Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Book Expo 2019 - Day 2 (Thursday)

Kathy (aka Bermudaonion) and I were anxious to spend a little more time at the Javits on Thursday, and we had an amazing schedule of events. We got up relatively early, but it was still sleeping in compared to my home schedule! Truth be told, neither one of us slept that well anyway and we had been up on and off for hours.

We gave ourselves plenty of time to get breakfast on our way to the Javits Center. If you know one thing about Kathy and me, then you know that we walk...a lot. I think we averaged close to 30,000 steps each day! Anyway... we stopped at a new bagel shop that was fantastic -- so good that I wanted to go back on Friday.

We arrived at Javits as Book Expo opened (great timing I might add!), and we took a quick walk around the show floor and grabbed a few galleys. However, the real reason we came first thing in the morning was to attend the DC Comics breakfast. This event was such a treat because they presented their new graphic novel imprints for middle grade and young adult readers; and let me tell you, these books are something special! It was a pretty intimate event with a small audience and panels of middle grade and then young adult authors/illustrators. I had an amazing time!

When I received the invitation for this event, I couldn't help but notice that the new books looked fantastic, but also that there were some pretty big names associated with the books. (Check out the image below!) What I didn't realize is that all of the people mentioned in the invitation were there! I almost died when Meg Cabot (one of Booking Daughter's favorite authors) sat down for the first panel with Michael Northrop. They spoke about their creative processes for writing these books since they are a little different than what they've done in the past, and Mr. Northrop managed to make me shed a tear when he talked about how much graphic novels and comics meant to him as a child. He was truly inspirational and gave me a lot to think about!
The second panel was Marko Tamaki, Danielle Page, Kami Garcia and Isaac Goodhart. They were equally informative, funny, and so entertaining. Once again, I was extremely interested in how they worked with their illustrators to bring these stories and characters to life, and how they researched the history of their characters. I can't wait to dig into a few of the books, especially the ones with strong female characters, and share my thoughts with you. Here are two that caught my eye:

BLACK CANARY: IGNITE by Meg Cabot and illustrated by Cara McGee -- I want to read this one because it's, well, Meg Cabot!

Summary: From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Princess Diariescomes Black Canary: Ignite, Meg Cabot's first graphic novel! With expressive and energetic art by Cara McGee to match the trademark attitude and spunk of Meg Cabot's characters and dialogue, this mother-daughter story embraces the highs and lows of growing up without growing out of what makes us unique.

Thirteen-year-old Dinah Lance knows exactly what she wants, who she is, and where she's going. First, she'll win the battle of the bands with her two best friends, then she'll join the Gotham City Junior Police Academy so she can solve crimes just like her dad. Who knows, her rock star group of friends may even save the world, but first they'll need to agree on a band name.

When a mysterious figure keeps getting in the way of Dinah's goals and threatens her friends and family, she'll learn more about herself, her mother's secret past, and navigating the various power chords of life.

Black Canary: Ignite is an inspirational song that encourages readers to find their own special voices to sing along with Black Canary!

HARLEY QUINN: BREAKING GLASS by Mariko Tamaki and illustred by Steve Pugh -- I found this author to be intriguing and everyone made her sound like a graphic novel rock star!

Summary: Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass is a coming-of-age story about choices, consequences, justice, fairness, and progress and how a weird kid from Gotham's poorest part of town goes about defining her world for herself. From Eisner Award and Caldecott Honor-winning author Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer, Supergirl: Being Super).

Harleen is a tough, outspoken, rebellious kid who lives in a ramshackle apartment above a karaoke cabaret owned by a drag queen named MAMA. Ever since Harleen's parents split, MAMA has been her only family. When the cabaret becomes the next victim in the wave of gentrification that's taking over the neighborhood, Harleen gets mad.

When Harleen decides to turn her anger into action, she is faced with two choices: join Ivy, who's campaigning to make the neighborhood a better place to live, or join The Joker, who plans to take down Gotham one corporation at a time.

Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass is at once a tale of the classic Harley readers know and love, and a heartfelt story about the choices teenagers make and how they can define--or destroy--their lives. 

These are just two of what looks like an amazing set of new graphic novels. I think kids, and even reluctant readers, are going to love these new books! Did I mention that DC Comics provided us with tote bags filled with signed books from the new imprints -- DC Zoom and DC Ink. This DC Comics breakfast was definitely one of the highlights of 2019 Book Expo!

And then it was back to the show room floor for Kathy and me. Book Expo, Day 2, definitely had a more exciting vibe that Day 1; however, it still seemed a little different and less crowded this year. There were definitely less galleys available than in the past; and if you wanted books, you had to wait in lines for autographs or galley drops. Having said that, there were still some great books that I managed to gather including:

SUNNY ROLLS THE DICE by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm

Summary: Too cool for school . . . or the least groovy girl in the grade?

Sunny's just made it to middle school . . . and it's making her life very confusing. All her best friend Deb wants to talk about is fashion, boys, makeup, boys, and being cool. Sunny's not against any of these things, but she also doesn't understand why suddenly everything revolves around them. She's much more comfortable when she's in her basement, playing Dungeons & Dragons with a bunch of new friends. Because when you're swordfighting and spider-slaying, it's hard to worry about whether you look cool or not. Especially when it's your turn to roll the 20-sided die.

Trying hard to be cool can make you feel really uncool . . . and it's much more fun to just have fun. Sunny's going to find her groove and her own kind of groovy, with plenty of laughs along the way.

HOPE PROJECT MIDDLE SCHOOL by Alyssa Milano with Debbie Rigaud

Summary: Meet Hope Roberts. She's 11 years old, and she wants to be an astrophysicist. She loves swimming, Galaxy Girl comic books, and her two rescue dogs.

