As a self-described nonreader, Matt de la Peña could never have imagined as a kid that books would play an important role in his life. But key encounters with libraries and, more importantly, librarians, who actively sought to engage him, helped open a new world to de la Peña. The author of novels for young adults, including Ball Don’t Lie, Mexican Whiteboy (both Delacorte) and the upcoming Infinity Ring Book 4: Curse of the Ancients (Scholastic), de la Peña recounted his “path to books” in the closing keynote of SLJ‘s Public Library Leadership Think Tank, held April 5 at the New York Public Library.
In a presentation (audio below) that was alternately funny and moving, de la Peña clued in the audience of mostly public librarians and library administrators on, among other things, how to suck back a tear. But to no avail for some: