I would like to quickly cover three things in the midst of the holiday rush: qrevisit three novels, remind everybody about the authors that are visiting the UNLV young adult and children’s literature conference during June of 2016, and provide links to the proposals for workshops and breakout sessions for the conference.
All kinds of ideas occur to me during the ALAN Workshop (Jennifer has here proposals forms posted here for the 2016 ALAN Workshop) and, in a good year, I start pursuing the ideas even while I am trying to inhale all of the wonderful new books. One of the ideas involved reading new books and revisiting older ones with deliberate references to music. I started with a fairly new book, Breakout by Kevin Emerson. Emerson offers a fresh look at a kid who just loves rock and roll and how we, as a adults in school settings, nurture or block their musical interests. I loved this book and kept thinking about all of the students who wandered in and out of my classes with drumsticks in their back pocket and Guitar Player or Rolling Stone sticking out of their backpacks. You know, the same kids in the late 90’s who still knew about Ginger Baker and Alvin Lee. I liked these kids even though they were often disconnected with class activities. I know I didn’t do enough to engage them or offer them books that matched their interests. I am sure most of you YA advocates who are in the classroom are doing a much better job than I did. Thanks, keep at it.
All three books helped me frame a new research project (more on that at another time). For the purpose of this post, however, all three reminded me of the power of adolescents to be creative, persistent, and resilient. I hope you read them for the first time if they are they are new to you. If you have read them, I highly recommend them as a books worth rereading during the break. You will walk away with your confidence renewed in the power of adolescents to do great things.
UNLV has been extremely welcoming and through the Zieter Center I will be hosting another Young Adult and Children’s Literature conference. I can’t stress enough how important it is to visit the blog often and check on the link in the heading for the conference. Over the next several weeks, the links to the keynote authors, keynote academic speakers, conference registration, conference housing, and to the people who will be offering workshops and breakout sessions will all be posted.
Our fabulous author keynotes, in no particular order, will be:
Virginia Euwer Wolff— Make Lemonade, True Believer, and This Full House
Jason Reynolds— When I Was the Greatest, The Boy in the Black Suit, and All American Boys
Meg Medina— Mango, Abuela, and Me, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, and Tía Isa Wants a Car
Andrew Smith— Winger, Grasshopper Jungle, and 100 Sideways Miles
Alan Sitomer— Caged Warrior, Homeboyz, and Hip Hop High School
Come on, who wouldn’t want to hear from and engage with these fantastic authors over the course of five days? We will be linking to their webpages and acknowledging all of their accolades in the blog over the next few months.
The details of the conference are getting closer. It looks like the conference fee will be around 400 dollars for the weeks events with some early bird discounts during the first quarter of 2016 (Please check the 2016 Zeiter Literature Conference link on the masthead of Dr. Bickmore’s YA Wednesday often for newly posted details.) The link to the proposal document is below and is also permanently available on the conference page of this website.
Breakouts are 45 minutes and the presenter will have the chance to engage and inform the participants around a topic from pedagogy in the college or K-12 classroom to discussing a research project or finding. Each presenter will have the opportunity to conduct the breakout twice on either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday. If you have a great idea, I want to hear about it. Please send them to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to be hearing from you all soon.