The International Reading Association (IRA) is excited to announce that popular children’s book authors Jeff Kinney, Dav Pilkey, Megan McDonald, Matt de la Peña, and Mary Pope Osborne and renowned educators P. David Pearson and Rafe Esquith will speak at the IRA 59th Annual Conference in New Orleans on May 9-12, 2014.
Megan McDonald Dav Pilkey Matt de la Peña P. David Pearson Rafe Esquith Mary Pope Osborne
Diary of a Wimpy Kid series author Jeff Kinney kicks off the conference at the Opening General Session on the morning of Saturday, May 10, 2014. Kinney was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World and was twice voted Author of the Year at the Children's Choice Book Awards. The Wimpy Kid series won Favorite Book at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards three times.
Later on May 10, Megan McDonald, author of the Judy Moody and Stink series, will speak at the Primary Literature Author Luncheon. McDonald has penned over 60 books for children and young readers. Her hilarious Judy Moody books have won numerous awards, ranging from a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year to an International Reading Association Children's Choice to the first-ever Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award. McDonald also created a series featuring Judy’s brother, Stink, and The Sisters Club trilogy.
The General Session on Sunday, May 11, 2014 features Dav Pilkey, creator of the Captain Underpants series, which is now published in 22 languages. Pilkey also wrote the children’s favorites Dog Breath, winner of the California Young Reader Medal; The Paperboy, a Caldecott Honor Book; The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, which debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list; and the Dumb Bunnies series.
Sunday’s Young Adult Literature Author Luncheon speaker is young adult novelist Matt de la Peña, author of the critically-acclaimed and award-winning books Ball Don’t Lie, Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, and I Will Save You. He is expanding into younger children’s literature as well, with the release of the picture book A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis (illustrated by Kadir Nelson) and his middle grade contribution to the upcoming Guys Read: Thriller anthology.
The Closing General Session on Monday, May 12, 2014 will feature two additional luminaries. P. David Pearson, former dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, the nation’s foremost literacy researcher and chair of the IRA Literacy Research Panel, will offer research based perspectives on critical issues of literacy education. Rafe Esquith, author of the New York Times bestseller Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire, the only teacher to have been awarded the president’s National Medal of the Arts, will offer insights on dynamic classroom pedagogy. Esquith has thirty-plus years of experience as a classroom teacher and has been given the American Teacher Award, the Compassion in Action Award from the Dalai Lama, Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award, Parents magazine’s As You Grow Award, Oprah Winfrey’s Use Your Life AwardTM, and People magazine’s Heroes Among Us Award.
The special guest for the Book and Author Luncheon on Monday is Mary Pope Osborne, author of the New York Times number one bestselling Magic Tree House series and co-author of The Magic Tree House Fact Tracker series, along with her husband, Will, and her sister Natalie Pope Boyce.
“The 2014 IRA Conference will offer literacy educators unparalleled opportunities to gain valuable new insights on literacy instruction, including the latest in research-based instruction, classroom-ready teaching ideas, and practical, ready to use ways to implement the Common Core State Standards in K-12 classrooms,” explains IRA President Maureen McLaughlin.
“We’re thrilled that so many literacy educators consider our conference their number one event for professional development and networking,” adds IRA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post. “We work to improve it each year, whether it’s including more or better programs on the latest hot topics or streamlining registration and services. We’ve been listening to attendees to determine what they want and need to improve their skills as many states transition to Common Core State Standards implementation. This year is guaranteed to be the best conference yet.”
The IRA 59th Annual Conference will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, from Saturday, May 10 through Monday, May 12, 2014, with an Institute Day on Friday, May 9. Registration will open in December 2013. For more information on programs, registration, and exhibits call 800-336-7323 (302-731-1600 international) or visit the official conference website at www.iraconference.org or follow #IRA14 on Twitter.