Sunday, January 25, 2015


The Reading Fire: Kindling A Love for Books
February 20, 2015
Sandia Resort Conference Center
Albuquerque, NM
Pre-Conference Session is

This fun and informative pre-conference session will begin with a 45 minute presentation by superstar librarian, Teri Lesesne, professor of library science at Sam Houston University, who will discuss a variety of titles and what makes them good selections for struggling readers. I recently finished reading her book - MAKING THE MATCH - THE RIGHT BOOK FOR THE RIGHT READER AT THE RIGHT TIME. It was fabulous!

The evening will continue with a 45 minute panel of local authors, each with a special connection to dyslexia. Each author will discuss dyslexia as it relates to her work. 

Kersten Hamilton, author of the GOBLIN WAR series, has struggled with dyslexia most of her life, but went on to become a highly successful author. Caroline Starr Rose's debut novel, MAY B., features a protagonist with dyslexia. (see the author interviews below). My novel, TAKE ME THERE, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, features a male protagonist who cannot read or write but who dreams of being a poet. The evening will end with an author book signing. 

This event is FREE but please reserve a spot by calling 505-255-8234. Leave your name, the number in your party, and mention you will be attending the pre-conference event. Students are welcome to attend and CEUs will be provided for professionals who have signed up for the entire conference.

If you are interested in attending the Saturday portion of the conference as well, there is a fee so REGISTER HERE FOR THE FULL CONFERENCE - THE DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 13, 2015 AND THERE WILL BE NO REGISTRATION ONSITE. This year we are hosting a special student conference running simultaneously. I will be leading a session in the morning on digital storytelling with Megan Shanley, an occupational therapist with dyslexia. (See her interview below).

For more information about the conference, visit

Two of this year's conference presenters, Kersten Hamilton and Megan Shanley,
have struggled with Dyslexia. A great way to get your students interested in the special student conference would be to read them these inspiring stories. I shared Kersten's interview to high school reading classes and was amazed by the avid response. Kids connect to people who have faced challenges similar to theirs. They are the true heroes because they set real life examples of how to overcome challenges.


An Author with Dyslexia Speaks - Interview with 2015 Conference Presenter Kersten Hamilton
"When everything is hard, you learn to persevere."
Hamilton has written numerous titles from picture books to fantasy novels including the Goblin Wars series. She dropped out of high school due, in large part, to a significant reading disability, but went on to become a highly successful professional author. 

Characters with Dyslexia - Interview with Author Caroline Starr Rose 2015 Conference Presenter 
Caroline is former classroom teacher and the author of the middle grade verse novel May B. 
What Inspired you to choose a girl with dyslexia as your Main Character? In order for a book to work, an author must not give their characters what they want (at least not straight away), but must make them face their fears and weaknesses. Without these things, there is no change. Without change, there is no story. (read more)

A Therapist Speaks Out - What It's Like to be Dyslexic - Interview with 2015 Conference Presenter Megan Shanley
Megan Shanley struggled with reading all through school, but didn't know she had dyslexia until she was evaluated at the age of sixteen. She went on to college and became an occupational therapist. She now works as an Assistive Technology Practitioner on the Universal Design Team at APS as well as at Southwest Neuropsychology and Behavioral Health, where she helps match struggling learners with technology to assist them with reading and writing. (Read More)

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