February 14 & 15, 1998
Alma Flor Ada
Alma Flor Ada is Professor Emerita at USF, founder and first Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the National Assoc. for Bilingual Education (NABE), and award winning author of books for children and adolescents, writes in a variety of genres. Her memoir Under the Royal Palms: A Childhood in Cuba earned the Pura Belpré Award. My Name is Maria Isabel was a NCSS/CBC Notable Book and ABA "Pick of the Lists" and the Hidden Forest book, Dear Peter Rabbit, won the Parents' Choice Award. Her books for teachers include A Magical Encounter and Authors In the Classroom: Transformative Education for Teachers, Students, and Families. New releases are Pio Peep, I Love Saturdays y domingos and Mamá Goose, A Latino Nursery Treasury. Web Site: www.almaflorada.com
Arnold Adoff discovered his love of words as a child growing up in the Bronx and is the author of over 30 books for children and young adults. He is the winner of the 1988 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. "I read everything in the house and then all I could carry home each week from the libraries I could reach on Bronx buses," Adoff remembers. After graduating from New York's City College, Adoff went on to study at Columbia University and the New School for Social Research. He was a teacher and counselor in New York City public schools for 12 years and has taught in educational projects at New York University and Connecticut College; experiences that help him capture the reality of childhood in his work. "I just try to create real kids and say real things for real readers," says Adoff. Some of Adoff's previous books include Love Letters, a brilliantly conceived collection of witty love poems; black is brown is tan, a SLJ Best Book of 1973, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Emily Arnold McCully; Street Music, a 1995 American Bookseller Pick of the Lists; and Slow Dance Heart Break Blues, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults of 1995. Web Site: www.arnoldadoff.com
Ashley Bryan grew up in the Bronx, New York in a house full of storytellers. His parents were from the island of Antigua in the Caribbean. With more than 30 books to his credit, he has won the Coretta Scott King Award for Beat the Story Drum, Pum-Pum. The Lion and Ostrich, his ABC's of African Tales and What a Morning! were all honor books. He is the recipient of the Arbuthnot Prize, an international achievement award. Ashley has been making books since he was a child. He studied at the Cooper Union Art School and Columbia University. He has taught at Queens College, Lafayette College and Dartmouth. He presently lives on an island off the coast of Maine.
Virginia Hamilton was the recipient of nearly every major award and honor in her field and one of today's most distinguished writers for children and young adults. She was the first writer for children to receive a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. Awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1992 and the 1995 Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, she penned such groundbreaking novels as M.C. Higgins the Great, which was awarded the John Newbery Medal. Sweet Whispers and Brother Rush and The Planet of Junior Brown, were both Newbery Honor books. Her collections of folklore, mythology, and historical stories include In the Beginning, a Newbery Honor Book; The People Could Fly, winner of the Coretta Scott King Award; and Many Thousand Gone. She also wrote the novel Plain City, an ALA Notable Children's Book; Jaguarundi, a picture book; and Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales, a collection of nineteen stories. Sadly, Virginia died in 2002 but her body of work continues to enrich the lives of all. Web Site: www.virginiahamilton.com
Herbert Kohl, a nationally renowned school reformer, was a Senior Fellow at the Open Society Institute in New York City. He has written more than 30 books on education, including the acclaimed 36 Children, The Open Classroom, The Discipline of Hope: Learning from a Lifetime of Teaching, Growing Minds: On Becoming a Teacher, 'I Won't Learn from You': And Other Thoughts on Creative Maladjustment, and Should We Burn Babar? Essays on Children's Literature and the Power of Stories. He has also written A Grain of Poetry: How to Read Contemporary Poems and Make Them a Part of Your Life and Making Theater: Developing Plays With Young People.
Simon Ortiz is a contemporary Native American writer who continues to be a strong voice in literature today. His many writings include poems, short stories, essays, and children's books. His fascination with listening to the traditional stories told by his elders as a child, lead to his passion for writing. A full blooded Native American, he grew up in the Acoma Pueblo community in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he experienced the hardships of the clash of Native American and English cultures; being caught speaking his native tongue of Keresan was sharply punished. Writing became a way for him to both embrace and share his culture. His career includes teaching at San Diego State, the Institute of American Indian Arts, Navajo Community College, the College of Marin, the University of New Mexico, and the Sinte Gleska College. He also served as lieutenant governor of the Pueblo of Acoma and consulting editor of the Pueblo of Acoma Press. Awards include the Wordcraft Circle Writer of the Year (Anthology/Collection) Award, 2000 for Speaking for Generations and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writer's Circle of the Americas (1993). His books for children include The People Shall Continue, and The Good Rainbow Road: Rawa Kashtyaa'tsi Hiyaani, a Native American tale in Keres and English followed by a translation into Spanish. In addition to guest appearances Mr. Ortiz continues to lecture, write, and contribute to the works of others. Website: www.uta.edu/english/tim/poetry/so/ortizmain.htm
Jack Zipes is an author, scholar, teacher, translator, storyteller, activist, and an internationally recognized researcher and critic. He has worked with children's theaters in France, Germany, Canada, and the United States. A professor of German at the University of Minnesota, Jack has also taught at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, the University of Florida and New York University. His writings include, Don't Bet on the Prince, The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood, When Dreams Came True, Classical Fairy Tales and Their Tradition, Why Fairy Tales Stick: The Evolution and Relevance of a Genre, and Sticks and Stones: The Troublesome Success of Children’s Literature from Slovenly Peter to Harry Potter. He was editor of The Lion and the Unicorn, the Norton Anthology of Children's Literature, and the four-volume The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature.
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