2013 Workshop and Breakout Session Descriptions


The Power of Perseverance

Katie D. Anderson

How faith, hope, and a love of the written word propelled one distracted stay-at-home mother to a six figure book deal with Amazon, a film deal with Warner Bros., and a potential cosmetics deal. Katie D. Anderson shares her inspiring story of teaching herself to write and never giving up on her dreams.


International/Global Picture Books and Literacy Lessons in Elementary Classrooms

Carolyn Angus, Nancy Brashear, Ph.D, and Kristin Sipper-Denlinger

For our exploration of outstanding international/global books we will share Text Sets and Perfect Pairs of books and teaching ideas for use in K-Grade 6 classrooms that engage students in reading, conversation, research, and writing and identify the related Common Core State Standards.


Becoming Margret Rey: The Life and Career of Margarete Elisabeth Waldstein, 1925-1935

Ann Mulloy Ashmore

“Becoming Margret Rey” draws upon archival photos and artifacts from the Rey literary estate housed in the de Grummond Children’s literature collection to trace Margarete Waldstein’s odyssey years from her graduation from the Klosterschule in 1925 until her marriage to Hans Rey in 1935. Background research broadens the narrative of Waldstein’s early career and places it in the context of interwar Europe. Also discussed are the major influences in her life, and the character and artistic sensibilities of the more mature Margret Rey.


Banned Books Booktalking Palooza -- Try this for your next Banned Books Week celebration!

Kathy Barco and Valerie Nye

Valerie Nye and Kathy Barco have presented sessions on intellectual freedom at the USM Children's Book Festival and were especially honored to speak in 2009 when Judy Blume was the Medallion winner. An encounter following their presentation that year inspired Valerie and Kathy to produce their latest book, True Stories of Censorship Battles in America's Libraries (ALA Editions, 2012). They will present booktalks on books that have been challenged or banned as a model demonstration for booktalking programs in school and public libraries.  


Tweens, Teens, and Transmedia:  Reaching Young Readers Through Multiplatform Storytelling

Kim Becnel and Jon C. Pope

Want your collection to be the freshest, most appealing it can be? Come and learn about some exciting new transmedia titles sure to get the digital natives’ attention. We’ll look at items that mix traditional print with video, web content, games and more to create memorable, interactive experiences. We’ll share ideas for organizing, circulating, and promoting these items too. 


Acting Up and Showing Out!  Using Picture Books for Dramatic Play in the Elementary Library

Brenda Black

Get ready to act up and show out as we bring pictures books to life through dramatic play!  We will explore techniques such as story theatre and readers' theatre, and have fun with simple props and performance poetry.  Participants will receive resources of scripts and ideas, themed story units and patterns for props for dramatic play and poetry.


Take Five! Create Fun with The Poetry Friday Anthology

Robyn Hood Black, April Halprin Wayland, and Irene Latham

Are you looking for a fun and easy way to teach poetry? All it takes is five minutes! Join this panel of award-winning poets as they take you on a journey through the Poetry Friday Anthology, compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong.  Attendees will leave armed with simple and effective ways to infuse poetry into current teaching practices.


Books Are Ice Cream Not Broccoli: Reaching the Reluctant MG and YA Reader

F.T. Bradley

Step in the shoes of a reluctant reader, and brainstorm different ways to show books as entertainment—by listening, fostering reading habits, and connecting books to popular entertainment. This interactive session will cover how to reach reluctant readers, with room for open idea sharing by attendees.


Boys Will Be Boys: Using Guys Read Books in the Classroom

Anna Brannin

All boys hate to read, right? Not necessarily, but for those that think they do – there’s hope! Jon Scieszka’s Guys Read books provide many opportunities for curriculum tie-ins.   This session will present information on how you can effectively use various excerpts from these books in the classroom, and in-turn, get those guys reading!


Let’s Make a Game! Creating Your Own Games to Use in the Classroom or Library

Anna Brannin

Learn how to create your own games that will secretly test students on their reading skills while they’re having fun. Examples will be shown including Book Bingo and Clementine Jeopardy (hint hint –know your Pennypacker!). Audience participation is a must, so get ready to spin that wheel or name that book and you could win a prize!


Eudora Welty's Daring Life

Carolyn Brown

"Eudora Welty's Daring Life" is an introduction to the life of Pulitzer prize-winning author Eudora Welty. Carolyn Brown's young adult biography, A Daring Life: A Biography of Eudora Welty, is the first young adult book devoted to the life of the Mississippi writer. A sampling of never before seen photographs made available by Eudora Welty's niece, the Eudora Welty House and Visitors Center, and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History will be shown as Brown explains how Welty's personal life and writing career were affected by major events of the twentieth century.


