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Asked and Answered | November 29, 2016


What was your favorite book-related happening of 2016?

“It is practically impossible to pick my “favorite” book-related happening of the year, but it is super easy for me to pick the thing that has stuck with me the most. Meeting Christopher Myers and hearing him speak at the CBC Annual Meeting was nothing short of amazing. His speech was energizing, thought-provoking, and moving. The Q&A that followed was full of so much insight and passion from Chris and the publishing professionals in the room, and he was a joy to meet and speak with. If you did not get to see it in person, you should take the time to watch it here! (password: kidzb00kz)”

Shaina Birkhead, Programming and Strategic Partnerships Director, The Children’s Book Council and Every Child A Reader

“My favorite book-related event this year was the release of E. K. Johnston’s AHSOKA. As a huge Star Wars fan and especially of The Clone Wars series, I was always fascinated by Ahsoka’s journey on the TV series, and I was devastated when the show ended. I knew there was more to Ahsoka’s story, but I worried that we wouldn’t get much of it. I was excited to see that others clearly agreed with me, and that we were able to get more of her story. I bought the book the day it came out and devoured it immediately. I hope there will be more!”

Orlando DosReis, Assistant Editor, Abrams Books for Young Readers, Amulet, and ComicArts

“This year, I got to attend my first Bologna Book Fair. I had a wonderful week meeting people from all over the world with a shared passion for great children’s books!”

Hillary Doyle, International Rights Associate, Scholastic (ECC Chair)

“My favorite book-related event was attending and working at the Boston Teen Author Festival in September. As a cofounder of the festival and part of the core team, I’m so excited and thrilled to see the festival grow and thrive. This was our fifth year, and we drew a little over 350 attendees to the Cambridge Public Library and Cambridge Rindge and Latin School to see thirty-five authors speak on numerous panels.”

Marissa Finkelstein, Assistant Production Editor, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (ECC Secretary)

“In January, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the inauguration ceremony of Gene Yang, the 2016-17 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, at the Library of Congress. It was heartening to see how happy Yang was to not only accept the title, but also answer questions from the DC-area public school students invited to attend the ceremony. Graphic novels have always been a staple of my literary diet; they helped foster my love of reading just as much as any other book I read as a kid. I’m very excited to see how Yang’s “Reading without Walls” campaign will continue to eliminate the stigma that surrounds comics and their legitimacy as literature, and change the conversations we have about children’s literacy.”

Alexa Frank, Special Projects Coordinator, The Children’s Book Council and Every Child A Reader (CBC Liaison)

“She’s an evergreen favorite for me, but I loved when Penguin did their #readadessen campaign. Reading everyone’s tweets about their most beloved Sarah Dessen books reminded me of reading them as a teen, and why I wanted to go into kidlit in the first place!”

Elizabeth Lynch, Editorial Assistant, HarperCollins Children’s Books

“In honor of this year’s Banned Books Week—held in celebration of diverse writing—seven bookstores nationwide hosted “A Night of Silenced Voices” on September 27. The series featured open mics and discussions showcasing diverse voices. I was fortunate to attend the reading held at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in New York City, which brought together both emerging and established authors of diverse backgrounds including Daniel José Older, Ibi Zoboi, Taran Matharu, and Gabby Rivera. According to ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, over half of all banned books are penned by authors of color, or represent diverse characters and themes. I was incredibly moved by each artist’s testimony on this painful reality and on the need for more inclusive literature. Looking back, the creativity and compassion on display that evening shine through a year of political discord.”

Emma Kantor, Publicity and Digital Content Manager, The Children’s Book Council and Every Child A Reader

“There were so many awesome bookish events this year, but there is one in particular that stands out above the rest. To promote her upcoming film and charity organization, Lumos, JK Rowling made a truly rare appearance at Carnegie Hall with the cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The evening was a truly spectacular event, her charitable efforts and endeavors to make the world a better place was so inspiring, and the chance to celebrate this new chapter in the Harry Potter universe with hundreds of bookish friends and strangers was incredible! On top of that, we got an early screening of the film, which was just the cherry on top– Eddie Redmayne might possibly be the most adorable human on earth.”

Brittany Pearlman, Associate Publicist, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

“My favorite 2016 children’s book event was seeing Leigh Bardugo at the Strand during her tour for Crooked Kingdom. Leigh was funny, engaging, and took the time to talk to every person in the signing line. And the Strand even provided Six of Crows themed cookies and temporary tattoos! It’s always fun to be in a crowd with fellow fans, and Leigh and the Strand made this event feel extra special. Definitely worth the long wait in the signing line!”

Nicole Sclama, Editorial Assistant, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers

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