2004 Conference

Suzanne Fisher Staples

Suzanne Fisher Staples writes fiction for mid-grade and young adult readers and currently lives in Tennessee. Among her most recognized novels is Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind, a Newbery honor book. Staples has lived a full writing life, from spending thirteen years in Asia as a foreign correspondent to becoming an editor with The Washington Post. From 1985 to 1988 she lived with a nomadic tribe in the Cholistan Desert in Pakistan, where the inspiration for Shabanu was found. Her awards for Shiva’s Fire include the Parents’ Choice Gold Award and Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of 2000. Dangerous Skies garnered many awards including the IRA Notable Books for a Global Society and the ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Haveli received the Family Choice Award and was selected as an ALA Notable Book.

Keith Baker

Keith Baker grew up in Oregon and graduated from Eastern Oregon State College. After seven years of teaching elementary school, he returned to school to study illustration at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Baker’s honors and awards include a Parent’s Choice Illustration Award for The Dove’s Letter and Who Is the Beast?, a Golden Kite Award for Big Fat Hen, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year for The Magic Fan, and the bronze award UNICEF-Ezra Jack Keats International Award for excellence in children’s book illustration. Baker stands six feet three inches tall and lives in Seattle, Washington.

Pam Muñoz Ryan

Pam Muñoz Ryan has written over twenty-five books for young people including the novel, Esperanza Rising, winner of the Pura Belpré Medal, the Jane Addams Peace Award, an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults, and the Americas Award Honor Book. Her novel, Riding Freedom has garnered many awards including the national Willa Cather Award, and the California Young Reader Medal. Muñoz Ryan’s picture books include the award-winning Amelia and Eleanor Go For A Ride and When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson, which received an ALA Sibert Honor and the NCTE’s Orbis Pictus Award for nonfiction. Born and raised in Bakersfield, California she considers herself truly American because her cultural background is an ethnic smorgasbord that includes: Spanish, Mexican, Basque, Italian, and Oklahoman. She received her B.A. and M.A. at San Diego State University and now lives in north San Diego County with her husband and four children.