Campus News Society & Culture

UGA hosts 43rd annual children’s literature conference and book awards

To be held March 23-24 at the Georgia Center

Athens, Ga. – Some of the nation’s top authors and illustrators of children’s books will speak during the 43rd Annual Georgia Book Awards and Conference on Children’s Literature, to be held March 23-24 at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel on the University of Georgia campus 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 every year. 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 will feature five acclaimed authors and illustrators.

· Jody Feldman is author of The Gollywhopper Games and winner of the 2011 Georgia Children’s Book Award. Other books she has authored include The Golfer’s Night Before Christmas, A Fisherman’s Night Before Christmas and The Seventh Level.
· Meghan McCarthy is author of Aliens are Coming! The True Account of the 1938 War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast, which received the 2011 GCBA Picture Storybook Award. Other books she has authored include Seabiscuit the Wonder Horse and The Incredible Life of Balto.
· Carole Weatherford, whose writing celebrates family stories, fading traditions and forgotten struggles, is the author of Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. Other books she has authored include Becoming Billie Holliday, The Library Ghost, Birmingham, 1963 and Racing Against the Odds.
· Barbara O’Connor is the author of The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester. Other books she has authored include Moonpie and Ivy, How to Steal a Dog, Beethoven in Paradise and Taking Care of Moses.
· Mike Wimmer has illustrated many children’s book covers and is the illustrator of Train Song by Diane Siebert, Flight: The Journey of Charles Lindbergh by Robert Burleigh and All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan.

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

Sheldon Root, a professor in UGA’s College of Education, established the Georgia Children’s Book Award in 1968. The purpose of the award is to foster a love for reading in Georgia’s children and to introduce them to a collection of engaging books of literary excellence.

In addition to the author sessions, the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl State finals and author autographs will be conducted. Typically, each speaker is available for autographing several times during the conference. A rich and varied number of small group sessions that address ways to foster the enjoyment and the teaching of literature in the home, classroom, school media centers and public libraries also will be offered. In addition to books by all of the session speakers, other children’s and professional books will be available for purchase.

The reduced early registration fee is $125 with a March 5th deadline. The registration fee after this date is $145. Reduced student and one-day rates also are available. For more information and to register, see