For Children's Booksellers: Day of Education Sessions, Author Events & More

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Children's booksellers can look forward to special programming every day from Wednesday afternoon, May 28, through Saturday, May 31, at BookExpo America 2008. Among the myriad events are an author's tea, a game show for lovers of books for teens and 'tweens, speed dating with children's authors, a traditional children's book and author breakfast, a mostly silent auction, and more. Education sessions for children's booksellers, co-sponsored by the American Booksellers Association and the Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC), will be part of the Day of Education at Hotel ABA on Thursday, May 29.

"Each year, ABA and ABC are looking to successfully develop more programming aimed at children's booksellers," said Kristen McLean, executive director of ABC. "We've been working hard at it, and we're excited about this year's programming."

Here's a look at what's in store for children's at BEA.

Author's Tea With Susan Patron

Wednesday, May 28, from 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. at Hotel ABA

ABC members are invited to an intimate chat with Susan Patron, author of the 2007 Newbery Award winner, The Higher Power of Lucky (Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books). Enjoy refreshments as Patron relates her experiences as an urban librarian, the life-changing experience of winning the award, and her perspective on the controversy it sparked. Before winning the Newbery, Patron was the Juvenile Materials Collection Development Manager at the Los Angeles Public Library. Now she is a full-time writer.

Play LAYA-PALOOZA With the Los Angeles Young Adult Authors Group

Wednesday, May 28, from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Hotel ABA

LAYA-PALOOZA is the ultimate live game show for lovers of books for teens and 'tweens. Hosted by Los Angeles Young Adult writers, known as the LAYAs, LAYAPALOOZA tests randomly chosen contestants' knowledge of the canon of young adult literature in the wackiest of ways, with games that are sure to amuse and amaze. Brains are strained, songs are sung, coveted prizes are awarded, and mayhem is absolutely guaranteed.

LAYAs was founded by Cecil Castelluci, and its many members include Francesca Lia Block, Rachel Cohn, Betty G. Birney, Amy Goldman Koss, Sally Nemeth, Michael Reisman, Mark Williams, Lisa Yee, and Paula Yoo.

Open to all members of the ABC and ABA. For more information, and to RSVP, e-mail

An Evening With the Works of Will Eisner

Wednesday, May 28, from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at Storyopolis in Studio City
Presented by Storyopolis, in association with ABC and the Denis Kitchen Art Agency

Here's a chance to view an extraordinary exhibit of the legendary art of graphic novel pioneer Will Eisner. In conjunction with BEA 2008, this exclusive gala will celebrate the groundbreaking 30th anniversary of the first American graphic novel with original, never-seen-before works. Booksellers are invited to step into the rare and fantastical world of this legendary artist. Includes hors d'oeuvres, beverages, and a chance to own a part of history.

By invitation only to ABC members.

ABA's Day of Education Sessions of Particular Interest to Children's Booksellers

Thursday, May 29, at Hotel ABA
Sponsored by ABA and ABC

All ABC-member booksellers are invited to participate in any part of ABA's Thursday Day of Education, but two educational sessions will be of particular interest to children's booksellers:

At "Buying, Merchandising, and Selling Graphic Novels 101," from 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m., a panel of experts discusses how to get the most out of graphic novel sections.

At "Give It Away to Get It Back: Using 'Thought Leadership' Marketing to Build Your Children's Business," from 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., attendees will explore the definition of "Thought Leadership" in relation to current trends in New Economy Marketing and why it should be central to any children's marketing plan.

ABC Annual Meeting & New Voices Luncheon

Thursday, May 29, 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. at Hotel ABA

ABC's Annual Meeting and 2008 New Voices Luncheon celebrating the power of being independent will feature two of the most interesting New Voices of the year: Cecilia Galante, author of The Patron Saint of Butterflies (Bloomsbury) and Marie Rutkoski, author of The Cabinet of Wonders (FSG).

