The ALA Annual

by Peter Raymundo

     Founded in 1876, The American Library Association is one of the most important organizations in the country.  Amongst many other things, they have worked to organize and provide the opportunity for everyone to have books read.  And like many large organizations, they have an Annual Conference.

     Fortunately for me, this year's ALA Annual, as it's referred to, was held in Orlando (where I live), so it was just a short drive to the convention center to attend.   

     This is me signing copies of The Monkey Goes Bananas and The Monkey and The Bee at the Abrams booth.  The Monkey Goes Bananas recently won the Kentucky Blue Grass Award as well as the PA Readers Choice Award the best K-3 book of the year!  Both of these awards are run by fantastic state-wide school library systems.

     Besides meeting the people who buy your books though, one of the greatest things about events like the ALA Annual is meeting other professionals in the industry.  I attended the "Scholastic Family Dinner" one night, and met some of the nicest people ever, including a number of my artistic heroes.  The above pic on the left is me with the incomparable David Shannon.  And to the right is my super amazing Editor at Scholastic Press, Nancy Mercado, and my Literary Agent, Dan Lazar.