Nic Stone to Keynote AASL National Conference General Session

For Immediate Release
Tue, 09/12/2023


Allison Cline

AASL Deputy Executive Director

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – Acclaimed author, Nic Stone, will keynote the Saturday general session during the 2023 AASL National Conference.  Stone’s appearance is made possible by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House. Full conference information and programming can be found at

“School librarians know firsthand that books help young people by offering a connection to their lives. When readers see themselves and their lives reflected in a story, they know they're not alone,” said author co-chair Amanda Struckmeyer. “The work of Nic Stone is absolutely making a difference in our students’ lives."

As a New York Times bestseller, Nic Stone, writes the kinds of stories she wished were on the shelves when she was a kid.  Believing that sharing our stories is vital to doing the essential work of racial and social justice, Stone’s most recent book, Chaos Theory, aims to destigmatize mental illness disorders.

“Whether addressing racism, police brutality, sexual fluidity, or in her most recent book mental health, Nic Stone’s writing makes the learner feel seen, represented, and connected to others,” said author co-chair Donna Mignardi. “As our learners struggle to make sense of what seems incomprehensible at times, finding connection in a book can change lives.”  

Stone’s first novel Dear Martin debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list and has been translated into six languages, receiving the William C. Morris Debut YA Award in 2018. In 2021, Stone’s, Dear Justyce received the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults.  Her most recent book, Chaos Theory, delivers a gripping romance about two teens: a certified genius living with a diagnosed mental disorder and a politician’s son who is running from his own addiction and grief. “Chaos Theory is actually the first Nic novel I ever read but Nic set it aside to write Dear Martin. Other YA and middle grade novels followed.  After the publication of Dear Justyce and Fast Pitch, Nic and I felt it was time to return to Shelbi and Andy’s story.  We were so saddened that in recent years, so many teens have been grappling with mental health issues.  Whom better than Nic to write a mental health novel that is honest, uplifting, and yes, funny in all the right places? Our proudest moments have been when teens have come to us after reading Chaos Theory and shared, ‘Nic, got it exactly right.  I know kids like Andy.  I understand what Shelbi went through.  Thank you, Ms. Nic for writing another real book for us.’ Nic is continually pushing herself as a writer. Chaos Theory is her gift to all of us.”, says Nic’s editor and Crown Books for Young Readers Co-Publisher and VP, Phoebe Yeh.

Aside from her work as an author, Nic Stone was the 2020 NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award Winner and co-author of the book, “How to be a Young Anti-Racist" with Ibram X. Kendi.

The AASL National Conference is the only national conference dedicated solely to the needs of school librarians and their roles as educational leaders. The AASL National Conference is the only national conference dedicated solely to the needs of school librarians and their roles as educational leaders. A one-of-a-kind conference, the 2023 AASL National Conference will feature daily keynotes, more than 150 concurrent sessions, author panels, research into practice sessions, more than 150 exhibitors, the best practice IdeaLab, poster presentations, author signings, and endless networking opportunities. Content provided at the conference will be rooted in AASL's National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries.

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

RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN’S BOOKS ( is the world’s largest English-language children’s trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books, novels, ebooks, and apps, the imprints of Random House Children’s Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. Random House is the longtime home of the beloved and bestselling Dr. Seuss books, which continue to make learning to read fun for millions of children everywhere. Random House Children’s Books is a division of Penguin Random House LLC.