All are welcome to attend. Boxed lunches are available for $16.95. Booksellers must register for this event. Membership in ABC is not required for attendance. For details, contact ABC at (617) 390-7759 or

Children's Book & Author Breakfast

Friday, May 30, from 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. at the Los Angeles Convention Center (Concourse Hall)
Presented in cooperation with the Children's Booksellers and Publishers Committee [A cooperative committee of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC), and the Children's Book Council (CBC)]

This opening-day breakfast will feature Sherman Alexie, author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers); Judy Blume, author of Going, Going, Gone! With the Pain and the Great One (Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers); and Neil Gaiman, author of The Graveyard Book (HarperCollins). Eoin Colfer, author of Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox (Hyperion Books for Children/Disney Book Group) will be the Master of Ceremonies. Introductory remarks will be offered by Jon Scieszka, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

General Admission: $15. Breakfast Admission: $35.

ABC's Not a Dinner and (Mostly) Silent Auction: An Evening With Children's Booksellers

Friday, May 30, from 6:00 p.m. - 9:15 p.m. at Hotel ABA (Grand Ballroom, 5th Floor)

(The Renaissance Hotel is connected to a multi-level outdoor mall. The Grand Ballroom of the hotel is not physically connected to the hotel, but is easily accessible. Please follow the signs for the ABC event.)

Join ABC for a glamorous evening of great art, wonderful speakers, and a celebration of Being Independent! The keynote program will be hosted by Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Amulet). The event will include the 2008 E.B. White Read Aloud Awards; the Super-secret-ABC-only-never-before-seen trailer premier; Nikki Giovanni, acclaimed poet and author of Hip Hop Speaks to Children (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky); and Rick Riordan, bestselling author of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series (Hyperion).

Tickets are $79. Reservation required. For details, contact the Association of Booksellers for Children at (617) 390-7759 or

Speed Dating With Children's Authors

Saturday, May 31, from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at the Los Angeles Convention Center (Room 403 AB)
Sponsored by the Children's Booksellers and Publishers Committee [A cooperative committee of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC), and the Children's Book Council (CBC)].

Booksellers are invited to get to know 20 children's book creators up close and personal! Authors and illustrators will move from table to table, stopping for quick get-to-know-you chats.

Participating "dates" are: M.T. Anderson (Harcourt); Joan Bauer (Putnam/Penguin); Francesca Lia Block (HarperCollins); Cylin Busby (Bloomsbury); Cecil Castellucci (Candlewick); Tim Egan (Houghton Mifflin); Victoria Forester (Feiwel and Friends); Donna Freitas (FSG); Polly Horvath (Random House); James Lescene (HarperCollins); Barry Lyga (Houghton Mifflin); Brandon Mull (Shadow Mountain); Travis Nichols (Roaring Brook); Chris Raschka (Scholastic); Gary D. Schmidt (Clarion); David Shannon (Scholastic); Judy Sierra (Random House); Laurel Snyder (Tricycle); Nancy Werlin (Penguin); Jane Yolen (Charlesbridge).

This event is for booksellers only. Space is limited and will be first-come first-served at the door.

ABA/ABC/CBC Booth # 5504

Friday, May 30 - Sunday, June 1, on the Los Angeles Convention Center Show Floor

The Association of Booksellers for Children, the American Booksellers Association, and the Children's Book Council will share a booth on the trade show floor, where information and program materials from each organization will be available. These include the ABC Best Books for Children catalog and the ABC New Voices program; ABA's Children's Picks and Children's Bestseller lists; a sample of the ABA's Children's White Box; materials showcasing the "Children's Book Week" campaign; a Pannell Award display; and much more.

The ABA/ABC/CBC booth will feature author readings. On Friday afternoon, May 30, between 12:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., Elizabeth Singer Hunt, Megan McDonald, David Shannon, Elizabeth Scott, and Judy Sierra will read from their latest books.

On Saturday, May 31, there will be in-booth signings at 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. with the 2008 E.B. White Award Winners. At 1:00 p.m. Elise Broach and David Small, author and illustrator of When Dinosaurs Came With Everything (S&S) will be signing; at 2:00 p.m. Trenton Lee Stewart, author of the Mysterious Benedict Society (Little, Brown), will be signing.