For immediate release | May 14, 2020

Academy Award-Winning Actress, Author, and Activist Natalie Portman, Closing Session Speaker at ALA Virtual

CHICAGO—Natalie Portman is an Academy Award-winning actress, director, producer, and activist whose credits include Leon: The Professional, Cold Mountain, Closer, V for Vendetta, the Star Wars franchise prequels, A Tale of Love and Darkness, Jackie and the forthcoming Thor: Love and Thunder. Born in Jerusalem, Israel, she is a graduate of Harvard University, and now lives with her family in Los Angeles. Natalie Portman’s Fables is her debut picture book. This session will take place on Friday, June 26, 2020, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.

Publishing in October 2020 from Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Natalie Portman’s Fables retells three classic fables and imbues them with wit and wisdom.

From realizing that there is no “right” way to live to respecting our planet and learning what really makes someone a winner, the messages at the heart of Natalie Portman’s Fables are modern takes on timeless life lessons.

Told with a playful, kid-friendly voice and perfectly paired with Janna Mattia’s charming artwork, Portman’s insightful retellings of The Tortoise and the Hare, The Three Little Pigs, and Country Mouse and City Mouse are ideal for reading aloud and are sure to become beloved additions to family libraries.

Storytelling is how we start practicing empathy. We feel for characters in stories as we might for ourselves or our own friends,” Portman said. “These classic tales have great messages (hard work pays off, perseverance and grit win over hubris and haste, abundance can be dangerous), but I hope they just feel like great stories we want to read again and again, the way I do with my children’s favorites.”

This session is sponsored by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

Registration is now open for the American Library Association’s (ALA) Virtual - Community Through Connection, June 24 - 26,2020. The three-day, online event will send a strong message that the library community can—and will—remain connected during this unprecedented time.

Through the generous support of a select roster of event sponsors, ALA will lower registration fees from $175 for ALA members to just $60. Library professionals who have recently been furloughed, laid off, or are experiencing a reduction of paid work hours, are welcome to attend at no cost. Registration will close on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at noon Central time at And if you've recently been furloughed, laid off, or are experiencing a reduction of paid work hours, we invite you to join us for no cost at all. During the registration process, you can indicate your circumstance to receive your complimentary registration.

Other featured Speaker appearances include: American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer and author Misty Copeland (Opening Session), Wednesday, June 24, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. sponsored by Penguin Random House; UK poet and social media influencer Sophia Thakur, Wednesday, June 24, 1 - 1:30 p.m., sponsored by Candlewick Press; Caldecott medalist and author Matthew Cordell, Wednesday, June 24, 3:30 - 4 p.m., sponsored by Holiday House; and actress and author Sonia Manzano, Thursday, June 25, 2 -2:30 p.m., sponsored by National Geographic Kids; and more to announce soon.

“Breaking the Rules of Graphic Novels” will include a panel of best-selling Graphic novelists. This session will take place Thursday, June 25, 3:30–4 p.m. to include, Roxanne Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, Gabby Rivera, Brian Azzarello and Ryan North. The discussion will be moderated by Filip Sablik, president of Publishing & Marketing, BOOM! Studios and is sponsored by BOOM! Studios.

The event will feature a portfolio of more than 50 educational sessions, including COVID-19 related information pertinent to libraries; live chat opportunities with authors and speakers; an exhibitor showcase with more than 500 participating exhibitors; and presentations in an on-demand format from book publishers on forthcoming book titles.

For additional event information please visit the 2020 ALA Virtual Event website, ALA Instagram, ALA Twitter, ALA Facebook, and follow hashtag, #alavirtual20.


Donna Hunter

Conference Marketing Specialist

American Library Association / Conference Services