by Elizabeth Bleacher
Though she recently entered the adult fiction world to much acclaim, Jane O’Connor is best known for her work with children’s literature. She is the author of more than thirty books for children and currently works as vice-president of Penguin Books for Young Readers. Some of her most popular work includes her endearing children’s series, Fancy Nancy. Nancy’s spunk and eccentric personality has earned her a lasting place in the hearts of fans and more than 40 titles to her name.
O’Connor is the featured presenter at the Primary Literature Luncheon at IRA’s Annual Convention on Saturday, April 20, 2013. During the session, the award-winning author will share her extensive insight on the importance of children’s literature and the impact it has inside and outside of the classroom.
The first book of the series, Fancy Nancy, received the Quill Award for Best Picture Book in 2007, and seven other titles from the series have hit No. 1 on the New York Times bestsellers list. The series has recently evolved to include chapter books for Nancy fans that have moved beyond the picture book reading level.
Though Nancy’s fabulous sense of style plays a prominent role in the books, her admirable self-confidence and frequent use of “five-dollar” words are important too. A variety of teaching resources and downloadable activities make it easy for educators to incorporate Nancy in the classroom.
O’Connor is also the author of several nonfiction children’s books. Her two Smart about Art books detail the lives of Mary Cassatt and Henri Matisse in picture books that include reproductions of the artists’ well known works. The Emperor's Silent Army: Terra Cotta Warriors of Ancient China, released in 2002, was awarded Booklist’s Best Nonfiction Book for Young Readers.
IRA Annual Convention registration is open, and tickets for the Book and Author Luncheon with O’Connor on Saturday, April 20 are available on a first-come basis.
The IRA 58th Annual Convention 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.
Elizabeth Bleacher is the strategic communications department intern at the International Reading Association.