Monday’s festivities start out with an opening session from the American Booksellers Association—or ABA, ok there I go again—based on the campaign called “Why Indies Matter.” This video campaign on the IndieBound website features authors, booksellers, and customers giving short testimonials on independent bookstores and why we love them. At the BEA event, Richard Russo will be speaking about the current and future role of indie bookstores, and what’s also cool is that on Tuesday, ABA will be capturing other responses to the question of why indies matter from this year’s honorees.
The adult book and author breakfast on Tuesday morning will have appearances by Stephen Colbert and Junot Diaz, and later in the day is an interesting panel on the “Ongoing evolution of YA fiction.” So for everyone who’s dying to know the deal with Hunger Games-type trilogies and their wild popularity, all your questions will be answered.
Wednesday is dedicated to children’s publishing, so naturally it has the most events we are excited about. The author breakfast will include John Green, Lois Lowry, and Kadir Nelson. There are a ton of great panels, but this would also be a great time to stroll through the exhibitor booths and score some galleys of upcoming children’s and YA titles. The best to try to get your hands on? We vote for The Diviners by Libba Bray, The Peculiar by Stefan Bachman, and The Templeton Twins Have an Idea written by Ellis Weiner and illustrated by Jeremy Holmes.
At 6pm on Wednesday night, there’s an auction with original artwork from many of our favorite children’s books to benefit the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. It’s usually a silent affair, but this year there will be some live bidding. And our paddles would certainly go up for some of the illustrations being auctioned off. Here's a preview of what's available. The ones most likely to empty our wallets are Melissa Sweet's zebra watercolor from Won't You Be My Hugaroo?, Judy Schachner's Skippyjon Jones acrylic painting, Sophie Blackall’s ink drawing from Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, Caldecott-winner Chris Raschka’s study of Daisy from his book A Ball for Daisy, and Rosemary Wells’ 5 double-page spreads from her forthcoming Max and Ruby book. On second thought, it might be a good thing that we’re not attending this. We might not be able to afford our airfare home afterward….
Thursday is the end of BEA, and so it's likely that everyone will be a little sad that all the festivities are over. At least that might be the reason that Jimmy Fallon is making an appearance at the author breakfast that morning. Ok, it might also be because he is a New York Times best-selling author with a new book just published last week, but he’s also going to make sure that the last day begins on a happy note.
Yes, if we could, we would love to be at BEA this year and partake in all the events going on, but since we can’t, we’ll just watch the live stream online and pretend we are.