It may have been Vegas with the lights and bling but at the booths and at the workshops it was all inspiring, energy and passionate dedicated teachers, librarians, parents, writers, publishers and editors. All offering great hope for education of future generations.
Many thanks to Eerdmans Books for Children for making it possible for me to be a part of this conference.
The bling was pretty much all outside.
Except for the inside where there was more sensory overload with music and lots of smoke.
Flashing lights a must.
I was part of a program that explored the use of books to help children understand and perhaps take action on issues of social justice. I had the honor of speaking with writer Deborah Ellis and illustrator Floyd Cooper on a panel. Books That Make a Difference: Kids Taking Action for Social Justice.
I used three of my picture books, Circles of Hope, Four Feet Two Sandals and My Name is Sangoel and stories of children I have known around the world in my presentation: Dreams, Hope and Loss in Everyday Life of Children Around the World.
Here is a tease: "I have lived with and worked with children who are aids orphans, children who live on the streets, sleep in trees. Young children who must find a way to earn a living, children who must be the adult in the family. Children who have lost everything including their country and sometimes even their name. These children have taught me much and they inform my writing."
It was an inspiring and thought provoking workshop. And I even got to sign books!
I came home with much to think about, lots of writing ideas and look what I get to read and share: