In her riveting speech as the Briley Lecture honoree at the 13th Biennial USBBY Regional Conference (Oct 2019,) Nicola Davies succinctly and resolutely reminded all present that, “Despair is a luxury. Hope is a moral obligation.”
The following issue of Bridges highlights moments from the recent conference, as well as activities throughout USBBY and IBBY over the past three months, that offer the entire children’s literature community avenues by which to exercise the imperative of hope.
Attendees past and present report that its intimate size stands out as one of the main draws when deciding to go the Regional Conference.
Poster sessions, breakout sessions, general sessions, meals and multiple author/illustrator signing opportunities provide all conference-goers near endless opportunities to connect. Invariably these connections lead to inspiration and collaboration and spark new ideas about what’s possible, once attendees return home. Attendance this year included visitors from all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Indonesia, and more!
International Illustration Showcases
One of the features of the Regional Conference is the effort to encourage more representation of and participation by U.S. illustrators throughout international illustration showcases and competitions. USBBY 8-person Illustration Committee collects information about these competitions, like the Bologna Book Fair and the Nami Island Concours, in order to be able to post the information encourage and facilitate applications from U.S. illustrators. USBBY’s own Brenda Dales was in Bratislava for the Biennial of Illustration 2019 Awards, which ran concurrently with our Regional Conference, to foster these efforts, as well.
Speaking of illustation, it’s thrilling and encouraging to see that so many titles on the 2019 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books list all have international roots, connections, accolades or feature friends of USBBY, (like Regional Conference guest, Christian Robinson.)
Attending NCTE in Baltimore? The USBBY session at the National Council of Teachers of English Convention will be held on Friday, November 22 from 11:00-12:15 in Room 307 of the Baltimore Convention Center. The panel presentation “Imagination and Inquiry: Celebrating and Honoring International Stories for Children and Adolescents” will feature authors Rebecca Balcarcel and Alexandria Giardino and illustrator John Parra.
Attending ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia? Make sure to be at the USBBY session on Friday night, Jan 24, from 8:00-10:00 p.m., for the announcement of the 2020 Outstanding International Books list and corresponding book talk.
In addition, authors Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohammed will discuss the forthcoming middle grade graphic novel, When Stars Are Scattered, which describes Mohamed’s experience growing up in a Somali refugee camp.
Sustainable Development Goals Book Club
The list of books recommended for SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, is now online at https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sdgbookclub/, which is also provided as a link on the IBBY website.
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The United States Board on Books for Young People
The U.S. National Section of International Board on Books for Young People
Building Bridges Through Children's and Young Adult Books
Center for Teaching through Children´s Books
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V. Ellis Vance, Executive Director Executive.Director@usbby.org
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