Old Fashioned Storytelling

Dianne Butler

Storytelling is a vocal art of passing old (and new) traditions to our children and must not become a lost art!  So, come enjoy some of the old stories from your childhood.  Get involved in several stories by becoming a well-known character, audience participation is a MUST!!!!  In this fast paced workshop you will get several good ideas for stories to take with you. Come and enjoy.


Can Young Children Read and Write Information?  YES THEY CAN!

Dr. Charlene Carter and Dr. Jane Claes

Can kindergartners read and write information?  The answer is a resounding YES!  Common Core Standards and standardized testing require that children use information texts at a very young age.  This session will model strategies to help a young child discover new ways of thinking about information sources including books and media.  Discover your inner child as we explore the world of information using oral, written and visual language.


Making Common Core Connections in Your Library Collection

Dr. Jane Claes and Dr. Janet Hilbun

Overwhelmed by the Common Core Standards?  Help is here!  This session spotlights books and media that will help you connect your students with the Language Arts Common Core Standards. A reading list will be provided to participants.


A Creative Look at Graphic Novel Writing and Drawing

Chuck Galey

With constant interaction with participants, Chuck takes them on a quick tour of the history of the graphic novel, a curious exercise where participants work to provide the correct order of sequence to a story’s illustrations and finally to writing with pictures a short three panel illustrated graphic novel.  Participants will leave the workshop with an understanding of the creative process for writing and illustrating of graphic novels. Lesson plans for Chuck’s workshop will be available online and meet Common Core standards. 


We Don't Like to Brag, But We're Superheroes: How We Got Our Capes

Emily Grossenbacher and Ally Watkins

Libraries and bookstores don't have to view each other as competition! This session will discuss how a sharing of resources can benefit both establishments and the surrounding schools and community.  Examples from a successful partnership will be discussed.


Using the Picture Book to Teach Story Structure

Sarah Frances Hardy

Sarah Frances Hardy will show how to teach basic plot structure in creative writing using the story arc found in character driven picture books. She will provide a character development worksheet which can be used with students, and she will show teachers how to use the worksheet to create a story with rising tension, conflict and a resolution. This process can be adapted for use with all ages of students, from first grade through high school, and incorporates common core standards.


Community Involvement and the Classroom

Jo S. Kittinger

An exploration of picture books that open discussion of community involvement and activities appropriate for children in grades 2-5. Jo will talk about her books Rosa's Bus, The House on Dirty-Third Street and A Breath of Hope, as well as a variety of books by other authors. In addition, a handout will list possible community building activities.


Meet The Magnolia Children’s Choice Award

Magnolia Award Committee

This session will introduce The Magnolia Children’s Choice Award, present the current list, and ways to participate. Successful programs centered on the Magnolia Award will also be presented.


Lois Lenski: Storycatcher

Bobbie Malone

Lois Lenski developed her own blend of mentoring/promoting/obtaining materials for her realistic regional stories by working with librarians, teachers, and students around the country. The result of such collaborations generated a number of regional novels, almost more anthropological than fictional, with the author’s focus on inculcating empathy in her readers. Ultimately, the teachers became accomplices and assistants in her storycatching adventures, continuing to reach out and support the author and one another as their collaborations turned into abiding friendships. 


Convincing Teens That Reading’s A Choice, Not a Chore

Beck McDowell

Turn your reluctant teen readers into book lovers by giving them the ownership, time, materials, and motivation to read. A former NBPTS middle and high school Language Arts teacher, now a young adult author with Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin, offers tips on designing reading programs that engage middle and high school students. Attendees will leave this session with reading lists that work, an efficient grading system, ideas to enlist parent and administrative support, special projects to build local and online communities, and lesson plans for student-made review sites and book trailers.


A WILD DISCOVERY: Turn Boys from Reluctant to Ready Readers, Researchers and Writers

Heather Montgomery

Web-shooting worms, bomb-dropping sea life, leeches up the nose? Nonfiction author Heather Montgomery will share specific strategies and model informational texts that capitalize on the wackiness of nature to hook boys. Turn on their curiosity, expand their passion for inquiry, and set them loose into the land of discovery – your library!


Planning a Successful “Author Visit” with Skype

Nettie Moore, Denise McOwen, and Kay Hutcherson

Learn from first thought to follow-up how to plan and implement a success author visit using Skype.  Session will cover locating and confirming authors, marketing the program and getting a good audience, and successfully conducting the interview.  Kids love the technology of Skype and Skype author visits are much more affordable and sometimes even free. 


