Nation’s top authors to speak at UGA’s 38th annual children’s literature conference

Nation’s top authors to speak at UGA’s 38th annual children’s literature conference

Athens, Ga. – Some of the nation’s top authors and illustrators of children’s books will speak during the 38th Annual Conference on Children’s Literature on April 20-21 at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel in Athens.

The popular conference is a celebration of children’s literature and the culmination of the Georgia Book Award programs that involve thousands of Georgia children in reading.

Winners of the Georgia Children’s Book Award and the Georgia Children’s Picture Storybook Award are invited each year to the conference to speak and accept their awards. This year’s conference features Marion Dane Bauer, winner of the 2006 Georgia Children’s Book Award for Runt, and author of On My Honor, a Newbery Honor Book; Keiko Kasza, winner of the 2006 Georgia Picture Storybook Award for My Lucky Day; Patricia Polacco, author of Pink and Say, Chicken Sunday, and Rotten Richie and the Ultimate Dare; Chris Soentpiet, award-winning illustrator of Coolies, and Saturdays and Teacakes; and Jane Yolen, award-winning author of The Devil’s Arithmetic, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? and the Caldecott Medal-winning picture book Owl Moon.

The conference, sponsored by the UGA College of Education’s department of language and literacy education, is attended by hundreds of K-8 grade teachers and library media specialists, as well as many public librarians throughout Georgia.

A longtime fixture on the April calendars of children’s literature aficionados in the state and region, the conference unfortunately coincides this year with the date of critical, standardized testing in most of Georgia’s counties. Since counties require that all school personnel be in school to assist with the administration of the tests, we are finding it difficult to anticipate how many will attend the conference.

Organizers ask those who plan to attend the conference to register as soon as possible to ensure ample time to plan for the best conference experience for all.

Those unable to participate in Friday’s activities are asked to consider attending Saturday’s sessions that include Polacco and Kasza, as well as a luncheon featuring storyteller Pat Shields.

The Georgia Children’s Book Award was established in 1968 by Sheldon Root, a professor in UGA’s department of language education. The purpose of the award is to foster a love of reading in the children of Georgia, and to introduce them to a collection of books worthy of receiving an award for literary excellence.

In addition to the author sessions, the storyteller luncheon and the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl State Finals, autographing is one of the most popular events of the conference. Typically, each speaker is available for autographing several times during the conference. In addition to books by all of the session speakers, other children’s books and professional books also are available for sale at the conference.

Information about the 38th Annual Children’s Literature Conference is available at www.coe.uga.edu/gcba/ or by calling 706/542-4305