Michele Obama spoke at the ALA conference in New Orleans on Friday evening, discussing her upcoming memoir BECOMING, to be released on November 13. Obama mostly avoided politics, except to say, “In this country we’ve gotten to a point where we kind of think there are only a handful of legitimate stories that make you a true American.” Otherwise she spoke about her early summer job at a book bindery, anecdotes from her life as first lady, and her love of reading.
Also at ALA, the Association for Library Service to Children voted unanimously to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name from a prize they award to an author who has made substantial and lasting contributions to children’s literature. They said, “This decision was made in consideration of the fact that Wilder’s legacy, as represented by her body of work, includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC’s core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness.” The award, this year given to Jacqueline Woodson, will now be called the Children’s Literature Legacy Award. The ALSC board decided to review Wilder’s association to the award in February, citing “anti-Native and anti-Black sentiments in her work.”
Barnes & Noble is adding a graphic novel sections for readers ages 7-12. The section will feature 250 titles across fiction, fantasy and adventure, history, and science genres.
Donald Hall, 89, former US poet laureate, died at his home in Wilmot, New Hampshire on June 23. Hall published more than 50 books, and won the National Book Critics Circle prize, membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a National Medal of Arts.
And in personnel news, Albert Tang will join Grand Central as creative director on July 2, overseeing the imprint’s art team. Previously he was art director at Atria.