Through an odd and wonderful series of events, I found myself with an invitation to speak at the 2010 International Reading Association's conference in Chicago. More than 12,000 people, most of them reading teachers from throughout the U.S. and elsewhere, attend to get insights into how to do their jobs better and recharge their batteries. The theme, intercultural communciation, meant that Queen Rania of Jordan, the author of a new children's book, joined the conference. Al Gore came too. What an amazing event!
Don Strel and I talked to an audience of about 50--a good crowd--about the way Tony Hillerman used cultural elements as part of his mysteries, and included some examples as quotes from Dad's books, along with Don's beautiful slides. Afterwards, we signed Tony Hillerman's Landscape at the HarperCollins booth in the exhibit area. Every book of ours the Harper folks brought to the show quickly disappeared. Several teachers asked me to sign books for their school libraries or as auction items to raise money for their reading programs. Among the attendees was a charming pedetrician from Chinle, Az. who works with a program that gives books to parents when they bring their kids in for exams.
Where would we be without these wonderful folks who teach our children the pleasure of reading?
Afterwards, Don and I had a chance to see some of beautiful Chicago. The tulips, in full bloom along Michigan Avenue, didn't have to worry about getting eaten by bunnies like our Santa Fe varieites.