For immediate release | May 16, 2017

Spend an afternoon with Jordan Sonnenblick during AASL National Conference

CHICAGO – Jordan Sonnenblick will appear as one of three featured speakers during “Authors in the Afternoon” presented during the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Conference & Exhibition. Sonnenblick, along with Sarah Dessen and Christian Robinson, will discuss his work and answer attendee-submitted questions during this new author event taking place Thursday, Nov. 9. Registration and more information regarding the conference can be found at

Sonnenblick was an 8th-grade English teacher in New Jersey when a student named Emily inspired him to write a novel. Emily was struggling because her little brother was in treatment for cancer. Hoping that a book about a teen in a similar situation would help Emily, he searched for a novel that would be just right. Unable to find one, he wrote “Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie.” The novel was nominated as a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults and made the 2005 YALSA Teens’ Top Ten list.

In an interview with author Cynthia Leitich Smith for her blog, Cynsations, Sonnenblick credited his high school creative writing teacher for his ability to balance humor and grief: “Well, [Pulitzer Prize award winning author] Frank McCourt was my high school creative writing teacher, and what I learned in Mr. McCourt's class and, later on, from reading Angela's Ashes, is that people laugh a lot during the saddest times in their lives -- or at least, resilient people do. And that laughter is the cornerstone of the healing process, at least for me.”

"Jordan's writing is poignant, hilarious, and perfectly captures the middle school psyche," said Karen Perry, author co-chair. "His work has enticed many reluctant readers to open and actually finish reading a book. We are very excited for him to share his insight with our conference attendees."

Sonnenblick's appearance is made possible by Scholastic. An additional registration fee of $35 is required in advance of the event.

The AASL National Conference & Exhibition is the only national conference dedicated solely to the needs of school librarians and their roles as educational leaders. “Beyond the Horizon,” taking place Nov. 9-11, 2017, in Phoenix, Arizona, will feature preconference workshops, concurrent sessions and an exhibition featuring companies relevant to the profession. Those communicating about the national conference are encouraged to use the official hashtag, #aasl17.

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

Related Links

AASL National Conference & Exhibition


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)