Neal Shusterman -- learn more on his website.
Steven L. Layne is an educator and an author of 24 books. He writes most everything from picture books to young adult books. He is very active in the Illinois Reading Council and is certainly one of their great treasures.
Steve talked about (and showed slides of some of the art work from) Love the Baby, Share with Brother, and Stay with Sister. The books came about initially from his daughter Victoria (although she was portrayed as a brother in the first book), and followed by two more books about the brother and sister (the new baby).
Jordan Sonnenblick - read from Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip and spoke about teaching 5th grade and reading a favorite book Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (who followed him on the reading stage).
Katherine Paterson the well known author of Bridge to Terabithia read from her book Flint Heart, authored with John Paterson (2011) -- The ancient talisman reemerges and threatens a kindly farmer thousands of years later. Charles sees his first pixie and with the help of the fairies he manages to rescue humans, fairies, and animals from the dark influence of the Flint Heart.
Eric Rohmann, the 2013 Prairie State Award winner talked about creating the covers for books by Phillip Pullman and shared a reading from a novel -- a novel about a submarine, a mystery, and a rendezvous. "I am Tad Lincoln. My father needs your help." A recent book was featured during the conference: Oh, No! by Candace Fleming with illustrations by Eric Rohmann.
I was able to purchase a copy (or two) and asked both Candy and Eric to autograph the books. One will go with my autographed books and one will begin Pryor's collection.
Sharon Draper - a five time Coretta Scott King Award winner read from her new book, Panic. The chief protagonist is a 15 year-old who is very smark but who has made some stupid choices. She is stalked by a predator. Diamond is abducted near a dance studio. The inclusion of the dance studio is due, in part, to the fact that Draper's daughter owns a dance studio. Read more about the book on Draper's website.
Gordan Korman is a most gifted writer. One of his first books is It Can't Be happening at McDonald Hall. This night, he read from his book, Hideout, the fifth book in his Swindle series. Titles in the series include:
Tim Green who played in the NFL for the Atlantic Falcons. He writes to combine his love of literature and of sports. His writing helps to "Get boys inside the world of sports," and because, "It's a world I know." At one point when his wife was diagnosed with cancer (they have five children), Green stopped everything and became her caregiver through chemo and surgery. She "clawed her way back to health." He wanted to write about that unstoppable spirit. And along the way he found out about another great spirit - -a man, Jeffrey Keith, who at the age of 12 lost his legs to cancer but went on to become a Division I LaCrosse player. The hero of Unstoppable is Harrison, named after Jeff Keith's own son.
And so ended the readers' night at the Illinois Reading Council's very popular event - March 14, 2013.