Of the 80 authors appearing at last week’s Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association’s fall regional trade show in Portland, Ore., almost 30 were creators of picture books, middle grade, or young adult books.
PNBA attendees gathered for Seanan McGuire’s talk about her ninth Wayward Children book, Mislaid in Parts Unknown (Macmillan/Tordotcom, Jan. 2024). They met Joanna Ho (On the Tip of a Wave, Orchard, Oct.), Liz Rusch (The 21, Greenwillow, out now), and Anne Broyles (I’m Gonna Paint, Holiday House, Nov.) at The Signature Dish, a dinner at which authors visit table to table. They lined up at after-hours events to get books signed by Justine Winans (The Otherwoods, Bloomsbury, out now), Gabi Snyder (Today and Look, S&S/Wiseman, 2024), Katherine Roy (Making More: How Life Begins, Norton Young Readers, out now), and Clyde Boyer (Girl Out of Time, Girl Friday Productions, out now), among many others.
Authors visited the show floor and dropped by evening events. Among them was Ryan La Sala, whose supernatural thriller Beholder (Scholastic/PUSH) features a strange and possibly poisonous Victorian wallpaper. After previewing his latest at PNBA’s Dinner at the Kids’ Table, La Sala attended the after party and autographed ARCs for booksellers.
Luanne Clark of Inklings Bookshop in Yakima, Wash., snagged a copy of Inupiaq author–illustrator Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson’s Eagle Drums (Roaring Brook), with its earthtone landscape illustrations and Indigenous origin story. Rainey Hopson introduced this debut middle grade novel at PNBA’s opening brunch.
Saltwater Bookshop co-owners Lacey Anders and Madison Duckworth of Kingston, Wash.—friends who opened their store on Independent Bookstore Day 2023—picked up copies of Ali Terese’s Free Period (Scholastic, March 2024) after Terese appeared at PNBA’s Dinner at the Kids’ Table. Terese’s book introduces two girls who take action to raise awareness about menstruation and the need for free period products in middle school. Next to the stack of ARCs was a heap of colorful handmade friendship bracelets, and Duckworth found a keeper with her own name on it.
Tegan Tigani, children’s book buyer at Queen Anne Book Company in Seattle, picked up a copy of Gut Reaction (Scholastic, March 2024), a comedic yet knowing middle-grade story about a baker diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, by the mother-and-daughter team of Kirby Larson and Quinn Wyatt. “I’ve been such a fan of Kirby’s for a long time, and this seems like a great book to share with young readers,” Tigani said. At the Nightcapper book-signing, Larson and Wyatt sweetened booksellers’ visits with souvenir potion bottles filled with multicolored sprinkles and capped with tiny corks.
Tigani talked about The Runaway Dosa by Suma Subramaniam, illustrated by Parvati Pillai (Little Bee, out now) during her panel on great read-alouds, and PNBA attendees could get their own finished copies at the show. She also recommended Zooni Tales: Keep It Up, Plucky Pup by Vikram Madan (Holiday House, Oct.), which she called “one of the cleverest early reader books I’ve discovered, with rhymes pointing out alternative spellings for phonemes, like rhyming ‘shoe’ with ‘shrew.’ ”
Booksellers attend regionals to catch up with reps and get their hands on buzzy fall reads. With a packed schedule of authors and opportunities to mingle, PNBA did not disappoint.