The Society of children’s Book Writers and Illustrators holds an annual winter meeting in New York City. For the first time, I’ll be attending, Feb. 28-29. The list of presenters makes the word “awesome” really apply. There are such exquisite writers as Chris Crutcher and Katherine Erskine, along with fine editors such as Cheryl Klein and Wendy Loggia and many agents and art directors, too. My husband and I travel to Philadelphia first to babysit our not-so-little, but authentically awesome Raya, then head for our hotel Friday night. Raya does compete well with Chris Crutcher etc. for holding my interest.
But I want to recommend Crutcher’s 2007 Y.A. novel, Deadline. If I ever write a book as good, I’ll die happy. It’s a book that looks at some of the worst flaws human beings can have, some of the worst and saddest situations for young people to experience, and encourages us all to believe that we can still live fully and meaningfully with our hands holding tight to truth and humor and love.