Getting Personal Between the Covers: Subversive Storytimes and 'Out'-reach for Non-traditional Families in Socially Conservative Communities

Jamie Campbell Naidoo, Ph.D

This session explores how librarians can offer subversive family storytimes by using children’s books that redefine gender norms and family compositions to be inclusive of LGBTQ families. It also addresses how librarians can use subversive books such as those with single parents, ambiguous family constructs, and androgynous characters to promote “rainbow family values.” Children's books from the Rainbow List, Stonewall Awards, Amelia Bloomer List, and Lambda Literary Awards will be highlighted along with suggestions on how libraries can personalize services to reach out to these families.


Young Authors' Conference

Reneé Nicolo

To provide step-by-step tools for educators and librarians to have a successful author/illustrator visit and promote student writing.


A WORLD of books:  Using Books to Learn about our Globe

Claudia Nisbett and Nancy Varian

Our society today has become increasingly aware of the need for children to learn about our world by learning about the lives, cultures, and environments of other countries. Both fiction and non-fiction books will be shared in the workshop as well as great activities to bridge the books to a study of other countries and cultures.  In addition, ideas will be shared on how to set up and facilitate a “Trip around the World” or “A Global Village” for your school or library.  


Anne Frank and The Soldier with the Golden Buttons: Teaching Holocaust Novels

Claudia Pearson

Although the Common Core standards mandate an increasing emphasis on non-fiction reading beginning in 2014, students will continue to read at least one novel about the Holocaust as part of the standard course of studies, and fiction may indeed be a better format for educators to use to address hard truths about many subjects. This paper will include discussions of the Diary of Anne Frank, The Book Thief, The Soldier With the Golden Buttons, and Milkweed.


Using Children’s Literature to Integrate the Arts

Brenda Pritchett

Exposing children to literature leads them to borrowing ideas to incorporate into the creative processes used in the arts.  Librarians and teachers have the opportunity to develop these avenues using children’s picture books while aligning them with the Common Core Standards. This session will explain the benefits of arts integration, describe the art strands, and provide examples of children's books for integrating the arts into your setting.


Breaking the Barriers of Culture Through Fiction

Kim F. Ridley

Do you know of students with inclusion issues simply because of their race or culture?   In The C. Walker Adventure Series, young readers travel to various countries meeting a variety of cultures giving educators an opportunity to investigate with the classroom the wonderful quilt of humanity that makes up our world. In this session, attendees will discover ways to unlock the door of knowledge that allows teachers the opportunity to introduce children to unfamiliar cultures.


Read Alouds That Rock Across the Curriculum!

Diane Z. Shore

Rhyming read-alouds aren’t just wonderful for storytime. They’re great for introducing new concepts, theme units, and chapters in ALL subjects, including language arts AND math. Learn how to use rhyming read-alouds to increase students' vocabulary, stimulate imaginations, develop attention, listening, communication/writing, and cognitive skills, and build background knowledge, all of which leads to independent learning. 


Everywhere you turn "A Good Book!"

Sammie Thorell

Picture a long table overflowing with props, costumes and hats, and books.  I will incorporate these items in an energetic presentation of good books read to children over the last 20 years in an elementary school's library.  The presentation will include ideas gleaned from Mississippi Whole Arts Sessions, Southern's Book Festival, and Children's Book reviews.


Maud and Miska Petersham: Picture Book Pioneers

Lawrence Webster

An examination of the life and work of this surprising husband and wife team, who illustrated more than 100 books during 1917 and 1962, of which they wrote 50. The presenter is the author of a just-published full-length biography of the Petershams, and curator of an exhibition of their work. She conducted the bulk of her research at the deGrummond Collection, and will use material unearthed there in a 30 - minute illustrated presentation about the importance of the Petershams in the context of early 20th century children's books.


Aesop’s Fables in the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection

Teresa Welsh

The more than 600 animal fables attributed to the Greek slave Aesop have been an enduring influence on children’s literature. This presentation reviews research on the history of Aesop and examines some of the oldest and most unusual volumes of Aesop’s Fables in the de Grummond Collection, the dates of which range from the 16th to the 21st centuries, from the oldest item in the collection, Aesopi Phrygis Fabellae Græce & Latine to the most recent versions published in 2012.


Choosing Exceptional Books for Beginning Readers

Cynthia Williams

Interested in learning how to start children on the path to lifelong reading?  This session, presented by a member of the 2013 Geisel Book Award Committee, will prepare attendees to evaluate books for children just learning to read on their own. Learn the elements of ‘Beginning Reader’ books and a brief history of the genre.  Explore some of the most current books published in the genre in addition to past winners of ALSC’s Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal.


Make it, Take it: Picture Book Possibilities

Nancy Wright

Take home engaging, hands-on activities that benefit all learners, especially reluctant readers and writers, as they respond to picture books. These interactive, practical techniques will also demonstrate ways to implement the essential features of sheltered instruction for English language learners.