The American Library Association’s Annual Conference and Exhibition took place June 20–25 in Washington, D.C., drawing together librarians, educators, authors, illustrators, and publishers. We’ve gathered a selection of highlights from the event, which included signings by children’s and YA authors, in-booth appearances, panels, and more.
(From l.): Oge Mora, Sophie Blackall, and Grace Lin at the Newbery Caldecott Legacy Awards Banquet.
(From l.): Author-illustrators Christian Robinson, James E. Ransome, Gloria Jean Pinkney, Jerry Pinkney, and Neal Porter, v-p and publisher of Neal Porter Books at Holiday House.
Nobrow authors Lorena Alvarez (Hicotea) and A.J. Dungo (In Waves) prepare for ALA with a full meal at Buca di Beppo.
Bestselling Lithuanian-American YA novelist Ruta Sepetys (l.) traded a copy of her novel Salt to the Sea (Philomel, 2016) with Lithuanian children’s author Evelina Daciūtė, whose picture book The Fox on the Swing (Thames & Husdon) received the 2019 Batchelder Award for outstanding children’s book in translation at ALA on June 24.
Author-illustrator Thao Lam signed copies of My Cat Looks Like My Dad (Owlkids) after her Book Buzz talk about the life events that inspired each of her picture books.
(From l.): Author Elizabeth Acevedo, her mother, and Rosemary Brosnan, v-p and editorial director of HarperCollins Children’s Books, at the Pura Belpré ceremony, where Acevedo was honored for her novel The Poet X.
Three librarians were the winners of a Capstone-sponsored contest for a behind-the-scenes tour with a zookeeper at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in D.C. The librarians also won a limited-edition autographed copy of Karl’s New Beak, signed by Karl himself as well as author Lela Nargi. (From l.): Patricia Stockland, publisher of Capstone; author Lela Nargi; Julie Platt, library media specialist at Marumsco Hills Elementary School in Woodbridge, Va.; Wendy Offery, library media specialist at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Lawrenceville, N.J.; Nick Sykora, Capstone accounts manager; and Kelly Mills, STEM library associate at Harford County Public Library, Edgewood Branch in Edgewood, Md.
Karl, the world’s most famous Abyssinian ground hornbill.
A.K. Small signing copies of her YA novel Bright Burning Stars (Algonquin).
The Astonishing Color of After author Emily X.R. Pan (Little, Brown, 2018) with her agent, Michael Bourret.
Author Beth Ferry and the Fan Brothers, illustrators Eric (center) and Terry, hang out with their life-sized Scarecrow in the HarperCollins booth.
Author Kao Kalia Yang (l.) and illustrator Seo Kim sign copies of their new picture book, A Map into the World (Lerner/Carolrhoda).
Varian Johnson (standing) accepts the Coretta Scott King Award Author Honor for The Parker Inheritance (Scholastic/Levine, 2018) by sharing words of advice, encouragement, and hope with his daughters, who were in the audience.
Derek Milman, author of Swipe Right for Murder (Little, Brown/Patterson).
Co-authors Henry Winkler (seated, r.) and Lin Oliver (seated, second from r.) were joined by librarians from across the country for lunch to celebrate their upcoming book, Alien Superstar (Amulet).
Children of Blood and Bone (Holt) author Tomi Adeyemi (r.) was interviewed by Dr. Rose Brock during her Auditorium Speaker session.
Rosemary Wells signing copies of her forthcoming picture book, Max & Ruby and Twin Trouble (S&S/Wiseman).
After arriving in Washington, D.C., author Linda Sue Park (Nya’s Long Walk, Clarion) dropped in to visit illustrator Ashley Bryan, bringing with her a peacock collage honoring the cover of Bryan’s new book, Blooming Beneath the Sun (Atheneum/Dlouhy), and made from Bryan’s favorite gummy candies.
The Grace Year (Wednesday Books) author Kim Liggett. Photo: Emily Day.
Newbery Medalist and Coretta Scott King Award winner Christopher Paul Curtis with Pauletta Bracy, who was chair of the 2000 Coretta Scott King awards committee that gave the prize to Curtis for Bud, Not Buddy (Delacorte).
Alexandra Bracken discusses The Last Life of Prince Alastor (Disney-Hyperion) during the Middle Grade Mania panel.
Kitson Jazynka signing copies of her book DK Life Stories: Florence Nightingale.
Raina Telgemeier signs copies of Guts (Scholastic/Graphix) for librarians and attendees, including some young fans.
(From l.) Education librarian and blogger Edith Campbell with Tracey Baptiste (The Jumbie God’s Revenge, Algonquin) and Jerry Craft (New Kid, HarperCollins).
Amadee Ricketts signs her book Gentle Hands and Other Sing-Along Songs for Social-Emotional Learning (Free Spirit).
Kwame Alexander and Jacqueline Woodson co-hosted a Cake and Champagne Party for authors and librarians at ALA at Alexander’s home, aka “Crossover Estates.” (From l.): Jason Reynolds, Christopher Myers, Woodson, and Alexander.
2019 Margaret A. Edwards Award winner M.T. Anderson signs stock at Politics & Prose.
Kim Norman with the hero of her picture book Thunder Pug (Sterling).
Jon Scieszka with librarians during his signing for AstroNuts Mission One: The Plant Planet (Chronicle), which kicks off a middle grade series.
Preeti Chhibber, signing Spider-Man: Far from Home: Peter and Ned’s Ultimate Travel Journal (Disney-Hyperion).
Michael Genhart, author of Rainbow: A First Book of Pride (Magination Press), meets a librarian.
On June 22, a group of librarians attending ALA had the honor of washing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, in commemoration of the individuals whose names are listed on the Wall. The event was organized by Elizabeth Partridge (third from r.), author of Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam (Viking, 2018), and Alison Morris (second from l.), senior director of collection development and merchandising at First Book. Partridge described it as “a beautiful morning and a sacred activity.”