Innovators, Visionaries, and Rebels: Celebrating Risk Takers in Young Adult Literature

The complete schedule for this year’s workshop is below. Use the accordion headers for each section (Monday morning, Breakout, etc.) to expand the schedule for that segment.

Please note that all sessions described below (except for the breakout sessions on Monday afternoon) will be held in B312-B314. See the map below for the specific location within the Georgia World Congress Center.

2016 ALAN Breakfast and Workshop Locations





Jennifer Buehler, 2016 ALAN President


Keynote Speaker

A. S. King (Penguin Young Readers Group)

Introduced by Jennifer Buehler, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO


Individual Speaker

Matt de la Peña (Random House)

Introduced by Daria Plumb, Traverse City West Senior High School, Traverse City, MI


Intersections between Fiction and Nonfiction

Ali Benjamin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Sy Montgomery (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Chaired by Gary Salvner, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH


Rape and Healing

Laurie Halse Anderson (Penguin Young Readers Group)

E. K. Johnston (Penguin Young Readers Group)

Amber Smith (Simon & Schuster)

Chaired by Ricki Ginsberg, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT


Writing and Talking About Sex: The Oral History Podcast

Christa Desir (Simon & Schuster)

Carrie Mesrobian (HarperCollins)

Chaired by Andrew Karre, Dutton Books for Young Readers, New York, NY




Authentic Urban Fiction

Jason Reynolds (Simon & Schuster)

Ibi Zoboi (HarperCollins)

Chaired by Beth Shaum, St. Frances Cabrini Middle School, Allen Park, MI


New Territories in Diverse Books

Christine Kendall (Scholastic)

Andrea Davis Pinkney (Scholastic)

Chaired by Jim Blasingame, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ


Re-Presenting Native Americans in YA Lit

Eric Gansworth (Scholastic)

Patti LaBoucane-Benson (House of Anansi/Groundwood Books)

Marcie Rendon (Cinco Puntos)

Tim Tingle (Cinco Puntos)

With support from Arizona State University RED INK Indigenous Initiative

Chaired by Angie Manfredi, Los Alamos County Public Library System, Los Alamos, NM


Presentation of the Nilsen-Donelson Award for best article in The ALAN Review

Chaired by Alan Teasley, Duke University, Durham, NC

Room B207

A Risky Business—Speaking Up for Coming Out: LGBTQ Resources for the Classroom and Library

Sarah Ressler Wright, RB Hayes High School, Delaware, OH

Becky Woodruff, Delaware County District Library, Delaware, OH

Amy Ellis Nutt, author/narrator of Becoming Nicole, Listening Library/Penguin Random House

Tim Federle, narrator of Stonewall, Listening Library/Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster Children’s Books

Room B208

From Activists to Zealots: Best Book Sets Featuring Innovators, Visionaries, and Rebels

Jennifer Shettel, Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Millersville, PA

Lesley Colabucci, Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Millersville, PA

Room B209

Risking a Closer Look: The Constructions of Women in Graphic Novels

Laura M. Jiménez, Boston University, Boston, MA

Room B210

Honoring Everyone: How We Approach Religion and Spirituality in YA Literature

Deborah Vriend Van Duinen, Hope College, Holland, MI

Bill Boerman-Cornell, Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, IL

Kristine Gritter, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA

Xu Bain, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA

Room B211

Risk-taking in the Classroom: Using Lit Theory to Discuss Society, Sexuality, and Community

Laura Renzi, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, West Chester, PA

Gabrielle Halko, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, West Chester, PA

Room B212

Waking Up From the American Dream: How Young Adult Literature Speaks to Class and Poverty

Crag Hill, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Anne McLeod, Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School, Athens, GA

Room B213

Respect for Readers, Teachers, and YA: Common Core and Text Complexity

Angie Beumer Johnson, Wright State University, Dayton, OH

Ellyn Shellhaas, Tri-County North High School, Lewisburg, OH

AJ Ricker, Wright State University, Dayton, OH

E. K. Johnston, Penguin Young Readers Group

Room B214

Literature as Advocacy: Selecting, Discussing, and Defending Diverse Young Adult Literature in the Classroom

R. L. Oviatt, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Ashley Johnson, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Davena Jackson, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Room B215

Lifeblood of Rebellion: Teaching Poetry from YA Literature to Engage Teens

Katherine Kottaras, Pasadena City College, Pasadena, CA

Room B216

Youth Perspectives on the Empowering Effects of Risky Literature

Mary M. Neville, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI


Lunch on your own


Inspiring Boys with Guys Read

Jon Scieszka (Abrams & HarperCollins)

Introduced by Chris Crowe, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT


Innovations in Nonfiction

Candace Fleming (Random House)

Deborah Heiligman (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)

