Arts Campus News Society & Culture

UGA to host 44th annual children’s literature conference, book awards March 8-9

Athens, Ga. – Some of the nation’s top children’s book authors and illustrators will speak during the 44th Annual Georgia Book Awards and Conference on Children’s Literature March 8-9 at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

The conference is a celebration of children’s literature and the culmination of the Georgia Book Awards, a program that involves thousands of Georgia children reading and voting on the books. 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 six acclaimed authors and illustrators.

• Deborah Wiles has written four novels: “Love, Ruby Lavender,” “Each Little Bird that Sings,” “Aurora County All Stars” and most recently, “Countdown.” She has also written two picture books: “Freedom Summer” and “One Wide Sky.”
• Angela Johnson is an award-winning author whose books include “Bird,” “When I Am Old With You,” “Daddy Calls Me Man,” “A Sweet Smell of Roses” and “Lily Brown’s Paintings.” She has won three Coretta Scott King Awards, one each for her novels “Heaven,” “Toning the Sweep” and “The First Part Last.”
• Molly Bang is an acclaimed author and illustrator. Her books include the 1981 Caldecott Honor Book, “The Grey Lady and The Strawberry Snatcher,” “The Paper Crane,” “When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry…” and “Nobody Particular: One Woman’s Fight to Save the Bays.” She is also the author of “Picture This,” a book about visual art.
• Pat Mora, author and literacy advocate, has written more than 30 books for children, teens and adults. Her books include “Agua, Agua, Agua,” “The Beautiful Lady, Our Lady Guadalupe” and “A Birthday Basket for Tia.”
• Amanda Noll and Howard McWilliam are the author and illustrator team of “I Need My Monster,” which received the 2011-2012 Georgia Children’s Picture Book Award.

Typically, each speaker is available for autographing several times during the conference. In addition, books by all of the session speakers and other children’s and professional books will be available for purchase.

A number of small group sessions will address ways to enjoy and teach literature in the home, classroom, school media centers and public libraries.

The conference also features the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl State finals, a reading competition in game format where elementary to high school students test their knowledge of book award nominees.

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

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 engaging books of literary excellence.

Registration for the conference ranges from $65-$145 with discounts available for registering by Feb. 18.

For more information or to register online, see