You Don’t Want to Miss This: Author Sessions at the AASL National Conference

The AASL National Conference in Tampa promises an abundance of phenomenal content, tailored to school librarians.  As you’re finalizing your plans for the conference, be sure to add author sessions to your schedule!  Here’s a peek at what’s in store: 

  • The A is for Adventure author panel is perfect for all thrill-seekers!  Retired astronaut Clayton Anderson, We the Future author Cliff Lewis, and award-winning middle grade author of the City Spies series, James Ponti join forces to bring you background on their writing processes.  If time travel, exploration, high action, superpowers, and multicultural characters are up your alley, be sure to shimmy into this session!
  • Looking for content on diversity and equity?  Look no further than the Giving Voice to Marginalized Youth session.  Authors and educators Edd Tello and Cicely Lewis share personal anecdotes and insights on rewriting the narrative, giving voice to underrepresented people, challenging social norms, and leaving room for everyone to see themselves in a story.
  • If you work with middle-graders, don’t miss Middle Grade Books From Award Winning Authors, featuring Lisa Yee (Maizy Chen’s Last Chance, Millicent Min, Girl Genius, and many more) and Mae Respicio (The House That Lou Built, How to Win a Slime War).  Broad appeal, relatable characters, and hilarious high jinx make Yee and Respicio’s work irresistible! 
  • Picture some unbeatable content with A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words.  You’ll hear from mathematics professor Dr. Cindy S. Ticknor, advocate of STEAM education, whose unique and engaging graphic novel teaches fractions. Also on the panel is picture book author Sophia Gholz, who has written a wide range of titles, including The Boy Who Grew a Forest, Florida State Book Award gold medalist and Green Earth Honor book. 
  • The desire to experience acceptance is universal, and authors McCall Hoyle and Kerry O’Malley Cerra will focus on this in their session, Redefining Love and Belonging. Hoyle’s heartfelt books celebrate the bond between humans and dogs, and O’Malley Cerra’s work explores the deaf experience.  
  • For a burst of creativity, energy, and positive inspiration, head to The Secrets of Collaboration with husband-and-wife author/illustrator team, Robbi Behr and Matthew Swanson.  Behr and Swanson have collaborated on picture books and middle-grade fiction, and they just wrapped up a 50-state tour on a retrofitted school bus (with their four children… and their dog!).  Find out how they work together and their tricks for bringing out the best in one another. 
  • Looking for helpful, appropriate content on serious topics?  Circle Tackling Serious Topics with Tweens on your conference schedule.  Authors Sydney Dunlap, Maria Jose Fitzgerald, and Heather Murphy Capps come together on this panel.  Look forward to themes of social justice, friendship, activism, human trafficking, and more.  This is the perfect opportunity to reflect and learn about how to best approach sensitive subjects.  

All of these authors and I are looking forward to seeing you in Tampa!


Amanda Struckmeyer is an Author Co-chair on the 2023 AASL National Conference Committee

Author: National Conference Committee Chairs

Categories: AASL National Conference

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