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Book Expo America!

BEA_logo_starburstBook Expo America (BEA) is an annual book trade show that encompasses every genre, every format, and every author (well, so it seems!). It’s fairly inexpensive to get in but the real costs come in the housing in New York City. Nevertheless, there are some amazing authors there and the publishers give away free books and you have the opportunity to get them signed by the authors and illustrators. As always, I make note of who is going to be signing and when and then I set off to see who I can see. Some authors I am interested in seeing (literally, like Scott McGillivray from HGTV) but only from afar. Others I want to see but there are so many authors and so many autographing lines that you just don’t get to everyone. You leave exhausted and laden down with books but happy as a clam. It really is hog heaven for book lovers. There are some authors I just have to see like Jarrett Krosoczka and Jon Scieszka who I’ll go see any time. 🙂

This year I am particularly interested in picking up the new Jack Gantos which happens to be another book in the Joey Pigza series called The Key that Swallowed Joey Pigza. You gotta love that title.

9780374300838_p0_v1_s600 Another is Eugene Yelchin who won the Newbery Honor for Breaking Stalin’s Nose. I just read his new book which I thought was fantastic called Arcady’s Goal. It is set in Russia and the story revolves around an orphan (the State killed his parents) who plays soccer and sees it as a way out of the situation he is in. Really, really good. There are no images available yet online so I am putting his Newbery Honor winner there to remind us of how good his work is.


Jacqueline Woodson is coming out with a memoir called Brown Girl Dreaming – I believe it comes out in August. She’ll be there signing and that’s a must have. I just read it this weekend and it is incredible. It’s told in verse and let me tell you, this verse is exquisite. The memoir follows her from birth to young adulthood and the scope is perfect. You certainly don’t want the book to end but, as I said, the scope imperfect. It’s funny – some things resonated with me and I chuckled as I read them. One was a refrain her mother and grandmother used with her and her siblings when they were warning them to behave. “You know better than that!” If I heard that once, I heard it a thousand times growing up. So our lives had some parallels in some ways but they were so different in many other ways. Growing up black in the South in the 1960s was a world all its own. I am grateful to Jackie for giving us an insight into a world I can only imagine.


Raina Telgemeir has a new graphic novel coming called Sisters and it’s as good as her two previous Smile and Drama. As with those, this comes from her own life and does a great job of showing the ins and outs of having a sister. I really enjoyed it. It comes out in August.


Two authors I love have teamed up on a book together: Lane Smith and Bob Shea. Both have serious funny bones so I can’t wait to see what they have come up with. The picture book is called Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toad. Shea wrote and Smith illustrated. I have yet to see it so I am eager to track the two of them down at BEA. Here’s a bit of art from the book. Way cool!


I will post from the show but, for now, it’s Happy Trails!


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2 thoughts on “Book Expo America!

  1. Did not know about the new Joey Pigza book@ Will definitely take a look. Really want to read Brown Girl Dreaming as well.

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