It's a big weekend in Montreal -- not only is my sister getting married this afternoon (which means my daughter is in town from New York. YIPPEE!), but there's a CLA (Canadian Library Association) conference happening, too. And if there's one thing we writers love, it's LIBRARIANS!!
I got to spend an hour at the conference yesterday, signing books and meeting interesting people. I don't know about you, but I'm the sort of person who gets energized from meeting new people.
In today's picture, you can see two of the people I met. The woman who is sitting down is Donna Rea. She works for S&B Books, a major Canadian wholesaler of books, and she knows a lot about the Canadian children's book industry. The woman who is standing is Judith Saltman, a professor in the library school at the University of British Columbia. I was quite excited to meet Judith since I have heard about her research into, for example, Jewish Canadian books for children. She told me she has a copy of my book What World Is Left on her office desk and she is planning to read it soon! I asked Judith why she thinks kids books are so important and this is what she told me: "I find children's books absolutely thrilling. They help children grow into fuller human beings." Nicely put, don't you think?
But those aren't all the people I met! When I arrived, two local authors, Saleema Nawaz and Katia Grubisic were signing their books. (I'd have posted their pic, but Saleema's eyes were closed in the photo I took.) I also met Marcia Aronson, a specialist in adult literacy at the Ottawa Public Library. Marcia, too, has a special interest in YA books because they often make good reading material for her adult learners. I got a special kick out of meeting Vancouver author Guy Robertson, who was there to sign his book, Conversations for a Hungry Mind. It turns out that like me, Guy is a fan of Lewis Carroll. In fact, he was on his way to London, England to do research into the white rabbit!
Special thanks to my new friend Brenda Smith, a former librarian now teaching English Language Arts at a school in Kanehsatake, here in Quebec. Brenda is the person who rounded up a group of local authors to participate at the CLA event. Brenda and I had time to chat about books. She told me, "If I can't read every day, I go frantic!" And indeed, I caught her in the act -- reading! When Brenda had a short break, she cracked open Joanne Harris's The Lollipop Shoes, the sequel to the bestselling Chocolat.
Hope you're having a good weekend, too, perhaps meeting new people or cracking open a good book!
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Hello Miss Polak! Hope you are enjoying your summer so far! I just read your personal essay in the Globe and Mail and I was really happy to see that one of my teacher wrote something about a class I attended! Thank you for the wonderful things you taught us in the Stuff of Nonsense class! I am grateful that I took this class! And as you wrote in the essay : "I've taught these young people everything I know. I've tried to be the kind of teacher I needed when I was their age. It's time for them now to move on. Isn't that what real teaching is about? ", I think that teaching is about exactly what you taught us, how to pursue our life. All your advices were useful and I really enjoyed learning all the stuff you told us in class. Thank you for the help you provided for each piece of work we had to hand in. Thank you for everything!!!
And I don't think that anyone would put a video of the last class on youtube because I think that each student in this class enjoyed your class and your teaching.
p.s. my mom is almost done smoking since we're leaving for Russia in a week
Thank you again!
Hi Elene, Thanks for posting that comment on the blog. Hey, that is amazing news about your mom. I hope your dad will quit smoking next! Have a great trip. I look forward to hearing all about it. Best from me