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2021 Edwards Award winner Kekla Magoon to speak at AASL National Conference

CHICAGO – Kekla Magoon, winner of the 2021 Margaret A. Edwards Award, will keynote the Saturday general session during the 2021 American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Conference, taking place October 21-23 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Magoon’s appearance is made possible by Candlewick Press. Full conference information and programming can be found at

“Kekla’s books span all grade levels and cover topics relevant to today’s students,” said Paige Battle, author committee co-chair. “She has said that all her books carry the same message: ‘you have value, your voice matters, and you can make a difference.’ I can’t wait to hear what she has to share with school librarians during her keynote!”

“I love walking into a school library and feeling the sense of community, connection, and engagement that can be fostered there,” said Magoon. “In our world today, true literacy requires so much more than simply knowing how to read words on a page, and school librarians stand at the forefront of the movement to create thoughtful, empowered young citizens.”

Magoon is the author of over a dozen novels and nonfiction books for young readers, including “The Season of Styx Malone,” “The Rock and the River,” and “The Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall’s Life, Leadership, and Legacy.” Along with the Edwards Award, which honored her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens including “X: A Novel,” “How It Went Down,” and “Fire in the Streets,” Magoon has received the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, an NAACP Image Award, and three Coretta Scott King Honors, and she has been long listed for the National Book Award.

Magoon’s forthcoming book, “Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People,” places the Panthers in the proper context of Black American history, from the first arrival of enslaved people to the Black Lives Matter movement. The book invites readers grappling with injustice in the United States to learn from the Panthers’ history and courage and inspire them to take their own place in the ongoing fight for justice.

The AASL National Conference is the only national conference dedicated solely to the needs of school librarians and their roles as educational leaders. Those communicating about the national conference are encouraged to use the official hashtag, #AASL21.

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

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