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KNOXVILLE — What makes a children’s book excellent? This is one of the topics that educators and child development experts will discuss at a one-day conference on April 2 in Knoxville.

Miranda Clark

The conference will be held at Hardin Valley Academy, 11345 Hardin Valley Road, and is sponsored by the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature (CCYAL) at the University of Tennessee and by the Knox County Public Library.

“Early reading has tremendous benefits for children’s intellectual and social development,” said CCYAL Director Miranda Clark, “but with thousands of titles being published each year, our challenge is to select the truly excellent books that will have the maximum impact.”

The conference, “Focus on Children’s Literature,” will feature presentations by award-winning authors, the screening of a documentary film on children’s literature and discussion sessions for scholars, parents, teachers, librarians, aspiring writers and anyone interested in the field of children’s literature.

“All of us have a stake in helping our children learn to read, and we’re hoping this conference will give educators, parents and the creative community the tools they need to recognize and select the very best literature available for children,” Clark said.

The conference is open to the public. Registration for the conference and a full program schedule are available at The conference fee is $40 until March 1, then $45, and includes lunch. Continuing education certificates will be available.

Additional funding support for the conference comes from the UT Academic Outreach and Engagement Council and the Knox County school system.

For more information about the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, part of the College of Communication and Information’s School of Information Sciences, visit

C O N T A C T :

Miranda Clark, Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature (865-974-2305,

Charles Primm, UT Media and Internal Relations (865-974-5180,