by Amanda Lister
One of the most anticipated events of the International Reading Association Annual Convention is the assembly of esteemed, popular authors who attend. Below is a selection of just some of the hundreds of authors who will participate in sessions, luncheons, panels, and more in San Antonio.
Saturday, April 20
Jane O'Connor Joan Bauer Mo Willems Chris Soentpiet
Saturday’s First General Session: Reading Myths and the Myths of Reading features Rick Riordan, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the Kane Chronicles, and the Heroes of Olympus. In 2011, he received the Children’s Choice Book Award for Author of the Year. Riordan is also the author of The 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones, another #1 New York Times bestseller.
Join Michael Buckley, bestselling children’s book author of The Sisters Grimmand the N.E.R.D.S. book series, for the first author panel called The Serious Business of Writing Humor: The Importance of Funny Fiction in the Classroom on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
Jane O’Connor, New York Times bestselling author, will speak at the Saturday Book and Author Luncheon. O’Connor is the writer of more than thirty books for children, including the immensely popular Fancy Nancy books. The first book in the series, Fancy Nancy, won the Quill Award for Best Picture Book in 2007 and remained on the New York Times picture book list for ninety-eight weeks.
The author panel entitled Celebrating 75 Years of the Caldecott Medal on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. features David Ezra Stein, author of Interrupting Chicken, Leaves, and Monster Hug!
Laurie Halse Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of Speak and Chains, will speak on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at Read It, Talk About It, Make a Difference with Young Adult Literature.
Sunday, April 21
At 9:00 a.m., Steve Sheinkin, author of Bomb and The Notorious Benedict Arnold, speaks at Making a Difference: Presenting Authors Whose Nonfiction Books and Biographies Inform, Engage, and Inspire Students for a Lifetime of Reading and Learning.
The Cyber Connection: Multi-Platform Texts to Engage All Readers on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. features Matt de la Pena, author of I Will Save You, A Nation’s Hope, and Mexican White Boy. Also at this time is the author panel entitled National Ambassadors for Young People’s Literature that features Katherine Paterson, author of The Flint Heart and The Same Stuff as Stars, Jon Scieszka, writer of SPHDZ 4 Life, Guys Read: the Sports Page, and Knucklehead, and Walter Dean Myers, author of Monster and Bad Boy: A Memoir.
Sunday’s Book and Author Luncheon features Joan Bauer, a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and songwriter. She has won many awards including the Newbery Honor Medal, two Christopher Awards, the LA Times Book Prize, and the New England Booksellers Award, among many. Bauer has touched the lives of her readers with humor and hope in her eleven novels, including Rules of the Road, which was chosen as one of the top young adult books of the quarter century by the American Library Association.
New York Times bestselling author of About David and The Last Survivors series, Susan Beth Pfeffer, will speak on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the Author Panel - The Future's So Dark: Why Readers Can't Get Enough of Dystopian Fiction.
Making a Difference: Texas Authors, Texas Teachers, and Texas Literacy Organizations Focus on Critical Reading and Thinking Around Nonfiction Texts on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. features Don Tate, award-winning author and illustrator for many books including, It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw.
Monday, April 22
#1 New York Times Bestseller Mo Willems will speak at Monday’s General Session. His work in children’s books, animation, television, and theater has earned him three Caldecott Honors, two Geisel Medals, three Geisel Honors, and six Emmy Awards. Willems is best known for the Elephant and Piggie books, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, and Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale.
On Monday at 9:00 a.m., Tom Angleberger, author of The Origami Yodaseries, will speak at Who Are You Calling “Unconventional”? Middle-Grade Authors Discuss the Popularity of “Unconventional” Books. He will also speak at the Author Panel - And Then What Happens?! The Enduring Appeal of Series Fiction at 10:30 a.m.
Also at Monday at 9:00 a.m. is Multiple Literacies: Facilitating the Exploration of Pathways to a Socially Responsible World, featuring Sharon Draper, author of Out of My Mind, and Sharon Flake, writer of Pinned. Engaged Reading/Cultural Rewards: Inviting Students to Read Mexican American Children’s and Young Adult Literature from Texas is at 9:00 a.m. on Monday as well, featuring René Saldaña, Jr., author of The Jumping Tree: A Novel and Finding Our Way: Stories. Kirby Larson, author of Hattie Ever After and Hattie Big Sky, will also speak at this time at IRA Teachers' Choices Committee Presents: Making a Difference for Readers, Writers, and Artists by Connecting them with Authors and Illustrators who Create Books that Inspire, Motivate, and Delight.
On Monday, Chris Soentpiet speaks at the Book and Author Luncheon. Soentpiet is a passionate author and illustrator who creates books that reflect his interest in people, history, and culture. He has won many awards for his work including the NAACP Image Award: Outstanding Literacy Work 2004, the Society of Illustrators Gold Medal Award, the Parent’s Choice Gold Award, and the International Reading Award: Children Book of the Year in 1996, 2000, and 2002.
These are but a few of the beloved authors at the IRA 58th Annual Convention, which runs from April 19 to 22, 2013, in San Antonio, Texas. Visit www.iraconvention.org and the iPlanner Program Grid and Event Search for details.
Amanda Lister is the strategic communications intern at the International Reading Association.