Or, well, SONIA!!!! But she’s always going to be Maria to me.
So this weekend is the annual American Library Association conference. 20,000 librarians from all over the country coming together for panels and lots and lots of free books, pens and tote bags. There are usually amazing authors doing panels (I saw Elizabeth Wein, whose books I just reviewed last week here, twice!) and doing author signings. The big ones can mean hours of waiting in line (we’re not even going to talk about the entire morning people spent in line waiting for their 15 seconds with Neil Gaiman at the last one), so I usually don’t see any big name people. There’s a handful of authors I love here this weekend – some I’ve already met, so I won’t do it again, others had longer lines than I anticipated. But the one I really wanted to try to meet was Sonia Manzano, who has played Maria on Sesame Street since before I was even born. She wrote a wonderful middle grade novel set in a 1969 Puerto Rican neighborhood of New York City that came out this year. And I did!
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She was absolutely lovely, very friendly and kind.
This is me telling her how I loved the book so much, I made sure it went on our recommended reads list for the summer and upcoming school year, and that the whole district knew to read her book. She was pleased.
So there you have it. MARIA.