November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Author Megan McDonald Named 2016 Spokesperson for National School Library Month

School Library Month, the American Association of School Librarians’ celebration of school librarians and their programs, is coming up. Every April, school librarians are encouraged to host activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in transforming learning.

MeganMcDonald

Megan McDonald, author of the classic “Judy Moody’ series, the “Stink” books, and the “Sisters Club” trilogy, will be the national spokesperson for this year’s celebration.

In accepting the honor, McDonald said, “Before I was a writer, I was a reader, thanks to my school librarian. She saw something in me, and put the Little House books in my hand. She first introduced me to Ramona and Charlotte the Spider and Homer Price and Caddie Woodlawn. And she let me check out a biography of Virginia Dare so many times (I got to stamp the due date myself!), that she finally had to ask me to share with other readers. School librarians shape lives.”

Read more about the history of School Library Month at ala.org.

The full press release is below.

SOMERVILLE, MA – Megan McDonald, author of the beloved Judy Moody and Stink books published by Candlewick Press, will serve as the national spokesperson for the 2016 observance of School Library Month (SLM). Celebrated in April and sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), School Library Month honors the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student’s educational career.

“I would not be who I am without the early impact of my school library and librarian,” said McDonald. “I grew up to become a librarian. I grew up to become a storyteller. I grew up to become a writer. School librarians not only foster a lifelong love of reading and story, they encourage thinking and creativity. They support curious minds. They inspire young imaginations. School librarians shape lives.”

AASL President Leslie Preddy shared her thanks to McDonald, saying, “It is an honor to have author Megan McDonald, author of the beloved and iconic Judy Moody, be the national spokesperson for School Library Month and share with the world the formative impact of libraries on her life and career. Join me in recognizing her contributions to young people’s love of reading and thanking her as we celebrate the School Library Month throughout the country.”

McDonald began her career as a children’s librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. During one story hour, McDonald read her own story about a hermit crab. After the program, parents asked her where to find the book. She had to confess; the book wasn’t published – yet. Encouraged by the parents’ and children’s feedback, her story became her first book, “Is This a House for Hermit Crab?” The book won numerous awards, including being named a Children’s Choice Book by the International Reading Association and Children’s Book Council. It was also a Reading Rainbow book selection for an episode of the same name and was read by Eartha Kitt.

With “Is This a House for Hermit Crab?,” McDonald launched a writing career which, to date, includes sixty books for children and young readers, including the popular Judy Moody series. The series shares the adventures of the feisty (and moody) 3rd grader and has won many awards including the Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year,  an International Reading Association Children’s Choice and the first-ever Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award. The series is so popular, McDonald’s hometown of Sebastopol, Calif., declared May 14, 2006, as “Judy Moody Day.”  Enthusiastic fan requests also led McDonald to write the Stink books, a spin-off series featuring Judy Moody’s little brother Stink.

“Before I was a writer,” explains McDonald, “I was a reader, thanks to my school librarian. She saw something in me, and put the Little House books in my hand. She first introduced me to Ramona and Charlotte the Spider and Homer Price and Caddie Woodlawn. And she let me check out a biography of Virginia Dare so many times, (I got to stamp the due date myself!), that she finally had to ask me to share with other readers.”

More information and resources, including an upcoming PSA featuring McDonald, can be found on the AASL website at www.ala.org/aasl/slm. Information about her books is available at: http://www.judymoody.com/

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.

About Candlewick Press:

Candlewick Press is an employee-owned publisher based in Somerville, Massachusetts, and is one of the world’s largest fully independent children’s book publishing companies. For over 20 years, Candlewick has published outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages, including books by award-winning authors and illustrators such as Kate DiCamillo, M. T. Anderson, Jon Klassen, and Laura Amy Schlitz; the widely acclaimed Judy Moody, Mercy Watson, and ’Ology series; and favorites such as Guess How Much I Love You, Where’s Waldo?, and Maisy. Candlewick is part of the vibrant Walker Books Group, together with Walker Books UK in London and Walker Books Australia, based in Sydney and Auckland. Visit Candlewick online at www.candlewick.com.

 

 

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