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Sunday, March 31 • 2:45pm - 3:35pm
Let’s talk tough topics: Using books to start the conversation

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Today’s literature for youth often presents and grapples with difficult issues. How do we capitalize on these books to engage students in deep thinking, meaningful conversations, and a greater experience of connection? Middle-grade and YA authors Padma Venkatraman, Elly Swartz, Linda Mullaly Hunt, Ann Braden, and monitor, Jennifer Richard Jacobson will share convictions, classroom experiences, and perhaps most importantly, how they handle sensitive or sticky moments when they arise.

Authors' books will be available for purchase at the conference bookstore in Commons 2. The authors will be there to sign their books beginning at 3:45 on Sunday.

avatar for Ann Braden

Ann Braden

Ann Braden writes books about kids trying to stand up for themselves even when life is hard. Her newest middle grade novel Flight of the Puffin prompted a coast-to-coast read aloud with over 30,000 readers in over 700 locations nationwide taking part.  Her debut novel The Benefits... Read More →
avatar for Elly Swartz

Elly Swartz

Elly Swartz loves writing for kids, Twizzlers, and anything with her family. Her debut novel, FINDING PERFECT (FSG 2016) is about twelve-year-old Molly, friendship, family, OCD, and a slam poetry competition that will determine everything. In her second book, SMART COOKIE (Scholastic... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer Jacobson

Jennifer Jacobson

Jennifer is the author of many award-winning children’s books including Small as an Elephant (Parents' Choice Gold Award), Paper Things (ILA Social Justice Award) and her newest launch, The Dollar Kids illustrated by Ryan Andrews (Indie Next List and Amazon Book of the Month).  This... Read More →
avatar for Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Author, Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin
Lynda Mullaly Hunt is the author of New York Times bestseller Fish in a Tree and Bank Street Best Book One for the Murphys. She’s a former teacher and has held writing retreats for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in Connecticut with her husband... Read More →
avatar for Padma Venkatraman

Padma Venkatraman

Thursday Keynote Speaker
Padma Venkatraman worked as an oceanographer, directed a school, and lived in 5 countries before becoming an American author. Her middle grade debut, THE BRIDGE HOME (February 2019, Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin), is a contender for the Global Read Aloud initiative. Her previous novels... Read More →

Sunday March 31, 2019 2:45pm - 3:35pm EDT
Grand Ballroom