22nd Annual Hubbs Children's Literature Conference

Date:  Saturday, February 22, 2014February 22, 2014
Time:  9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Location:  University of St. Thomas, Terrence Murphy Hall; 1000 LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Map and driving directions.

Event Contact: 
Aneisha Tucker
General: $60. Students: $20

Online registration is now closed. If you would still like to attend the Hubbs Children's Literature conference, you can register on Saturday morning by cash or check.


The annual Hubbs Children’s Literature Conference is designed for parents, teachers, students, librarians, writers and others interested in encouraging the use of quality children's literature in homes, schools, and communities. This year's keynote speakers are award-winning authors Steve Sheinkin and Lauren Stringer.

About the Keynote Speakers

‌‌A former history textbook writer, Steve Sheinkin is now trying to make amends by writing nonfiction that kids and teens will actually want to read. His 2012 book Bomb was a Newbery Honor book, National Book Award Finalist, and winner of both the Sibert Medal and the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction. Other recent titles include The Notorious Benedict Arnold, which won the YALSA Award in 2011, and Lincoln's Grave Robbers. His upcoming book, due in January 2014, is a World War II civil rights drama titled The Port Chicago Fifty.

Sheinkin's books Lincoln's Grave Robbers and Bomb are aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Visit his website for a link to a teacher's guide.‌


‌‌Lauren Stringer is an artist, author, and theatrical designer living in Minneapolis, MN. She received her BA in Art and Art History from the University of California, Santa Cruz and continued her art education with the Whitney Museum of American Art, Independent Study Program in NYC. She has exhibited her paintings and sculptures in museums and galleries across the country. In 1991 she received the McKnight Foundation Fellowship for sculpture. In 1994, Stringer’s first picture book, Mud, written by Mary Lyn Ray, won a Minnesota Book Award, IRA Children’s Choice Award, and Crayola Kids Best Book of the Year Award. Since Mud, she has continued illustrating many award-winning picture books, including Scarecrow and Snow, both written by Cynthia Rylant, Fold Me A Poem, written by Kristine O’Connell George, Our Family Tree: An Evolution Story, written by Lisa Westberg Peters, and Tell Me About Your Day Today, written by Mem Fox. She wrote and illustrated Winter is the Warmest Season, a Booklist Editor’s Choice and a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. Her story When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky won the McKnight Foundation Fellowship for writing in Children’s Literature in 2012 and was published in spring 2013 to many starred reviews. Deer Dancer, written by Mary Lyn Ray, will be published spring 2014. When not writing and illustrating picture books, Stringer is the scriptwriter and set designer for Circus Juventas, America’s largest youth circus school as well as a visiting author/artist in the schools.

Breakout Sessions

All breakout sessions, including those conducted by the keynote speakers, will be offered at both 1 and 2 p.m.

Confessions of a Textbook Writer, Steve Sheinkin

Steve Sheinkin admits to having written many textbooks, sharing some of the surprisingly useful lessons to be learned from producing books that succeed only in convincing kids that history is boring. In Confessions of a Textbook Writer, he will describe his new, much better career as a writer of narrative nonfiction, talk about his approach to picking and researching stories, and offer an inside look at some recent and upcoming books.

Mud, Straw, Snow, Paper, and a Riot: The Essentials for Making a Picture Book, Lauren Stringer

Lauren Stringer will share her process of creating picture books from the first scribbled words and sketches to the final art and edited manuscript. Slides, music, art and dance will be used to convey the hustle and bustle in her studio and the publishing world.

For the Love of Reading, Valerie Geary and Michelle Dudley, co-founders of the National Homeschool Book Award

During this session, facilitators will teach you how to help your students turn vicarious reading experiences into real life world exploration and present other unique activities that can be used with book clubs or presented to individual students.

A Sense of Wonder and Action: Using Books to Engage Children with the Natural World, Marybeth Lorbiecki

Since many contemporary children are struggling with all the problems associated with Nature Deficit Disorder (lack of wonder, obesity, social aggression, depression, etc.), it is important to find ways to connect them to their natural home. Books can help!

Teaching Social Justice through Stories, Anne E. Neuberger

Principles of social justice are the building blocks of a healthy society. It is imperative to our world that children understand them. Since ancient times, stories have always been a way of passing on these principles. Storytelling is a creative, gentle and entertaining way for children (preschool-8th grade) to become aware of the similarities and differences amongst the peoples of the world, to identify justice and injustice, and begin to act positively as caring citizens. In this session, participants will explore examples of children’s literature that will help you use stories to introduce these important subjects.

Teaching Ideas for Nonfiction Books, Donna Nix, Children’s Literature and Curriculum Librarian Charles J. Keffer Library, University of St. Thomas

What are some really good nonfiction books for my classroom and how can I use them? Attend this session to learn about a variety of new and recent books (especially science and social studies grades K-8), and receive a sampling of teaching ideas that you can use with students in your school.

Bookstorming! Feeling Confident about Information Text, Vicki Palmquist, Children’s Literature Network

How do you involve ALL of the readers in your classroom? How do you incorporate information text that is every bit as rewarding as fiction? Recommended books and tools across the grade levels will charge up your enthusiasm for incorporating true stories into your teaching.

Biographies That Hit Home: How the Books We Write and Share Can Change the World, Sarah Warren

Teachers and caregivers in our community need resources that support anti-bias practice and conversation.  Great biographies educate, but aren't they boring?  In this session we will explore biographical writing that instructs AND addresses the interests and needs of the child audience.

Program Schedule

8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast available

8:30-9:00 a.m.

Registration / Check in

9-10 a.m.

Keynote Presentation: Steve Sheinkin

10-10:30 a.m.

Break and book signing

10:30-11:30 a.m.

Keynote Presentation: Lauren Stringer

11:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Break and book signing

12-12:50 p.m.


1-1:50 p.m.

Breakout Sessions 1

2-2:50 p.m.

Breakout Sessions 2

Additional Features

  • Conversations with Steve Sheinkin and Lauren Stringer. In addition to their keynote presentations, the authors will participate in breakout sessions, offering informal opportunities to ask questions and engage the featured authors in discussions about their work and other topics of interest.
  • Red Balloon Bookstore will be available on site for book sales.
  • Buffet lunch
  • Five clock hours will be available for professionals seeking continuing education units.

Sponsored by

The University of St. Thomas’ School of Education in the College of Education, Leadership & Counseling, it is supported by an endowment from Margaret and Ronald Hubbs, who were advocates for literacy in Minnesota and have provided funds for the Hubbs Children’s Literature Collection at the St. Thomas Libraries.

© University of St. Thomas · Minnesota
1000 LaSalle Avenue · Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403 · USA
1-651-962-4550 · education@stthomas.edu