ALA Midwinter Book Haul

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the ALA Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia. This was my last required conference as chair of the 2020 Notable Children’s Recordings Committee. I spent most of the conference in long meetings, but during my few hours of free time I wandered the exhibit floor.

I love books–they are what started me down the library path, even if my love of helping people kept me there. I wander the exhibit floor with committee members who talk about how they are over the free books, and my brain isn’t able to process that (even if my back understands preferring a lighter suitcase). The books ultimately go to our patrons, but I want to read them too (and first darn it because my back is the one that lugged them home). I am also the person who has approximately 150 holds at any given moment–because I am genuinely excited to read the books and to be able to regularly recommend new, exciting, awesome books to my patrons. I read about 600 books a year–and maybe a fifth of those come from conferences.

I am thrilled to share the load I brought back with all of you! All titles are linked below the pictures, roughly sorted by age.

Picture Books

I tend to not pick up that many picture books as the ARCs are typically quite flimsy, making it hard to give them to patrons. Everything I picked up this round were already released titles (plus the Golden Girls book).


There typically aren’t too many non-fiction titles at conferences, but I was surprised that I only picked up two.

Beginning Readers & First Chapter

These lean much more “first chapter” age than “beginning reader” age. I’m particularly excited for Pizza and Taco and Fox & Rabbit.

Kids Graphic Novels

My favorite finds! I was hoping for an ARC of When Stars Are Scattered, but I am also quite excited for Doodleville (by the same author as Cardboard Kingdom) and Primer.

Kids Chapter Books – Upcoming Releases

Lots of middle grade at this conference! Especially pumped for the Twinchantment sequel, Something to Say, and Fly on the Wall.

Kids Chapter Books – Already Released

I love the last conference day, when the publishers pack up the exhibit floor, and attendees get a chance to get their hands on some fantastic brand new hardbacks of amazing upcoming and recent releases. I scored my personal copy of New Kid that way at Midwinter 2019.

Middle School Titles

Those books are listed as “10+” inside the cover and are bordering between elementary school and middle school readers.

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