NC Reading Association Conference Takeaway


Linda, Madeleine Kuderick, Lester Laminack, Carole Boston Weatherford

Last Sunday afternoon (Quail Ridge Books and Music) and Monday morning (NCRA) Madeleine Kuderick and I generated some dialogue about mental illness. Raising awareness and getting the conversation going among teens as well as adults is what we are both committed to doing, and we weren’t disappointed. Well, I mean, that is after a comedy of errors at registration, the embarrassing realization we had not followed up enough to assure our bios and pictures made the booklet (they didn’t), and a last minute panic to get the projector operational!

But seriously speaking, we appreciated the opportunity to encourage classroom teachers and librarians to introduce students to a variety of literature with protagonists facing some form of mental illness. Of course we hope they buy our two books (Kiss of Broken Glass and Crazy) but we also supplied them with a list of other YA books dealing with mental illness.  Suggested YA Books Dealing with Mental Illness.  And then we challenged them to follow up with meaningful conversations that would perhaps replace, or at least over-ride less desirable forums for discourse on social media.

We pointed them to two articles found online, one from The Guardian where teens speak out about mental health, and the other on the topic of Bibliotherapy from School Library Journal.

Unfortunately technology got the best of us at the end, when we had intended to share a short video of Laurie Halse Anderson reading her poem, “Listen,” which is a response to her wonderful book, Speak. Her poem nails the point we are trying to make, and that is, books can change lives. Click here for a powerful few minutes of poetry.











NC Reading Association Conference Takeaway — 4 Comments

    • Oh my yes, there is a lot to learn on this journey but I wouldn’t miss it for anything! And I know you already have lots of this wisdom under your belt!

  1. Thanks for dropping in, Nancy. Yes, Laurie Halse Anderson is one of my favorite authors, and I wish she would write more poetry.

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