Thank you Chicago, ALA, and The American Writers Museum!


Chicago was anything but the windy city this weekend. It was warm and welcoming as it greeted thousands of librarians, publishers, editors, writers, illustrators, and literary aficionados for ALA’s 2017 Annual Conference and Exhibition.

It’s hard not to feel like a kid in a candy store when attending ALA. And like a well-prepared kid ready to take home a treasure trove of loot, I came prepared with my empty bags. In my years of attending ALA, I have also learned that the extremely patient Fed Ex worker, who is silently laughing at my creatively wrapped packages, has become my new best friend. (At this time, I would like to shout out a very big thank you to my Grandpa Harry for teaching me how to defy the laws of physics with masking tape.)

Here are a few photographic highlights from #alaac17:


Creston Books


Detectives Wilcox & Griswold, me, and Marissa Moss


Nancy Churnin


Marcia Goldman and Princess Lola


Laurie Wallmark and Sue Conolly


Marissa Moss and Kathryn Otoshi


Carol Weston


Monica Edinger and Donalyn Miller


Tracey Baptiste


Me and Emma Otheguy


The AWESOME Mr. Schu!


Laurie Wallmark, Mr. Schu, and me



Panel discussion, “Women Aren’t Funny (And Other Essential Untruths for Middle Grade Readers) with Sharyn November, Erica Perl, Betsy Bird, Cece Bell, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Andrea Beaty

During this literary palooza of a weekend, I also had the privilege of being invited to do a reading at the The American Writers Museum. With the mission of “celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture, and our daily lives[,]”[1] The American Writers Museum opened its doors on May 15, 2017.


While walking around and gazing at the words and portraits of many of my writing superheroes, it was impossible not to reflect upon the impact each of these authors have had on all of us—how they’ve stirred our imagination; comforted us in times of grief; given us a serious case of the giggles; and put us to bed night after night.




As a writer, I also couldn’t help but think about the number of rewrites each of these authors had to do. How many authors were on the brink of giving up when they finally got their lucky break? What’s the tally on the number of rejections vs. successes?


Untitled Mural by Paul O. Zelinsky

Next time you’re in Chicago be sure to stop by this inspiring magical place. I promise. You won’t be disappointed.

[1] Source:


Bank Street Book Store’s Grand Opening



It was a day of celebration for the Upper West Side, as Bank Street Book Store cut the red ribbon and opened its doors at its new location on 107th Street and Broadway. Children, parents, authors, illustrators, politicians, and friends of Bank Street from near and far came out in droves to show their love and support for the bookstore.

I am thrilled beyond words to have been a part of this great day.

Here are some highlights (contributing photography and videography by Zoe Newman Sachs, Donna Marie and Eric Pearl).


 (Left to right) Council Member Mark Levine, Borough President Gale Brewer, Bank Street President Shael Polakow-Suransky


 A dream come true to see my book at Bank Street Book Store



Jerry Pinkney 


Rebecca Stead and me 


Deborah Heiligman and Andrew Laties


Betsy Bird 


Robie Harris and Amy Hest


 Shael Polakow-Suransky and Cynthia Weill


Todd Tarpley


Vin Vogel and me 


Sandra Jordan 


Donna Marie 


Peter Lerangis 


Me and Chris Grabenstein 

My niece, Zoe, is a HUGE fan of Chris Grabenstein. She couldn’t make it in time for his reading so he was kind enough to make this video for her.


Jill Davis and James Grimaldi 


Jill Davis and her adoring, super adorable fans


Me and Jill Davis 


Nina and Leslie Zampetti


Mawrters in the House!

Annina Luck Wildermuth (Bryn Mawr ’84) and me (Bryn Mawr ’89) 


Francoise Newman, Vanessa Rule (Bryn Mawr ’91), Hilary Newman (Bryn Mawr ’89) and Zoe Newman Sachs (Bryn Mawr Year T/B/D) 



Rory Deutsch, Judith Meehan, and me

If you love Bank Street as much as I do, please show your support for the bookstore. Become a frequent customer, encourage friends, neighbors and family to become frequent customers, and become a friend of Bank Street Book Store. To learn more about how you can become a friend of Bank Street, please contact the store.


Three cheers for Bank Street Book Store! Congratulations and thanks so much for a wonderful day!!!

Mark Your Calendars for Bank Street Book Store’s Grand Opening


On March 7, 2015, Bank Street Book Store is having their Grand Opening at their new location at 2780 Broadway (corner of 107th Street and Broadway).

The ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:00 am will be followed by an all day Story Time Festival featuring over twenty children’s book authors. Please come by to check out the new space, schmooze and enjoy refreshments.

Guest Authors:

Peter Ackerman

Meg Akabas

Betsy Bird

Jill Davis

Alix Delinois

Monica Edinger

Tim Federle

Isabel Gillies

Chris Grabenstein

Robie Harris

Deborah Heiligman

Amy Hest

Nina Jaffe

Sandra Jordan

Susan Kuklin

Patricia Lakin

Peter Lerangis

Carolyn Mackler

Robin Newman – Reading at 4:00 pm!!!

Jerry Pinkney

Doreen Rappaport

Chris Raschka

Jill Santopolo

Eliot Schrefer

Rebecca Stead

Rachel Vail

Cynthia Weill

Carol Weston

I will be reading The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, A Wilcox & Griswold Mystery, illustrated by Deborah Zemke (Creston Books, Spring 2015), at 4:00 pm. Hope to see you there!