 50 minutes! While the publishers went quickly (and my hand was a little sore from taking notes), I am so excited about the titles! I can't wait for:

The Sweetest Spell-- Did I hear this one right? A romantic fairy-tale twist girl can transform milk into chocolate? Sounds delicious!

Kill me Softly--A fairy-tale twist with a mystery? With a bloody white rose on the cover? Yes--want!

 The Loners (Quarantine, book 1)--They had me at "deadly virus" and "cliques become gangs."

TXLA12 Day One journal

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