An author celebrates his book launch in Brooklyn; educators, librarians, and authors nerd out; two publishing luminaries are honored on the eve of their retirements; and an author’s book is bottled and served.

Cover Shot

Daniel José Older had his launch party for Shadowshaper (Scholastic/Levine) at For My Sweet Garden and Event Space/Kalahari Gallery in Brooklyn on July 1. The event drew a lively crowd to celebrate the release, hear Older read from the book, and enjoy the sounds of Older’s band, Ghost Star. Also among the guests in attendance was Zephorah Nure (seen here with Older), who was the model for the book’s cover image of protagonist Sierra Santiago.

Tote Bag Twins

More than 900 authors, librarians, and educators took part in the third annual Michigan-based nErDcamp literary conference on July 6-7 at Western High School in Parma, Mich. Colby Sharp of the online forum Nerdy Book Club, runs the event, which has spawned additional conferences in other states. Among those in attendance were (l.) Cassie Beasley (Circus Mirandus, Dial), who led a session about the publishing process, and author Lisa Graff (Lost in the Sun, Philomel), who gave a keynote address.

A Fond Farewell

The HarperCollins Children’s Division Books gathered to celebrate the retirement of president and publisher Susan Katz, and her 28 years at Harper with a tropical-themed party on July 8. From left: Virginia Duncan, Kate Jackson, Randy Rosema, Susan Katz, Diane Naughton, Josh Weiss, Andrea Pappenheimer, and Barb Fitzsimmons. Staff members also presented Katz with a framed collection of original artwork created for her by some of Harper’s children’s illustrators. Katz’s official last day is September 8.

Bon Voyage!

Brenda Gardner, publisher of Piccadilly Press, was honored by colleagues, friends, and the authors whose careers she helped to launch, at her retirement party on July 8. The event was held in London at the dining and event space, The Union Club. Gardner worked in the industry for 43 years and established Piccadilly Press in 1983. From left: agent Gillie Russell of Aitken Alexander Associates, Brenda Gardner, and author Jeanne Willis.

For the ‘Sake’ of the Author

When 19 delegates from Ohara, Japan visited Duluth, Minnesota Minn., last week to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the two cities’ “Sister Cities” relationship, they brought a special treat: bottles of sake brewed locally and named in honor of Margi Preus’s' middle-grade novel, Heart of a Samurai (Abrams/Amulet); the sake label replicates the 2011 Newbery Honor book’'s cover art. Preus (rightr.) posed with copies of her children’'s books about Japan with one of the Ohara visitors before the bottles were cracked open for a sake tasting during a gala party for the visitors.