A Conference and a Bookstore

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Over the past few months, I’ve been helping to organize one of my favorite programs – the John F. Kennedy Library’s annual conference for teachers and school librarians. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of the planning, mostly because it combines two important parts of my life: I spent 15 years working for the Kennedy Library Foundation before leaving the Library to pursue my graduate degree in children’s literature.

Now in its 19th year, the conference has generally focused on biography and history. This year’s conference, We the People: Stories of Strength and Struggle in Challenging Times, is designed to explore how children’s literature, both fiction and non-fiction, can shed light on the experience of people who are seen as “other” and who face challenges as they seek opportunity, freedom, and equality. The conference will take place at the John F. Kennedy Library on Thursday, May 9.

The morning includes a panel discussion with the participating authors: Joseph Bruchac, Lesa Cline-Ransome, and Pam Munoz Ryan.  The panel is followed by keynote remarks by Erica Armstrong Dunbar, the author of Never Caught: The Washingtons Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, a finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction.  Dunbar’s book was recently published in a young readers edition:

The registration deadline is April 24.  Here’s a link for more information:


Yesterday we visited a bookstore that had been on our list for awhile. During a short trip to New Haven, we went to the Atticus Bookstore Cafe.  The bookstore is right next to the Yale Center for British Art which was the primary reason we went to New Haven. It was a perfect afternoon: a yummy lunch, art, and books.  The bookstore is small, but excellent.  I especially loved the book displays:

This one was my favorite:

The Book Fair opens tomorrow…..It should be a fun week!



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