COMMERCE, Texas -- A day of insight into literacy and children's learning is planned at the 5th Annual Bill Martin jr Memorial Symposium on Friday, May 8, at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
The opening keynote speech will be at 9 a.m. with children's book author Jane Yolen speaking.
The author of almost 300 books for children and young adults, Yolen has been called the "Hans Christian Anderson of America."
"Although it is not uncommon for writers of children's books to specialize in one genre, Yolen has written books across a multitude of genres, and books for a wide range of age groups," said Dr. Deena Harper, faculty member in the A&M-Commerce curriculum and instruction department.
She is the recipient of many awards for her books. "Owl Moon"
received the prestigious Caldecott Award, and "The Devil's Arithmetic" won the Sydney Taylor Book Award given by the Jewish Book Council. She has won Nebula Awards given by the Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America - in 1997 for her short story, "Sister Emily's Lightship," and in 1998 for her novelette, "Lost Girls."
Yolen was given the Golden Kite Award by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and her books were named honor books twice. She has also twice received the Christopher Medal, an award given by the Christopher Society to books that are considered to be "shining a light on to the world."
Her most recent Christopher Medal was for "How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?"
The symposium is named in honor of the late Bill Martin, who wrote more than 300 children's books. Martin was a resident of Commerce until his death in 2005, and the symposium is designed to continue his legacy.
Those attending the conference have the opportunity to attend not only the keynote and 12:15 p.m. luncheon speech by Yolen, but they are offered an array of breakout sessions designed to help them enhance teaching and learning.
The breakout sessions focus on the use of children's books in the classrooms. Presenters at these sessions are teachers and instructors from A&M-Commerce, Northeast Texas, and locations across the nation.
Participants will also be able to purchase books from the Scholastic Book Fair being held in conjunction with the conference and vendors will have displays.
There will also be an opportunity to tour the Bill Martin jr Library, the Northeast Texas Children's Museum, and the Texas A&M University-Commerce Planetarium.
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