Thank you, thank you, thank you to Judy Freeman for recommending STAY in her latest What's New in Children's Books. And even more thanks to the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) for naming STAY a Notable Children's Book for 2018. "Notable" is defined by ALSC as "worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding." Wow! We'll take that in a heartbeat. Thanks, friends!
I woke up today to a story on BBC Radio about how more than half the jobs we know today will be done by robots in less than 30 years. So what's left? What should the next generation of adults be learning now so they'll be able to land jobs and find meaning and contribute to the world? Experts agree. Young people need to learn how to do all things robots can't do, which means they need to harness their powers of creativity, collaboration, and compassion--which, weirdly enough--were exactly the things we focused on yesterday and today at the Literacy and Beyond confab at the University of Western Georgia .
Speaking of creativity, collaboration, and compassion, look at my new pal Ellie above. She could be the poster girl for all three.
Thanks UWG and Cherokee Writing Project for inviting me to keynote the conference and lead a few workshops. Wouldn't have missed a chance to meet all y'all (see, I can speak Southern) for the world.
Writing a book is all about creating a series of fortunate and unfortunate events. Because isn't that what life is all about? For example, I was so fortunate that my cousin Moira came to visit me in Boulder last weekend. Unfortunately, Moira took a bad spill while we were hiking. Fortunately, these great guys were right behind us. Look at the cool splint they made for her out of sticks and belts! They even lent her a coat to keep the splint snug. Unfortunately, docs at the local hospital said Moira's wrist was badly broken. Fortunately, they had an operating room available. A terrific surgeon and anesthesiologist came in on their day off and got to work. Unfortunately, Moira was in a lot of pain after the surgery and will be for a few more days. Fortunately, she's not mad at me, even though I'm the one who had the brilliant idea to go hiking on an icy day!
I love looking at all these Eli-y dogs. (Thanks to my pals in Texas for drawing the first four--and to the fluffy pooch who let me snap his/her photo.) Someone asked me recently why I chose the name Eli for the dog in STAY. As always, it comes down to a song I love. Check it out. (But then you have to check out this one, too.)
Here's a twenty-one-balloon salute for my sister Sarah on this, her just slightly more than twenty-first birthday!
Did you know The 21 Balloons by William Pene Du Bois was her favorite book when she was younger?
If you to give Sarah a birthday gift, why not read her favorite book today? I bet your local library has a copy.
I love the young readers in McAllen, Texas, and especially these girls at Perez Elementary who came to school dressed as Olive and Shadow!
What if instead of sending drones, the US State Department sent a planeload of children's book authors like me to developing countries and/or rural American counties? We could help local entrepreneurs learn how to tell their business ideas clearly and simply, like a children's book. A week or two later, a planeload of American investors would arrive to hear these startup stories. Maybe they'd invest. Maybe they wouldn't. But after spending time with more than 200 entrepreneurs in Phnom Penh on Friday night (yes, Friday night!), I know who I'm betting on.
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