Chapter 7, On being Jack Gantos’ Handler…

Ok look, lets face it: perks of being a librarian are typically getting pre-published books for review, getting new shipments of books, and …. the smell of new books and old books. Once a year, maybe you get to travel for a conference, depending on budget.

Today, was a big perk –


“So I have to ask. … did you really land in that pool!?!” (In The Trouble in Me).
“Yes, I really did!”
“I don’t have any books for you to sign… but I do want one thing. … Can we take a selfie?!”
“Of course!”
3 pictures later…
“OK, this one is Facebook worthy.”

I tried not to fangirl, didn’t bring any books for him to sign in the car (he’ll be keynoting and signing tomorrow at our Children’s Literature Conference), but I couldn’t help but gush about Hole in My Life, and The Trouble in Me, and the dysfunctional family relationship in Joey Pigza… And he took it all in stride– answered my questions, and even tried to give me directions when we got turned around (funny, since he hasn’t been back to Ft Lauderdale since the 80s).

From talking about his unfortunate flight delay to how it became a bit of good fortune (his grumpy neighbor missed the boarding call), to talking about his daughter and her soon-to-be due research paper, to talking about librarianship and teaching — Jack Gantos is by far the coolest guy ever.

All in all, not a bad perk of the job.

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