Dyslexia Is No Barrier to Summit Speaker’s Career as Author


Children’s author Henry Winkler, who became a household name as the Fonz on the long-running TV series Happy Days, will yet again take a starring role – this time as a keynote speaker at a Scholastic Book Fairs Reading Summit for Educational Leaders.

The author of the Ghost Buddy series will join co-author Lin Oliver at the July 12 summit in Park Ridge, N.J. In the Ghost Buddy series, a boy named Billy Broccoli moves into a new house, only to find the home is still occupied – by a ghost named Hoover Porterhouse. The Hoove, as the ghost is known, becomes Billy’s greatest ally in his struggles against bullies and his quest to find acceptance at his new school. (Watch an author video about the series here.)

“At one time it was so hard for me to read a book. It is so monumental for me to be able to write a book,” Henry, a dyslexic, confesses in a Scholastic interview. “I want kids to be able to identify, laugh, and realize that they’re not alone no matter what their learning challenge is.”

In addition to writing, Henry also is an award-winning producer and a director of family and children’s programming. His Hollywood connections led him to Lin, who writes and produces movies, books, and television series for children and families. Together they are responsible for creating the popular Ghost Buddy series.

Henry’s commitment to children is further evidenced through his work with such children’s groups as MacLaren Children’s Center for abused children and the Special Olympics. In 2011, Queen Elizabeth of England awarded Henry the title of Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services to children with dyslexia and other special needs.

Such an accomplishment may pale, however, compared with Henry’s perseverance in addressing his own learning challenge. Books – once fearsome and intimidating – are now among his greatest comforts. “The days I spend with a great book are my happiest. No mater what frame of mind I’m in, I know there’s a book that will fit me,” Henry shares.

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 Lin 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.
Register now for one of these great events! For more information or to register, click here.

Connect Kids With Books They Want to
Read – Schedule a Book Fair Today!
Reading Summit for Educational Leaders
Summer Reading Challenge