Monday, August 16, 2010

Making Readers and Eleven years and counting

I've been on vacation for two weeks, first to CA to visit my parents, and then to CO to visit G's family. G has EIGHT nieces and nephews. Four in each family, all between the ages of 11 months and 11 years. They get excited when I give them books, and they asked me to read them three picture books in a row (Shark vs. Train, I Can Be Anything, and Sergio Saves the Game) but as far as I can see and have been told, none of them are "real" readers, in the sense that I'm sure most of us are real readers, as in, genuinely love reading, and read a lot. Sure, most of them like the occasional book--they're all on a WIMPY KID kick right now. But other than that, they don't seem to like to read for pleasure. They'd much rather watch TV, play video games, or play outside. None are readers, that is, except for one. And what's especially thrilling about that one reader is that the last time I saw her, maybe two years ago, she wasn't a reader. But she is now. Hurray!

It gives me hope that one day, a few of the others will become readers, too. They will if I have anything to do with it!


In other news, today is my eleven-year anniversary of starting at Little, Brown. Happy Anniversary to me! If you missed it, here's my look back on my ten-year anniversary, and other "look backs" are here and here.

Some highlights career-wise from the past year:

-Grace won the Newbery Honor for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, on top of numerous other awards, and also hit the NY Times bestseller list for the first time.
-Peter Brown won the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award for The Curious Garden, as well as Illustrator of the Year, and spent 26 or so weeks (I lost count) on the NY Times bestseller list.
-Shark vs. Train was a NY Times bestseller
-I acquired many amazing books, including Libba Bray's The Diviners series, Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Barry Lyga's I Hunt Killers, three books by Grace Lin, Justina Chen's next YA Return to Me, Karen Healey's Summerton, and Matthew Quick's Boy 21, Jerry Spinelli's picture book Mama Seeton's Whistle, plus another YA novel by a debut author that hasn't been announced yet because we don't have a title yet!
-My assistant of over four years was promoted to Associate Editor, and I now have a new Editorial Assistant
-I hired two interns
-I joined Twitter--a year ago yesterday. Happy Twitterversary to me!
-I worked on, edited, and published numerous books that I love and am so proud of.

Will I still be a children's book editor another eleven years from now? Only time will tell.


Dan Santat said...

Big Congrats Alvina! Eleven years ago I was in the beginning stages of changing my career from dentistry to a life in art. So, really, anything can happen in 11 years. You're on a great roll!

Larissa said...

Congrats on your anniversary! :)

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Wow! Happy Anniversaries (LB and Twitter! :) Congrats and here's to 11 more that are just as successful and impressive.