Saturday, May 26, 2018

Sharing Hard Truths in Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults: CLCSC Spring Workshop

Last Saturday I attended an inspiring and informative workshop sponsored by the California Literature Council of Southern California called “Sharing Hard Truths in Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults.” We met at the Glendale Library. The workshop began with a warm welcome by Jennifer Driscoll, CLCSC President and introduction by Laurie Reese, CLCSC Spring Workshop Co-Chair followed by an excellent talk by nonfiction writer Ann Bausum, author of books such as March Against Fear, Freedom Riders, With Courage and Cloth, and many more. I loved hearing about her writing process and how she keeps the mountains of information she collects for each book organized. (Notecards!) It was a pleasure to meet Ann in person. Ann lives in Wisconsin. We had previously met via phone and email when we served on a committee together, but never in person. After Ann’s talk participants broke into “deep dive” discussion groups led by Michelle Markel, “At the Writer’s Desk”, Annette Goldsmith, “In the Library,” Ethan Bradbury, “In the Classroom,” and Madeline Bryant, “Between the Covers: The Look and Content of Contemporary Nonfiction.”
Most of the members of CLCSC are librarians. I enjoyed hearing their point of view about how to use books that face hard truths about topics such as race, human rights, and slavery with children in schools and libraries. These are topics that are often not covered adequately or at all in textbooks. It was a morning of good discussion, a delicious breakfast/brunch food from Porto's Restaurant to keep us fortified, and opportunities to see friends and share news.
Thanks to the CLCSC committee for organizing an excellent spring workshop!

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