Award-winning authors present at AASL’s national conference

Contact: Melissa B. Jacobsen

AASL Communications Specialist

(312) 280-4381


For Immediate Release

February 10, 2009

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has announced the exciting authors that will appear at the author events planned for its national conference, "Rev up learning @ your library." The conference will be held Nov. 5-8 in Charlotte, N.C. More information on the conference can be found at

"Enjoy personal encounters with quality authors by planning to attend the wide range of author events AASL is offering in Charlotte. These award winning authors will motivate, inspire and provide you with successful strategies to promote excellent literature to students and teachers. The insight from these sessions are sure to make reading one of your students favorite 21st-century skills," said AASL President Ann M. Martin.

This year, AASL will present 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award winner Laurie Halse Anderson. Anderson was honored for her novels "Catalyst," "Fever 1793" and "speak." Her first novel, "speak," was also a National Book Award Finalist, a Michael L. Printz Honor book, a New York Times bestseller and an American Library Association (ALA) Best Book for Young Adults. Publishers Weekly called "speak" "a stunning first novel," in which Ms. Anderson "uses keen observations and vivid imagery to pull readers into the head of an isolated teenager." "speak" is being translated into 10 foreign languages, including Chinese and Catalan, and the film rights for the book have been optioned.

Anderson will be joined by Charles R. Smith Jr. at the Author Banquet the evening of Nov. 6. Smith combines writing, photography and sports to create stories like "Rimshots" and "Diamond Life." His book "I Am America" celebrates what it means to be an American, and "Twelve Rounds to Glory" celebrates Muhammad Ali as an inspirational figure. He notes, "I want to show students, particularly boys, that there are many ways to pursue their interests, no matter what they may be."

The morning of Nov. 8, Linda Sue Park and Richard Peck will speak at the Author Breakfast. Park is the recipient of the 2002 Newbery Medal award for her book "A Single Shard." She has also received honors for other notable books, including "When My Name Was Keoko," "Project Mulberry" and "The Kite Fighters." Park has penned many other novels, pictures books, poems and short stories.

Richard Peck has written more than 20 novels, including the Newbery Medal–awarded "A Year Down Yonder." A versatile writer, he is beloved by middle graders as well as young adults for his mysteries and coming-of-age novels. Peck has won a number of other major awards for his work, including the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the National Council of Teachers of English/ALAN Award and the Edgar Allan Poe Award.

"AASL is thrilled to have Laurie Halse Anderson, Charles R. Smith, Jr., Linda Sue Park and Richard Peck involved with its national conference. Each represents the best in Children's and Young Adult literature as witnessed by the awards and accolades they've earned. It is especially exciting that Laurie Halse Anderson has been chosen as the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award winner. Ms. Anderson is a wonderful writer and has a special voice to which all young adults relate," said AASL National Conference Co-Chair Jay Bansbach.

The AASL 14th National Conference & Exhibition, "Rev up learning @ your library," is the only national conference dedicated solely to the needs of school library media specialists and their roles as educational leaders. The AASL National Conference will feature 10 preconferences, numerous concurrent sessions, more than 200 exhibiting companies, educational and school tours, a storytelling festival and special appearances by award-winning authors. For more information on AASL's 14th National Conference & Exhibition, visit

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library media field.