Posted on 13 March 2011 Sunday

A few weeks ago, I attended the McConnell Literature Conference in Lexington, KY. The day had a questionable beginning with a heavy snowfall delaying the start of school. I had paid for this conference. I hadn’t been to a conference all year. I didn’t want to cancel! Thank goodness, the snow seemed to extend no further than central IN so I picked up my colleague, Jackie, and we headed south.

The real draw to the conference was the presence of Sharon Draper, Matt de la Pena, and Rafael Lopez. I’d met Draper before but this time was able to have a short follow-up discussion on a program developed by the State Department and the International Reading Association to have students in Ghana, Nigeria and the US read Copper Sun. Draper traveled to Ghana and Nigeria with 20 students from the US. Her photos are here.

I actually met Matt de la Pena while checking in. What a nice guy! During lunch on Saturday, he delivered such an interesting talk that included a reading from We were here. I’m hoping one day he’ll write a book about his dad!

Going into this, I knew the least about Rafael Lopez. I don’t do kids picture books! Nonetheless, I’m glad conferences always make an effort to include illustrators as people like me are able to learn so much from them. From Lopez, I learned more about the nuances of illustrating, the pigeonholing of illustrators of color, the importance of giving back and the joy of creating. I picked up [signed!!!] copies of the Hazezlwood Trilogy in hardback, I will save you and The cazuela that the farm maiden stirred.

Many of the blog feeds I haven’t read in the past few weeks have resulted in massive deletes. Not so with the Feminist Texan. She has so much good stuff there this week, like Alice Walker reading “You Confide in Me” [sofas, romance and revolutionaries] , a review of The Good Daughter [in which the character states I was doh-rageh, a two-veined child. Not “half” or “mixed,” as they say in America and many other countries besides, but double. Two. For Iranians, such legacies are carried in the body, intimate as blood and unopposable as destiny.] and a give-way of Reading Women: How the great books of feminism changed my life.

From Doret: On Sunday March 20th. 44 teen authors will be signing at Books of Wonder . Check the link and if you’re left wanting like me, you can order signed copies from the event to be mailed to you.

Thank you Charlotte’s Library blog for honoring the women of Cote d”Ivoire on International Women’s Day! Thanks for making me aware!

I was glad to White Readers Meet Black Author’s interview with Karen Simpson. Her new book, Act of Grace, hit the stands last month.

I’m reposting from my 2011 booklist March books by authors of color. Later this week, I’m going to list some books from the past year that have fallen under my radar. And I’ll be continue the Marching Womens History series as well.

Illegal by Bettina Restrepo; Katherine Tegen Books, 8 March

The queen of water by Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango; Delacorte,  8 March

Warp Speed by Lisa Yee; Arthur A. Levine, 1 Mar

What can’t wait by Ashley Hope Perez; Carolrhoda Lab, 1 Mar

Truancy Origins by Isamu Fukui; Macmillan, March

Playing for Keeps by Veronica Chambers; Hyperion, 15 March

Satch, Dizzy and Rapid Robert: The wilds saga of interracial baseball before Jackie Robinson by Timothy Gay; Simon and Schuster; March

Hurricane Dancers: The first Caribbean pirate shipwreck by Margarita Engle; Henry and Holt and Company, March 2011

Odd Girl In by Jo Whittemore; Aladdin, 22 March

Getting Played by Celeste Norfleet; Kimani Tru 22 March

Rocket Girls: The last planet by Housuke Nojiri; Simon and Schuster, March

Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon; Greenwillow, March

Karma by Cathy Ostlere; Razorbill, 31 March

Posted in: Sunday Reads