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Featured Presenters

Sherman Alexie

Banquet Speaker

Renowned author, poet, screenwriter, filmmaker and stand-up comedian Sherman Alexie most recently won the prestigious 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (War Dances), adding to a long list of honors that includes a National Book Award in Young People’s Literature (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian), the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2008 Stranger Genius Award in Literature and the 1998-2001 World Heavyweight Poetry Championship.

Sherman Alexie’s most recent collection of poetry, Face, was also included on the San Francisco Chronicle’s list of Best poetry books of 2009 and his 1998 film Smoke Signals will be featured on the Turner Classic Movies channel this May as part of the Native American Images on Film series.  The recently released collection of interviews Conversations with Sherman Alexie, edited by Nancy Peterson, is now available from University Press of Mississippi.

For much more information related to Mr. Alexie’s awards, updated news, links to media and biography, please visit shermanalexie.com.


Royce Buckingham

Royce Buckingham was born in Richland, Washington and grew up downriver from the Hanford nuclear plant, which might explain his mutated view of the world.

As a kid, Royce loved stories, such as The Phantom Tollbooth and The Hobbit. He collected comic books, watched Jaws at nine years old, Star Wars at eleven, and Alien at thirteen. He was even a Dungeons & Dragons nerd.

Royce obtained an English degree from Whitman College and a law degree from the University of Oregon, then became a prosecuting attorney. His first novel, Demonkeeper, was inspired by his work in juvenile court—it is a monster story about lost children being eaten up by the chaos of street-life.

Royce wrote for 13 years in his spare time before he hit a home run in 2005, selling Demonkeeper to both Putnam and 20th Century Fox within a month of each other. Demonkeeper then hit the bestseller list in Germany. He has multiple monstery novels in multiple countries now and continues to write in his dwindling spare time.

Buckingham lives in Bellingham, WA with his wife, whom he met in the courtroom where she was covering one of his criminal cases as a reporter. They have two boys, neither of which have been eaten by demons, or goblins, or mutated trees…yet.


Gennifer Choldenko

Friday Breakfast Speaker

Gennifer Choldenko’s first novel, Notes from a Liar and Her Dog, was a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and a California Book Award winner. Her second novel, Al Capone Does My Shirts, was a Newbery Honor Book and a School Library Journal, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. Al Capone Does My Shirts was short-listed for the Carnegie in the United Kingdom and has been on the New York Times, Booksense, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. Her most recent picture book, Louder, Lili (illustrated by SD Schindler), was published in 2007. If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period, an ALA notable recording, just came out in paperback and her newest novel Al Capone Shines My Shoes—a sequel to the beloved Al Capone Does My Shirts—is a Kirkus, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Chicago Public Library Best of the Best for 2009. Her newest novel No Passengers Beyond This Point is due out in January 2011. Gennifer is hard at work on the last book in the Al Capone trilogy right now.


Mike Eisenberg

Job Security for Teacher-Librarians: Implementing Comprehensive Big6 Information Literacy Programs

Dr. Michael B. Eisenberg conducts research, writes, consults, and lectures frequently on information literacy, information technology, information management and library education.

Mike focuses on the use of information and information technology by individuals and organizations to meet their information needs and manage their information more effectively and efficiently. He is nationally known for his innovative approach to information problem-solving and technology in learning and teaching: the Big6.


Christopher Harris

Keynote Speaker

Christopher Harris, author of the Infomancy blog, is the Coordinator of the School Library System for the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, an educational services agency supporting the libraries of 22 small, rural districts in Western NY. In addition to his writing on Infomancy, he is a regular technology columnist for School Library Journal talking about “The Next Big Thing”. Along with Andy Austin, Christopher wrote an ALA TechSource Library Technology Report on using the open source Drupal content management framework in libraries published in 2008. Libraries Got Game, a book on using curriculum aligned modern board games in school libraries written with Brian Mayer was published by ALA Editions in 2010. Christopher was a participant in the first American Library Association Emerging Leaders program in 2007, and was honored as a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in 2008. An avid gamer as well as a dedicated reader of both digital and print formats, he lives with his wife, a K-12 school librarian, and four cats in Le Roy, NY.


Kirby Larson

Saturday Lunch Speaker

Kirby Larson went from history-phobe to history fanatic thanks to hearing a snippet of a story about her great-grandmother homesteading in eastern Montana. That bit of family lore inspired her to write Hattie Big Sky, a young adult historical novel, which is a 2007 Newbery Honor Award and Montana Book Award winner, and has garnered over a dozen state reading/Children’s Choice award nominations. In 2006, she began collaborating with her dear friend, Mary Nethery, a partnership that has so far produced two non-fiction picture books. The first, Two Bobbies: A True Tale of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival, illustrated by Jean Cassels, won the 2008 ASPCA Henry Bergh Award, 2009 SIBA Award, and has been nominated for over a dozen state reading awards. Their second joint project, Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle, spent two months on the New York Times bestseller list, is a Christopher Award winner and has been nominated for the Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book award. In the past six months, Kirby has been drinking lots of coffee in order to finish not one but two historical novels. The Fences Between Us (September 2010) is set during WWII and The Friendship Doll (Spring 2011) takes place over a 10-year period during the Great Depression. She lives and writes in Kenmore, Washington, with her patient husband and Winston the Wonder Dog.


Mary Nethery

Saturday Lunch Speaker

Mary Nethery is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of many picture books for children, as well as books for readers of all ages.

She has collaborated with Newbery Honor recipient, Kirby Larson, to write Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival, and Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle.