Hope believes it's always a good day to champion a cause, defend an underdog, and save the future. And most of all, she believes in dreaming big. That's why she's enrolled in all of the advanced classes at her new middle school. She's smart and confident in her abilities. But though Hope seems super strong on the outside, there's another side of her, too. She's just a regular girl trying to survive middle school.

This first book starts with the beginning of sixth grade, and Hope's BFF Sam made some new friends over the summer. Hope doesn't know how to handle it. She and Sam have always been inseparable! Then Hope meets her new lab partner, Camila, and they get off on the wrong foot. And even though Camila is great at science, she doesn't want to join the science club. The club is all boys, and she doesn't feel welcome.

When Hope hears that, she's determined to recruit more girls into the science club, including Camila. Hope knows that sometimes changing the world starts small. So now Hope has a mission! Can she turn the science club into a place that's welcoming for everyone and make some new friends along the way?

Hope's relatability, kindness, empathy, and can-do attitude will inspire a generation of do-gooders. This new series is a response to the very palpable feeling that not only can young people save the world — they will!


Summary: Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond, from the author of Me Before You and The Peacock Emporium

Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky.

What happens to them–and to the men they love–becomes a classic drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. Though they face all kinds of dangers, they’re committed to their job–bringing books to people who have never had any, sharing the gift of learning that will change their lives.

Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope. At times funny, at others heartbreaking, this is a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.


Summary: Kevin Wilson’s best book yet—a moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with remarkable and disturbing abilities

Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. But then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal and they’ve barely spoken since. Until now, when Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help.

Madison’s twin stepkids are moving in with her family and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, there’s a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. Lillian is convinced Madison is pulling her leg, but it’s the truth.

Thinking of her dead-end life at home, the life that has consistently disappointed her, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose. Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other—and stay cool—while also staying out of the way of Madison’s buttoned-up politician husband. Surprised by her own ingenuity yet unused to the intense feelings of protectiveness she feels for them, Lillian ultimately begins to accept that she needs these strange children as much as they need her—urgently and fiercely. Couldn’t this be the start of the amazing life she’d always hoped for?

With white-hot wit and a big, tender heart, Kevin Wilson has written his best book yet—a most unusual story of parental love.

Kathy and I decided that we wanted to get away from the craziness for a little bit. All day at Book Expo is exhausting! So we walked over to the Haymaker for a quick bite to eat and an adult beverage. Kathy is a walking encyclopedia of beer, so I let her pick one for me. It was a nice break but we wanted to get back to see some more books and authors!

Fortunately, we had early evening plans thanks to John Karle, the Associate Director of Publicity at St. Martin's Press. Kathy and I and a few other bloggers were invited to spend an hour at an escape room with the author of THE ESCAPE ROOM, Megan Goldin
We went to Mission Escape Room and I admit it wasn't what I was expecting. We took an old elevator in an old building up to the floor, and the light on the elevator was burned out. I wasn't exactly comfortable with this because of the premise of the book. But it was just an old elevator and my overactive imagination! 

We met some fellow bloggers, which is always fun. And then we learned about our mission (and the rules!) Our mission was called "Escape the Hydeout" -- you can read more about it here. I had a fantastic time and I am proud to say that not only did we finish, but we had over 8 minutes to spare (and one clue left)! I'm not sure what that tells you about a group of book bloggers, but I was seriously impressed with our detective skills!
After we were finished, a few of us (including John and Megan) headed over to District Social for some snacks and drinks. It was pouring down rain so good thing it was close. It was a great bar, one I'd definitely go back to; and I was fortunate enough to sit next to the author! Just by chance, I had already read this book during my vacation to Orlando back in January, so I had a few questions about the book and her writing style. Megan was lovely and I can't wait for the book to be released on July 30th! I haven't reviewed the book yet, but I will say that it's a good one... if a bit terrifying. I can't imagine being stuck on an elevator for hours with my co-workers "playing" as if our lives were at stake!

Summary: Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive. 

In the lucrative world of finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are at the top of their game. They’ve mastered the art of the deal and celebrate their success in style—but a life of extreme luxury always comes at a cost. 

Invited to participate in an escape room as a team-building exercise, the ferociously competitive co-workers crowd into the elevator of a high rise building, eager to prove themselves. But when the lights go off and the doors stay shut, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary competition: they’re caught in a dangerous game of survival. 

Trapped in the dark, the colleagues must put aside their bitter rivalries and work together to solve cryptic clues to break free. But as the game begins to reveal the team’s darkest secrets, they realize there’s a price to be paid for the terrible deeds they committed in their ruthless climb up the corporate ladder. As tempers fray, and the clues turn deadly, they must solve one final chilling puzzle: which one of them will kill in order to survive?

As if we didn't have enough fun for one day, we still had one more party to attend. Thankfully it was very close because it was still pouring down rain! (I probably don't need to tell you that I looked like a drowned rat for much of this trip!) I was Kathy's plus one for the Kensington 45th birthday celebration. We went to the 40th party a few years back, and we both remembered it as one of the best BEA parties we had been to. This year's took place at the Canopy Room at Versa. The venue was amazing, but we couldn't fully appreciate it because of the weather.
It was once again a party to remember! There was some delicious food and even a special Kensington blue drink. We managed to mingle with a couple of authors and some publicists, and I have to say that Kensington has some great books coming out this fall!

So that's a wrap for Day 2! I probably don't even need to mention that Kathy and I both were pretty tired and had absolutely no issues sleeping that night!


bermudaonion said...

It was such a fun day! I'm ready to do it again!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

Sounds fun! I've really enjoyed the Kensington books I've read in the last few years!

Stacie said...

The Giver of Stars sounds so good!