Chaired by Lois Stover, Marymount University, Arlington, VA


Caught Between the Family You Want and the Family You Have

Bonnie Sue Hitchcock (Random House)

Lisa Moore (Groundwood Books)

Robin Roe (Disney-Hyperion)

Sara Zarr (HarperCollins)

Chaired by Kevin English, Wayne Memorial High School, Wayne, MI


Stories of Death and Grieving

Tim Federle (Simon & Schuster)

Kristin Lenz (Elephant Rock Books)

Adam Silvera (Soho Teen)

Len Vlahos (Bloomsbury)

Chaired by Cindy Minnich, Upper Dauphin Area High School, Elizabethville, PA




Breaking All the Rules

M.T. Anderson (Candlewick Press)

Introduced by Wendy Glenn, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT


Publishing as a Small Press

Lee Byrd (Cinco Puntos)

Phillippe Diederich (Cinco Puntos)

Jessica Powers (Cinco Puntos)

Chaired by cj Bott, Educational Consultant, Solon, OH and host of Under the Radar


Collaborations and Partnerships: YALLFest and YALLWest

Kami Garcia (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)

Margaret Stohl (Disney-Hyperion)

Chaired by Hannah Ekren, Mary Anne Thompson Associates, New York, NY


The Past and Future of YA Lit

Patty Campbell (Scarecrow Studies in Young Adult Literature)

Michael Cart (Booklist)

Chaired by Diane Tuccillo, Poudre River Public Library District, Fort Collins, CO


Literary Rebels: Join Get Lit’s Youth-Led Revolution

Get Lit Players (Simon & Schuster)

Introduced by Jennifer Ansbach, Manchester Township High School, Manchester, NJ


Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award


All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely (Simon & Schuster)

Honor Books

Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (Random House)

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez (Carolrhoda Lab)

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (HarperCollins)

Chaired by Mark Letcher, Lewis University, Romeoville, IL

Please note: There is no lunch break today. We end at 2 p.m.


ALAN Membership

Suzanne Metcalfe, Dimond High School, Anchorage, AK


The ALAN Review and Editors’ Award for Column Excellence

Wendy Glenn, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

Ricki Ginsberg , University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

Dani King, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT


Individual Speaker

Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic)

Introduced by Steve Bickmore, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV


Life After High School: Teens Seeking New Lives and Worlds

Kayla Cagan (Chronicle Books)

Benjamin Alire Saenz (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Jeff Zentner (Random House)

Chaired by Betty Bayer, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL


Literary Allusions and Genre Mashups

Zoraida Cordova (Sourcebooks)

Jennifer Mason-Black (Abrams)

Sarah Porter (Tor Teen)

Chaired by Renee Stites, Parkway Southwest Middle School, Ballwin, MO




Feminism and Girl Heroes

Frances Hardinge (Abrams)

Chaired by Barb Ward, Washington State University, Pullman, WA


Editorial Imprints

David Fickling (David Fickling Books/Scholastic)

Peader O’Guilen (David Fickling Books/Scholastic)

Chaired by Donalyn Miller, Scholastic, New York, NY




The Risks of Writing Teens of Color

Rahul Kanakia (Disney-Hyperion)

Randi Pink (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)

Chaired by Edith Campbell, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN


Expanding Visions of African American History

Jennifer Latham (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Patricia Hruby Powell (Chronicle Books)

Chaired by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA


New Takes on World War II

Ryan Graudin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Patricia McCormick (HarperCollins)

Chaired by Jennifer Hubert Swan, Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School, New York, NY




Human Monsters

Justine Larbalestier (Soho Teen)

Mindy McGinnis (HarperCollins)

Kara Thomas (Random House)

Chaired by Joni Richards Bodart, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA


Teens Saving Others and Themselves

David Arnold (Penguin Young Readers Group)

Mary Lou Hall (Penguin Young Readers Group)

Sonya Sones (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Chaired by Lee Ann Spillane, Cypress Creek High School, Orlando, FL


Individual Speaker

Neal Shusterman (Simon & Schuster)

Introduced by Nancy Johnson, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA




New Stories of War, Intrigue, and Dystopia

Leigh Bardugo (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)

Brian Conaghan (Bloomsbury)

Veronica Rossi (Tor Teen)

Chaired by Brian Wyzlic, Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School, Marine City, MI


Reimagining Love Stories

Kristin Clark (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)

Brendan Kiely (Simon & Schuster)

Bill Konigsberg (Scholastic)

Kenneth Oppel (Simon & Schuster)

Chaired by Kellee Moye, Hunters Creek Middle School, Orlando, FL


The Past and Future of ALAN

Joan Kaywell (University of South Florida, Tampa, FL)

Gary Salvner (Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH)

Chaired by Laura Renzi, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, West Chester, PA


The Handing Over

Jennifer Buehler, 2016 ALAN President

Laura Renzi, 2017 ALAN President