For twenty years, the Plum Creek Children’s Literacy Festival has sought to encourage a love of reading, writing, and books by bringing nationally renowned authors and illustrators to Nebraska. The festival started at Concordia University as a one day, one author event, with about 200 adults and children present. It has grown to three days of presentations, with ten authors and illustrators, and the inclusion of sessions for elementary, middle-level and secondary students as well as adults. In 2007, the festival won the Jane Pope Geske award given by The Nebraska Center for the Book for exceptional literary contributions. In 2010, the festival also became a Read Aloud Nebraska Champion.
This year, the Plum Creek Children’s Literacy Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary by hosting returning authors and illustrators in addition to new presenters on October 1-3. On Friday, around 5,000 students and teachers attended events. These events included Literacy on the Lawn, a session presented by the festival speakers that students took participated in. At the adult conference day on Saturday, about 7,000 adults attended five rotations of sectionals offered by the festival speakers as well as a luncheon, which included a speech from keynote speaker Richard Peck. More than 10,000 adults and children attended over the three days, with 1,500 young people on the waiting list for their day.
Below are links to presentations by the authors whom I saw, as well as reviews of a sampling of their books.
Teaser for Andrew Clements
Review of Extra Credit
Review of The Landry News
Review of Lunch Money
Review of School Story
Review of Troublemaker
Writing to Explore
Review of Whaling Season (features Craig George, son of Jean George)
Review of Polar Bear Scientists
Review of First Dive to Shark Dive
Review of Ice Whale by Jean Craighead George
Teaser for Jerry Pallotta
Review of Three Picture Books
Teaser for Richard Peck
Strengthening Your Writing Skills: Presentations by Richard Peck
Review of Past Present Perfect Tense
Review of Long Way from Chicago