2012 Conference

Gary Schmidt

Gary Schmidt has authored more than 30 books for adults, teens and children. He received both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor for Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and a Newbery Honor for The Wednesday Wars. His most recent novel, Okay For Now has received acclaim, including starred reviews from Booklist, School Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews. His books TroubleStraw into Gold and Anson’s Way are perennial favorites. He says, “In thinking about my own work in children’s literature, it seems to me that I am interested in showing the beatific and the terrible complexities of our lives…It seems to me that our lives are just that: often sadder and funnier than we ever thought they would be. They are also more beatific than we have any reason to expect and my hope is to show that in the context of a world that if often dark.” Gary Schmidt lives with his family on a 150-year-old farm in Michigan and is a professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Laura McGee Kvasnosky

Laura McGee Kvasnosky is a master at taking true stories of childhood telling them through a magical combination of word and illustration. With the publication of her first books One, Two, Three, Play With Me! and Pink, Red, Blue, What Are You?, she invited friends and family to join her at the local bookstore for an autograph party that included a three-piece orchestra, catered goodies, and dancing on “talking bricks.” Now, 18 years later, she has 15 published books and has won awards for her work including the SCBWI Kite honors for Zelda and Ivy, and the American Library Association’s 2007 Theodor Seuss Geisel award for Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways. Her titles include: Zelda and Ivy books (seven and counting), Really Truly BingoFrank and Izzy Set Sail, and See You Later, Alligator. She celebrates life and the world through her stories and pictures, based primarily on family life. She began her writing career at age 8 sharpening pencils for her dad.

Patrick Carman

Patrick Carman is an award-winning author who experiments with the boundaries of books and reading. His Skeleton Creek series, a wonderfully chilling, middle school ghost story, invites readers to watch a video with each chapter to see the story unfold. He says of the series, “I do think this is just an extension of trying to find ways to reach kids who aren’t reading, The reason they’re not reading often is they’re online and also watching television. And I’m trying to find a way to get reading into that top five.” Thirteen Days to Midnight was a YALSA 2011 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers –a resource teachers and librarians across the nation use to find high-interest titles for young adults. The Land of Elyon series is a favorite tween and middle school fantasy read. It is an international bestselling series being sold in 23 countries. The book includes games and puzzles online to extend the experience for fans. His newest title, Dark Eden, has been paired with a downloadable app to provide multimedia content on mobile devices. Several months before the book’s release the title already had 50,000+ likes on Facebook.