For immediate release | April 11, 2017

Critically acclaimed author Jason Reynolds to speak at AASL national conference

CHICAGO – Award-winning and “crazy about stories” author Jason Reynolds will present the Saturday general session during the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Conference & Exhibition. The conference, themed “Beyond the Horizon,” will be held Nov. 9-11, in Phoenix, Ariz. Full conference details can be found at

Reynolds's “master plan” is to not write boring books. As he explains on his website, “Here's what I know: I know there are a lot — A LOT — of young people who hate reading. I know that many of these book haters are boys. I know that many of these book-hating boys, don't actually hate books, they hate boredom.”

His master plan is working. His books have received numerous awards including the Coretta Scott King Honor, the Walter Dean Myers Award, and the Kirkus Award. “As Brave As You,” his middle-grade debut, was a Time Book of the Year. The first book in his middle grade series, "Ghost," was a 2016 National Book Award finalist.

In an interview with the National Book Foundation, Reynolds was asked who he wrote “Ghost” for. He replied, “I wrote ‘Ghost’ for all the young people who feel like they're suffocating, who feel like they're gasping for breath, exhausted from running for their lives, and sometimes FROM their lives. It's for both the traumatized and the triumphant.”

“What to expect of general session speaker Jason Reynolds?” asks author co-chair Karen Perry. “’Nice and edgy,’ to quote a teenage reader, but also profound, intense, and powerful. Jason Reynolds speaks to the major concerns of our times, of helping youth find themselves in a book, of raising readers to talk among themselves about important issues for their generation. Jason tells stories about characters of color that need to be told. Expect to be moved and motivated.”

Reynolds's appearance is made possible by Simon & Schuster.

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.

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AASL National Conference & Exhibition


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)