Two Bobbies received the ASPCA Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award and the 2009 SIBA Book Award. It was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and is a Junior Library Guild selection; a 2009 IRA Teachers’ Choice; a 2009 IRA/CBC Children’s Choice, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People; and is included in The Best Children’s Books of the Year, Bank Street College. Nubs is a New York Times Best Seller and recipient of the Christopher Award, the 2009 National Parenting Publication Gold Award, and is a Junior Library Guild Selection. Warner Brothers has optioned the book for a major motion picture.

Coming in June, 2010, is Mary’s newest picture book, illustrated by John Manders–The Famous Nini: A Mostly True Story of How a Plain White Cat Became a Star. Set in 1890’s Venice, it tells the story of the meteoric rise of a plain white cat to the world stage. His fans included Giuseppe, the Czar of Russia, the Emperor of Ethiopia, Pope Leo XIII and the Queen and King of Italy.

Mary’s writing studio and home are in Eureka, California where she lives with her husband Han, and their super brilliant cat, Dashiell, AKA the Baby Muse.


Alyson Noel

Saturday Breakfast Speaker

Alyson Noel is  the #1 New York Times, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, Wall Street Journal, NCIBA, and Walmart bestselling author of: Faking 19, Art Geeks and Prom Queens, Laguna Cove, Fly Me to the Moon, Kiss and Blog, Saving Zoe, First Kiss (Then Tell) – an anthology, Cruel Summer, and the Immortals series, including: Evermore, Blue Moon, Shadowland, Dark Flame (06.22.10), Radiance (08.31.10), Night Star (2010), and more to come in 2010, 2011 and 2012!

Alyson’s book awards (thus far) include the National Reader’s Choice Award, NYLA Book of Winter Award, NYPL Books for the Teenage, TeensReadToo 5 Star Gold Award, TeenReads, Best Books of 2007Reviewer’s Choice 2007 Top Ten, nominated for a CYBIL award, Nominated for a Quill Award, Nominated for YALSA’s Teen’s Top Ten, chosen for the CBS Early Show’s “Give the Gift of Reading” segment, Seventeen Magazine“Hot List” and Beach Book Club Pick.

Keep up with Alyson at her blog or her website.


David Patneaude

David Patneaude finally heeded the advice, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood,” and began writing seriously (more or less) in the mid 1980’s. His first novel, Someone Was Watching, was published in 1993. His books have been placed on more than thirty state young readers’ lists and honored by the New York Public Library (The Last Man’s Reward), the Society of School Librarians International Framed in Fire, the Winnetka (Illinois) Public Library’s “One Book, Two Villages” program (Thin Wood Walls), and the Washington State Public Library (Thin Wood Walls). His newest book, Epitaph Road, was published to strong reviews in March 2010. When he’s not sitting in a coffee shop writing, or at a school or library or conference talking about writing, or out on the running trail thinking about writing, he’s at home in Woodinville, Washington with his wife Judy, a teacher librarian at Leota Junior High.


Sydney Salter

Connecting Readers With Authors In A Virtual Age: Learn how to enhance children and teens’ reading experience by connecting with authors online

Sydney Salter’s novels include My Big Nose And Other Natural DisastersJungle Crossing, and Swoon At Your Own Risk.

Sydney lives in Utah with her husband, two daughters, two hairy dogs, two lazy cats, and a pair of quiet tortoises.  She loves spending her days at her “messy desk working on novels, and drinking lots of tea.”

When not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, hiking, skiing, traveling, and searching for the ultimate cupcake. She is also a Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s & Illustrators.


Jim Whiting

Jim Whiting has published more than 100 nonfiction titles for young readers in less than a decade, a feat that certainly makes him one of the most prolific authors in Washington state.  His subjects literally run the gamut from A(ntarctica) to Z(ionism). Many of his books have received glowing reviews.

Jim began his working life as a high school English and journalism teacher.  His professional writing career began later, eventually leading to a 17-year stint publishing Northwest Runner magazine.  Since leaving the magazine, Jim’s freelance credits include the Seattle Times, USA Today, ncaa.com, ArtsAmerica.com, and a host of regional sports publications.

In addition to his own work, he’s edited nearly 200 additional books in numerous genres. He’s also ventured into a number of classrooms and served as a presenter at writers’ conferences, conveying the enthusiasm for a good story that still animates him.


Janet Wong

Teaching Ethics through Children’s Literature

Why do children cheat and lie? Should schools become more actively involved in teaching ethics? Wong’s answer is yes: teachers and librarians must tackle ethics head-on, as part of their curriculum–and a number of children’s and YA books provide opportunities for meaningful discussion of these issues. In Wong’s most recent book, Me and Rolly Maloo, children cheat on a math test, motivated by peer pressure, sibling rivalry, private school admissions, and a desire to be popular. Wong will highlight “Quick-Talk” examples from this book as well as a variety of books by other authors. Handouts appropriate for different levels, K-12, will be provided.

Janet Wong (www.janetwong.com) is the author of 21 books for children and young adults, including Minn and Jake (a 2006 Sasquatch award nominee). Janet’s transition from lawyer to poet has been the subject of articles and television features, including a “Remembering Your Spirit” segment on The Oprah Winfrey Show; her poems and stories have also appeared in some unusual venues, such as subway posters. Wong urges readers to write about their own childhood and family stories, a prominent theme in her books and school presentations. She believes that “everyone has a story,” and enjoys encouraging young writers to pursue publication of their own work.

Wong’s latest book is Me and Rolly Maloo, a chapter book about cheating, peer pressure, and popularity.

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