A highlight of every AASL National Conference is getting the chance to meet authors, hear them discuss their work, and ask them questions. This year’s conference has sessions for every grade level and school library. Each of these sessions, which feature a panel of author(s) and moderators, has been organized around a specific theme – providing an interesting focus for speakers and audience members alike. To make your conference schedule planning even more of a balancing act, there is at least one session (sometimes more!) featuring authors during every time slot at the conference.
Friday morning’s sessions begin with the mother and daughter writing team of Susan and Lexi Haas and middle grade author Sundee Frazier. Join these authors as they share how Powerful Voices shine through in their stories.
Four other author sessions on Friday cover a wide age range and varying genres: from picture books to middle grade/YA novels, as well as nonfiction addressing social change and environmental stewardship. Stronger Together features two authors, Meg Raby and NoNieqa Ramos, whose books celebrate family traditions and the important role they play in young people’s lives.
Finding Your Place and Taking Charge highlights the theme of standing up for what is important – a unifying message found in the work of Donna Barba Higuera, Nicole LaRue, and Tiffany Rosenhan.
The Real Deal brings authors Chris Barton and Traci Sorell together for a fun and informative discussion on their project selection and research process, with an emphasis on their nonfiction work.
Patricia Newman and Mary Boone will bring the afternoon sessions to a spirited and powerful end as they talk about the importance of showing young readers how they can become good stewards (through the use of crickets!) of our planet.
On Saturday, Brandon Mull will be joined in conversation with Diana Colby for Everyone Loves a Hero to discuss how the hero’s journey factors into the development of his characters.
Megan E. Freeman will share how librarians can Reach More Readers Using Novels in Verse and address ways to use them in teaching students differences between poetry and prose.
Confronting Your Fears is just what authors Frank L. Cole and Josh Allen will have attendees facing as they talk about incorporating fantastical and paranormal elements into their writing.
The afternoon sessions on Saturday will be nature-filled.
Take a Walk on the Wild Side with David L. Harrison and Kate Coombs, two authors who encourage young readers to engage with the natural world around them.
The final author session of the conference – A Lens on the Natural World – highlights the work of two nature photographers: Jan Drake, who oversees the equestrian center at the National Ability Center in Park City, Utah, and has spent many years tracking wild horses on the public lands of the Mountain West; and Julie Argyle, who has spent 40 years observing and photographing grizzly bears, along with other wildlife, within the Rocky Mountain West.
Each concurrent session time slot has an author panel you will not want to miss. Make sure to check your Crowd Compass app to add these sessions to your conference schedule!