BookExpo Highlights from A (Autographs) to B (Books)

Book Expo 2016 exhibits

BookendsLynn: Cindy and I are just back from BookExpo America 2016, which was held in Chicago this year, and we had a great time. Publishers and books stretched from one end of McCormick Place to the other! We discovered some publishers new to us, met incredibly helpful people, brought home some terrific books and galleys, and even got some autographs! Elite by Mercedes LackeyIt’s hard to choose, but I think my favorite new galley prize was Elite (Sept. 2016), Mercedes Lackey’s sequel to Hunter (2015). Cindy, which one was your favorite?

Cindy: Have you already forgotten that I dragged you through the rows of booths with their tempting displays to stand in an autograph line before we could do anything else? I had used the BookExpo app and had my agenda set. Ashes by Laurie Halse AndersonThe first order of the day was to nab Laurie Halse Anderson’s autograph in Ashes, the third book in her Revolutionary War series that started with Chains (2008). I’m eager to read it, but this copy is for a high-school student in my district who fell in love with this series way back in middle school. Every month he’d ask me if Ashes had come out yet. When he left for high school I promised I’d give him Ashes as soon as I got my hands on it. Nathan has it now, autographed, and he is thrilled! Ghosts by Raina TelgemeierSo, Lynn, what new title did you see advertised that you couldn’t get your hands on? I saw a poster for Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier, and heard that it has a 500,000-copy first print run, but I didn’t get my hands on a galley.

Lynn: Talk about heartbreak! I was standing in a booth by a display for Dark Matter  (2016) by Blake Crouch and there wasn’t a single one left. Sob! And then there is Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston’s picture book, A Child of Books (Sept. 2016)! Child of Books by Oliver JeffersWe got a quick look at a galley and a signed page but I’m yearning to be able to savor that one. But since we were in Chicago and my Cubs are LEADING their division, let’s talk about the cool baseball book!

Cindy: Yes, let’s talk baseball since the White Sox are leading their division, too, and you and I are surrounded daily by Detroit Tigers fans. We are both fans of the Sports Illustrated Kids imprint published by Time, Inc. Books, and they gave us a new book called Baseball Then to WOW! You’ll be hearing more about it in detail from us soon, but this history of baseball features various time lines of elements of the Baseball Then to Wow from Sports Illustrated Kidsgame with historic and current photographs to illustrate the examples. The 1880s umpire, clad in a suit and tie, looks more like he’s ready for a stroll in the park than calling balls and strikes behind home plate. Ooh, Lynn, it’s time for another autograph. No, not Marcia Clark with her O. J. trial memoir, but another bit of nostalgia of more interest to our readers . . . .

Garth Williams by the WallacesLynn: Lovers of children’s books hold illustrator Garth Williams in our hearts and memories. Williams’s iconic illustrations graced such classics as Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series, Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and one of my childhood favorites, The Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies. So we were both really excited to stand in line to meet authors Elizabeth K. Wallace and James D. Wallace and get an autographed galley of their new biography, Garth Williams: American Illustrator. Maybe it was fitting to have another American institution blasting music out into the aisles . . . .

Footloose by Kenny LogginsCindy: Yes, Kenny Loggins was on the exhibit floor, performing “Footloose” loud enough to hear him across the vast room. He was promoting his new picture book, Footloose (Oct. 2016), which rewrites the lyrics for children. I’m a Loggins fan from my teen years, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around the relatively recent remake of the 1984 classic film, so we decided to avoid the mobs and continue on to the Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas cover revealBloomsbury booth to see the unveiling of the new Sarah J. Maas cover for book 5, Empire of Storms. Here it is.

And, we picked up a coloring page to promote the upcoming Throne of Glass Coloring Book. There’s nothing like de-stressing by coloring scenes that feature a kick-ass assassin.Throne of Glass Coloring Book

Lynn: We only caught one day of the event and there is much more we could report, but we’ve gone on long enough. There’s one more display we should highlight, though. Cindy found a new line of Ellen DeGeneres shoes at Nordstrom’s and we had to each buy a pair. Our weakness for acquiring books is only approached by our love of buying shoes. Laugh and Smile shoesNow we can read our books and our shoes!

Cindy: These shoes truly made me laugh. But my pair is even more versatile—I can communicate slyly in public now with my left foot. I’ll see you in Orlando for #ALAAC16. Watch out.Ugh Shoe





About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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