15th annual Hubbs Children's Literature Conference Feb. 24 features Minnesota authors

15th annual Hubbs Children’s Literature Conference Feb. 24 features Minnesota authors

Minnesota authors Nancy Carlson and Jane Resh Thomas will keynote the 15th annual Hubbs Children’s Literature Conference on Saturday, Feb. 24, at the University of St. Thomas. The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the university’s O’Shaughnessy Educational Center.

Carlson, a Minnesota native, lives in Edina. She is an award-winning author and illustrator of more than 50 books spanning 25 years. Several of her stories have won the Children’s Choices award from the International Reading Association, including Harriet’s Recital (Carolrhoda, 1982); Arnie and the Stolen Markers (Viking, 1987); I Like Me!  (Viking, 1988); and Arnie and the Skateboard Gang (Viking, 1995). Two of Carlson’s recent books are Get Up and Go! and First Grade, Here I Come! (both published last year by Viking).

Thomas, of Minneapolis, won a 2006 Minnesota Book Award for Counterfeit Princess (Clarion, 2005), a historical novel for young adults. The author of more than 15 books for children also reviews children’s literature and conducts writing workshops throughout the state. She won a Kerlan Award in 2001 for her achievements in and contributions to children’s literature.

Among topics of the variety of sessions at the daylong conference: choosing new multicultural books for elementary and middle school classrooms; “The Cream of the Crop for 2006,” a session about award-winning literature for children and young adults; using children’s literature to discuss death and dying; picture books; and the Kerlan Collection, the children’s literature research collection at the University of Minnesota. The conference will interest anyone connected with children’s literature in education, librarians and authors, and those simply devoted to quality literature for children and adolescents.

Cost, including lunch and refreshments, is $55. Students may attend for $15. To register or for further information, call the university’s School of Education, (651) 962-4878, or visit the conference Web site. The registration deadline is Friday, Feb. 16.

The annual conference, sponsored by St. Thomas’ School of Education, is supported by an endowment from Margaret and the late Ronald Hubbs, who were advocates for literacy in Minnesota and provided funds for the St. Thomas libraries’ children’s literature collection. Ronald Hubbs was president of St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. from 1963 to 1973 and retired as chairman of the board in 1977. He then devoted his time to a variety of educational, civic, cultural and philanthropic organizations. He was a longtime champion of adult literature programs and also was instrumental in establishing a Chinese language program in the St. Paul school district.