In addition to the usual (including, among other things, writing a new book) I’m also teaching a course on children’s literature at a small liberal arts university here in Austin. So far, the class has been great—I love my students, I love talking about books, I love it all, period (well, except for grading papers).
I was also at ALA a few weeks ago, where I signed copied of My Life as a Rhombus and participated in the ALA Kid / YA Lit Tweetup (organized by the sensational Mitali Perkins and Deborah Sloan). I had the chance to see a lot of old friends on both the author and editorial side, plus I had lunch with my agent.
ALA was the first of many Spring events that I have scheduled (see the full list here). Check back often, as I hope to fit in a few more events between March and July.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about the unsung books of 2009 (started by Kelly at YAnnabe). I didn’t read a whole lot of books in 2009, but many of the ones I really, really, really, really loved and wanted to win awards (Once Was Lost, Liar, Going Bovine, How To Say Goodbye in Robot, Jumped, and Marcelo in the Real World) are books that I wouldn’t exactly call unsung. But there is one novel that I wish had received a little more attention: After the Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr.
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this novel since I finished it last summer. I also have a postcard for this book, which has the tagline “...about a boy who discovers what happens when love fails us--or we fail love,” which I think is a perfect way to describe the novel. Sometimes, as much as you want to do the right thing, you just...can’t. Sometimes, despite wanting to be a good, upstanding, honorable person, you fail the ones you love; the ones that need you most. And, it’s just so damn hard to save someone when you have no idea HOW to save one.
Perhaps one of the reasons I enjoy this novel so much is because of how similar some of the themes are to Saving Maddie...which I plan to talk about...eventually. But for now, you can check out this review by Melissa at Book Nut.