Things That Start With The Letter A

First off, a big wahoo to the award winners in yesterday's announcement by the American Library Association.  For those who don't know, the ALA choose the Newbery Award winners as well as the Printz Award winners (like a Newbery--but for young adult books) and a bunch of other award winners. I am delighted that Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me got the Newbery.  I mean, the award came to the surprise of no one (the book is THAT GOOD), but as we all know, upsets happen.  In addition to my delight because the book I wanted to win actually won, there is the tingle I get from remembering that Rebecca Stead and I are actually BFFs.

And by BFFs I mean that when I was in Philadelphia a month or so ago for the NCTE conference I ran into my friend Sara Z., who was signing books next to an attractive woman she didn't need to introduce but did, and it was REBECCA STEAD!  And I said some dumb things I don't remember, but she was very cool about it, and I thought, "I could totally be BFFs  with this woman."   And then, we had lunch with a bunch of other people, and I again thought, "Seriously, we'd be great BFFs."

So yeah, that's how we're BFFs.

Also, Kekla Magoon won the Coretta Scott King/ John Steptoe New Talent Award for her outstanding The Rock and the River.  Kekla and I are also BFFs in the sense that she wouldn't know me if she passed me on the street.  But I had the honor of being in her workshop group my first semester at Vermont College, and her work was my favorite.  And of course, I was so confident in my excellent taste that I knew she was Going Somewhere.   Yea!

In other A-related news, my little brother Andy is leaving on an LDS mission tomorrow.

Of all my brothers and sisters, I've always felt that Andy and I were the most alike.  We share a tenancy toward insomnia, deep thoughts, and general nuttiness.  When I was in high school, Andy and I would write each other notes (he was in grade school at the time):

Thanks for a great childhood, A.L.  I know the next two years are going to change everything.  In a good way.