Award-winners Myers, Pinkney to Headline Summits


Walter Dean Myers and Andrea Davis Pinkney – both award-winning authors of books for children and young adults – have joined the roster of keynote speakers at the Scholastic Book Fairs Reading Summits for Educational Leaders.

Walter – recently named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature – is the critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling author of more than 80 books for children and young adults, including Sunrise Over Fallujah, Fallen Angels, Monster, Somewhere in the Darkness, Slam!, Jazz, and Harlem. Walter has received two Newbery Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, and is the inaugural recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

In addition, he was the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award and the 1994 recipient of the American Library Association's Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring an author for a "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature." The acclaimed author – considered one of the preeminent children’s writers – is also the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

Raised in Harlem, Walter struggled in school until he found a teacher who saw promise in his writing. His first picture book, Where Does the Day Go?, was published in 1969 and led to many memorable titles whose characters and setting echo Walter’s childhood.

Upon receiving the National Ambassador title, Walter – slated for the July 17 summit in Dallas, Texas, July 24 summit in Alexandria, Va. – was quoted as saying, “It’s exciting. It’s a chance to stand up and say publicly what I’ve been saying privately. There is a crisis involving reading in certain communities.

Andrea’s books – which include picture books, novels, and works of historical fiction, and nonfiction – have led the New York Times bestseller list and have garnered countless awards. Her most recent book, Dear America: With the Might of Angels, was published by Scholastic Inc. last fall. Her picture book Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down, is a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor Book, among multiple other awards.

The author, who will speak at the June 27 summit in Pittsburgh, Pa., was recently named one of “The 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal and is listed among “The 25 Most Influential People in Our Children’s Lives” by Children’s Health Magazine.

The daughter of an English teacher and wife of illustrator Brian Pinkney, Andrea’s interest in writing was piqued as a girl surrounded by books. “I soon learned that authors were the people who wrote books, and I discovered that I wanted to be an author,” she recalls. “I absolutely hope that my books make a positive difference in people’s lives.”

Register Now to Hear These and Other Great Speakers

Participants at the annual summits, which will be held in seven locations across the country, will receive continuing professional educational credits. Professional development and summit breakout sessions will focus on:

  • Creating a Reading Culture on a School Campus Through the Power of the Booktalk
  • Developing a Summer Reading Plan to Prevent the Summer Slide
  • Engaging Parents as Reading Partners Through Family Involvement Programs
  • Providing Leadership Tips to Promote Reading Practice
  • Implementing Book Studies for Boys and Girls to Inspire Student Reading
The $99 cost also includes professional development breakout sessions, lunch, parking, and a gift bag of books. Fellow staff members can attend for just $49. Dates, locations, and other keynote speakers include:

  • Atlanta, Ga. – June 12: Superintendent Dr. Valya S. Lee of Twiggs County Public Schools; and Christopher Paul Curtis, author of The Watsons Go to Birmingham;
  • San Francisco, Calif. – June 14: Pam Allyn, author of The Best Books for Boys: How to Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives; and Christopher Paul Curtis, author of The Watsons Go to Birmingham;
  • Minneapolis, Minn. – June 25: Pam Allyn, author of The Best Books for Boys: How to Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives; and Gordon Korman, author of the Titanic series;
  • Pittsburgh, Pa. – June 27: Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child; and Andrea Davis Pinkney, author of Dear America: With the Might of Angels;
  • Park Ridge, N.J. – July 12: University of Tennessee professors, authors, and researchers Drs. Richard Allington and Anne McGill-Franzen; and Henry Winkler and Lynn Oliver, authors of Hank Zipzer: The Mostly True Confessions of the World's Best Underachiever;
  • Dallas, Texas – July 17: Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child; and Walter Dean Myers, author of Sunrise Over Fallujah
  • Alexandria, Va. – July 24: Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child; and Walter Dean Myers, author of Sunrise Over Fallujah.
For more information or to register for one of these great events, click here.

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