By Sara K. Sterner, Lisa Pinkerton, and Mary Ann Cappiello
CLA Expert Class 2023:
Nodes of Literary Connection—How Culturally Diverse Imprints are Building Pathways for More Inclusive and Representative Children’s Literature | Saturday, November 18, 2023 from 5:45 PM - 7:00 PM EST (GCCC Room B-130-132)
In collaboration with Ellen Myrick, President and Chief Marketer, Publisher Spotlight, the 30th annual Expert Class will feature an impressive gathering of authors, illustrators, publishers, and organizations that are influencing the landscape of inclusive representation in children’s literature for readers and creators alike (Menefee & Johnson, 2021; Rosenberg, 2022). Recognizing a continued dearth of diverse books for young readers, especially those written by diverse creators, the demand for more authentic representation in children’s publishing remains an issue (Menefee & Johnson, 2021). In response, small publishers and imprints are shifting the field—creating extended publishing pathways for inclusive books that serve as authentic nodes of literary connection for young readers.
This Expert Class explores a movement in the publishing industry working to expand representation in children's literature that has been woefully lacking in the field. It is our goal that participating in the session will help individuals to build nodes of connection that expand or enhance their knowledge of diverse publishers and creators and the books that they publish. Additionally, participants will have opportunities to discover new books and publishers that center representation and highlight lived experiences that have been historically underrepresented and misrepresented in literature for young people. Importantly, the session has the potential to trailblaze new pathways for participants as they work to guide young readers to experience windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors (Bishop, 1990) that flow out of these literary nodes of connection.
This year’s class will provide a unique opportunity for participants to interact directly with publisher/creator teams during the session as they rotate between tables. The session is organized in conversational-style groupings organized around the following focal themes. At each table, speakers will share the focus, vision, and collaborative process that constitute their books and work. In addition to building connections and learning from the experts featured in our Expert Class this year, there will be incredible door prizes and take-aways from the session.
International English Language Books: Featured Publisher
International Translated Books: Featured Publisher
North American Small Presses: Featured Publishers
Outstanding International Books/USBBY
Bishop, R. S. (1990, Summer). Mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors. Perspectives: Choosing and Using Books for the Classroom, 6(3).
Menefree, D. L. & Johnson, C.F. (2021). Diverse imprints and the classroom: How publishers are taking up the call to package and promote diverse literature for youth. The ALAN Review, 49(1), 85-89.
Rosenberg, R. (2022, August 23). Read and learn: Culturally diverse children’s book publishers and imprints. BOOK RIOT. https://bookriot.com/diverse-childrens-book-publishers/
Sara K. Sterner, California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, CLA Board Member and Expert Class Committee Co-chair
Lisa Pinkerton, The Ohio State University, CLA Board Member and Expert Class Committee Co-chair
Mary Ann Cappiello, Lesley University, CLA Board Member and Expert Class Committee Co-chair