Wednesday, November 21, 2007

NCTE: The Details

I have recovered from sleeplessness, sore joints (from all the walking), and two days of (pre-holiday/end of grading period) teaching. Now it's time to reflect back on NCTE. (Along with Jen, Betsy, Hloney, and Stacy and Ruth...among others, I'm sure. If you've got a post, let me know in the comments and I'll add you in!)

Great Sessions
Regie Routman spoke about how writing has the power to change children's lives...even more than reading. She was very inspirational. I can't wait to read her newest book, TEACHING ESSENTIALS.

Randy Bomer and three of his colleagues spoke about teaching the new literacies without technology -- as habits of mind and materials. They showed us ways to build a schema of the internet for children, with writing activities that promote an understanding of linking, multimodality, and design.

Bruce Morgan, Debbie Miller and Ellin Keene talked about professional development that has made a difference for each of them. Their examples ranged from the very personal (Bruce's) to institutional (Ellin's).

Betsy Bird (Fuse #8) shared a short list of books that defy description and categorization. I was familiar with most of them, but HOWTOONS is, in two days, the most popular book in my classroom.

Welcome to the Kidlitosphere was the best session in the history of NCTE! Okay, I'm a little biased, but we worked hard, had fun, and the folks who came to our session really wanted to be there. It was great to meet Stacy and Amy and Denise! Thanks for coming, fellow bloggers!

Children's Literature Assembly Breakfast featured Allen Say as the speaker. We got to see and hear his newest book, still in the editing stages. It's a sweet story with gorgeous pictures of the countryside of one of Japan's small, less inhabited islands.

Amazing Food
The reception for Rudine Simms Bishop (recipient of the Outstanding Educator Award) was held at The View on the 45th floor of the Marriott Marquis. The snacks included delicious raspberries and blackberries.

Liz, Susan, Jen and I had great Thai food at Pongsri.

AJ's brother suggested we eat at Keen's Steakhouse. The food was fabulous. I have never eaten a piece of red meat that big in one sitting, and I don't think I ever will again. But it was yummy. The creme brulee Not the best I've ever had.

The Stenhouse NCTE Author Breakfast was at a quintessential New York deli: The Carnegie Deli. I was still stuffed from Keen's, so I ordered a fruit bowl. Think MIXING bowl size! A bagel and lox came with a two inch stack of lox and a slab of cream cheese the size of the BOXES of cream cheese in the grocery store!

Sharon Hancock from Candlewick invited me to a small, intimate dinner with Megan McDonald (of Judy Moody fame). We ate at Artisinal. The mix of people was very fun. In addition to Sharon, there was Charlie and Jenny from Candlewick; Laura and Sarah, librarians in Queens; Malore, formerly of ALA and now in charge of bringing The Electric Company back to life; and Carolyn, a retired high school librarian/professor of librarianship. And me, a blogger. I had the pumpkin risotto, Malore was the one who braved the pigeon in chocolate sauce, and what was I thinking when I had the creme brulee at a fromagerie?!?! Why didn't I get the CHEESEcake??? Oh, well. I'll have to go back, I guess!

The Loot (in no particular order)
HOWTOONS by Griffith, Dragotta, and Bonsen (HarperCollins booth sell-out)
THE CASTLE CORONA by Sharon Creech (HarperCollins booth sell-out)
THE PAINTED DRUM by Louise Erdrich (HarperCollins adult books booth one-free-book)
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES by Jeff Kinney (uncorrected proof)
STINK AND THE GREAT GUINEA PIG EXPRESS by Megan McDonald (ARC, Candlewick dinner)
JUDY MOODY AND STINK: THE HOLLY JOLIDAY by Megan McDonald (signed, Candlewick dinner)
TRAILBLAZERS: POEMS OF EXPLORATION by BobbiKatz (review copy, signed)
HONEYBEE by Naomi Shihab Nye (uncorrected proof)
THE BEST EID EVER by Asma Mobin-Uddin (she lives just down the road from my school!!!)
HOW TO PAINT THE PORTRAIT OF A BIRD by Mordicai Gerstein (give-away by the publisher because I stood and looked at the book!)
KAMISHIBAI MAN by Allen Say (CLA breakfast)
(...and a few more that stayed at school...)


  1. Glad it was such a great conference for you, ML. I'll have to go to that steakhouse, sometime. I do completely agree that "the folks who came to our session really wanted to be there". That one woman who walked in, early, excited to meet us, and sat in the front row - she made my day. And of course I enjoyed our Thai dinner and chatting on Thursday quite a lot, too. Thanks again for inviting me!

  2. Anonymous2:28 PM

    Mary Lee, I'm so glad you included food! I could talk about food and all day long. (Do you know the site Chowhoud? It's so fun.) It was great to meet you and AJ and dine on Thai food with the whole crew. Oh, and speak at NCTE. That, too! Thank you for including me.


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