Award winning author Kate Messner ready to rock AASL national conference

For Immediate Release
Tue, 09/29/2015


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – Kate Messner, award winning author of “The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z,” will appear as one of five featured speakers at an author breakfast presented during the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 17th National Conference & Exhibition. Angelini will discuss female character development in the fantasy genre alongside Josephine Angelini, Rae Carson, Colleen Gleason and Sabaa Tahir at the Sunday, Nov. 8, event themed “Girls Rock the Fantasy World.” Registration and more information regarding the event can be found at

“As a former teacher, Messner understands what draws young readers to fantasy,” said author co-Chair Mary Ann Scheuer. “Magic is a way for them to explore their hopes and fears in our world. It may help students find some answers to the questions that they ask, though sometimes they learn you need to dig within yourself to find the answers to life’s big questions and other times you need to have faith that you’ll make it through life’s difficult times.”

Messner is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Communication with a degree in broadcast journalism. She worked as a television news producer and reporter before returning to school to earn her teaching degree. She spent 15 years teaching middle school English and earned National Board Certification in Early Adolescent English Language Arts.

Messner’s latest book, “All the Answers,” returns to the classroom and follows the story of 12-year-old Ava Anderson. Ava has several fears, from math tests and the school library lunchtime book club to whether her parents will divorce and if her grandmother is dying. When a scratched up pencil gives her the answer to a question she writes in the margin of her math quiz, she and her friend Sophie vow to use the pencil’s power for good. Through it all, while the pencil helps Ava conquer some of her biggest fears, Ava learns that sometimes the bravest people are the ones that live without all the answers.

“Fantasy hooks in readers of all ages, whether kids want a book that lets them forget about real life, or smart, strong characters that solve insurmountable problems,” said Scheuer. “These women rock the fantasy world, creating compelling stories of all sorts -- from realistic, historical settings to everyday modern life to complex world building.”

Messner’s AASL national conference appearance is made possible by Bloomsbury Children’s Books. An additional registration fee of $40 is required in advance of the breakfast. Register today at

The AASL National Conference & Exhibition is the only national conference dedicated solely to the needs of school librarians and their roles as educational leaders. The 17th National Conference & Exhibition, “Experience Education Evolution,” taking place Nov. 5-8, 2015, will feature preconference workshops, author events, concurrent sessions and an exhibition featuring companies relevant to the profession.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.