Monday, November 13, 2017

Another Star for CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR?

pic taken just minutes after
our meeting
Yes, another starred review! But first, let me give you some sky...

Wow, what to say about AASL? Charles and I had a great time introducing CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? to readers in Phoenix. The whole weekend was a dream! Not only did we finally get to meet each other (!), we were so touched by the enthusiasm and heartfelt response from our first readers!

So many had stories to share with us from their own lives or from their experiences with students struggling to understand differences. So many expressed the need and desire for books that can help us make the world a better place. I am filled with hope and gratitude and honored to be a part of it.

Also, Charles and I learned at least five more things we have in common, including both being named after our great-grandparents and both working at Disney and both attending the same church as children and and and... Forever Friends, I tell you. FOREVER.

Icy Smith, Ellen Oh, Charles Waters, Irene Latham
Bill Konigsberg, Carole Boston Weatherford
And how inspiring was the Mirror, Mirror: Reading All Readers panel?! Carole Boston Weatherford was the perfect facilitator, blessing us with her words and ideas, and I loved getting to know authors Bill Konigsberg, Icy Smith and that dynamo Ellen Oh! I wrote so many notes during the panel... about the courage it takes to share books like these, how it's complicated and important and it's our job to tell the truth. AND to write the stories that call to us. To proceed carefully and thoughtfully. Do the research. Listen.

Another highlight was hanging out with librarians and some of the great folks at Lerner! Kathleen and Lois and Brad and Andy and Adam... awesome, each one. I have never been more #proudtobeaLerner.

My most favorite moment of the conference is something I can't put into words, but I will share a picture of the two fabulous people involved.
Tracy and Charles
Grace, miracles, love... that's what it's all about.

Finally, it's always a joy to meet in person a Poetry Friday friend! Here we are with Linda Mitchell. So glad you spotted us, Linda! Now go write more amazing poems.

Oh, and the whipped cream on the milkshake? We got a note from Lee Bennett Hopkins informing us that along with KirkusPublisher's Weekly gave CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? a starred review! (Lee always knows before anyone else... how does he do it?!) Here is a snippet:

 the poems delicately demonstrate the complexity of identity and the power of communication to build friendships. 

Thank you thank you thank you! And now... on to NCTE! See you in St. Louis. xo


  1. I loved seeing the pictures from your adventure with Charles, and at the conference. Have fun at NCTE and congratulations for the wonderful reviews. Can't wait to read your and Charles' book, Irene!

  2. Yes, yes, YES to this blog post and to all the learning, sharing and great times had at AASL. Great photos as well! Tracy will always have an imprint on my heart. What a strong, special human. See you at NCTE!


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