ALAN’s 2022 Bill Konigsberg Award Recipient

ALAN’s 2022 Bill Konigsberg Award Recipient

ALAN’s 2022 recipient of the Bill Konigsberg Award for Acts and Activism for Equity and Inclusion through Young Adult Literature is shea wesley martin!

The Konigsberg Award, established in 2018, is presented annually to an individual who has acted in selfless advocacy of marginalized youth through the creation, teaching, funding or other form of promotion of young adult literature. This award was initiated to recognize individuals standing up for groups of young people who are victimized by hate speech or actions. For wielding the power of young adult literature with thought and intention to make the world a better place, the winner will receive $300 and be recognized at the ALAN Breakfast.

ALAN 2022 Workshop Attendee Info

ALAN 2022 Workshop Attendee Info

Click here or read the details below about the 2022 ALAN Workshop from your president!

Dear ALAN 2022 Workshop Attendees:

Happy November!  I’m counting the days until the 2022 ALAN Workshop, and I am thrilled you will be joining us as we come together in Anaheim!  

Below are some details about the Sunday evening Author Meet & Greet, as well as about the workshop itself.  

Sunday Evening Author Meet & Greet (5pm-7:30pm; Hilton Anaheim; California C/D Ballroom, 2nd floor)

  • Your ALAN Workshop registration includes this fabulous event!  Come take part in conversations with ALAN authors in a “speed dating” style!  Back by popular demand, there will also be author Kahoot trivia!  After spending time with the attending authors, enjoy mingling with ALAN friends you know and making some new friends, too!  There will be an open air photo booth to capture all of your ALAN 2022 fun (with photo strips to take home!), so be sure to check that out!
  • Please note, there will not be food or beverages provided this year.  Please also note that masks will be required in the Author Meet & Greet room.  
  • There will be a room (Hilton; Carmel Room) for nursing parents and other parents who might need a break with their children throughout the duration of the Sunday evening event.  

Monday and Tuesday Workshop (Hilton Anaheim; California C/D Ballroom, 2nd floor)

  • The full workshop program can be found here.  You will receive a paper copy of the program at the workshop.  This year’s program will be a coloring book style, so bring your coloring supplies! 
  • There will be volunteers to help you carry your book box to your seat on Monday morning if you would like. 
  • Boxed lunches will be provided.
  • There will also be a Historically Marginalized Community Luncheon for those interested in attending.  

A note from the planning committee: 

Join us for ALAN’s first affinity space for those who identify as historically marginalized: “Like Me: A Community Gathering.”  During this lunch/social hour, we will build community and connect with new and familiar faces in a safe and welcoming environment. 

We are asking students and teachers who identify as historically marginalized to add spoken word poetry, favorite book quotes, book talks, thoughts about book bans or any artistic expression to this flipgrid ( that will be viewed during the luncheon. 

We look forward to building community with you!

  • There will be a room (Hilton; Carmel Room) for nursing parents and other parents who might need a break with their children throughout the duration of the workshop.  
  • There will not be a pop-up shipping station outside the workshop ballroom, however we are told there will be a shipping facility close by (down one escalator).  
  • Please use #ALAN22 to tag your workshop photos!  If you would like to trade any of your books, please use #ALAN22Trades to help facilitate the book trading process.  

I can’t wait to see all of you in less than two weeks! 


Dani King-Watkins

2022 ALAN President

ALAN Picks (October 2022)

ALAN Picks: A Verse Novel About Survival & Loneliness

This month’s ALAN Picks features a review of a January 2021 verse novel, Alone by Megan E. Freeman. A story that features a young girl trying to survive on her own in a dystopian world. 

ALAN Picks Update: ALAN Picks is now accepting reviews of books published as far back as spring 2020. This gives ALAN members who are interested in reviewing books more great titles to choose from, as well as accommodate some great books released during the beginning of the pandemic that deserve highlighting. If you have some books in mind that you would like to review, please reach out to me!

If you read an ALAN Picks review and end up using the book with your students, let us know! We want to hear all of your great stories and engaging ways you are using young adult and middle grades literature in your classrooms. Remember, ALAN Picks are book reviews by educators for educators! Click on the archives to see previous editions. 

–  Richetta Tooley, ALAN Picks Editor

Submit a Review: Would you like to submit a review? Check out ALAN Picks for submission guidelines and email ALAN Picks Editor, Richetta Tooley at with the book title you are interested in reviewing. Rolling deadline.

A Verse Novel About Survival

Alone by Megan E. Freeman

Book Details
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publish Date: Jan. 12, 2021
Page Count: 401
ISBN: 978-1-5344-6756-9
Genre: Survival/ Dystopia/ Novel in Verse/ YA Lit 
Find on Bookshop

Synopsis: 12-year-old Maddie is the only person left in her town…or any neighboring towns. She wakes up one morning after a failed attempt at a secret sleepover, and her entire town has been evacuated. Her mom thinks she is with her dad. Her dad thinks she is with her mom, and their cell phones have been discarded by the same government that forced them to leave their homes. Maddie is left to forage to survive as weeks turn to months and then months turn to years. Her biggest battle isn’t the looters or the wild animals who threaten her existence, it is the loneliness that she battles after so much time spent in isolation.


Reading a novel written in verse is an enjoyable experience for young readers due to the quick pace and limited narration, but when that novel is a survival story, those elements are heightened. The pacing of this book is quick due to the sparse text, which heightens the emotions of the main character and also allows the reader to immerse themselves in the world that is being crafted. It also eliminates the large blocks of text that would not be broken up by dialogue…since there is nobody for Maddie to talk to. 

Beyond this being an engaging read, this book helps to highlight mental health and how important it is to have not just physical safety but a safe mental space as well. When loneliness becomes almost as big a burden as a snow storm or a group of looters, it places the highlight on self-awareness and survival in every sense of the word.

Many of the poems that make up this novel could stand on their own, delving deep into what it means to be human. But some poems lighten the mood with the exploits of Maddie and her adopted/rescued dog as they traverse the town and celebrate triumphs. Maddie’s relationship with her family, despite their absence for a majority of the novel, is a special focus in this novel that will be relatable to student readers. 

Young readers will enjoy this book and the harrowing feats Maddie endures, but they will also enjoy the beautiful language on its own, as this book melds lyrical text with fast-paced action. 

Suggestions for Curriculum & Classroom Use

The themes in this novel are relatable for both young readers and adult readers, making this text not only enjoyable, but teachable. Some thematic topics explored in this novel include:

  • Survival in the face of natural disaster
  • Corruption of government
  • The loyalty of family
  • Beauty found in nature
  • Surviving loneliness
  • Recovery from trauma
  • The power of community
  • Power and corruption

Essential Questions

  • Is survival enough, or do we need more than mere survival as humans?
  • How do our families and communities help shape us as people?
  • What should we do when loneliness threatens to overwhelm us?

Student Engagement Activities: Favorite Poems

Before reading, give each student five post-it notes of one color and five post-it notes of another color with the following task: 

“As you read, place a post-it note (choose one color specifically) marking the five poems where Maddie seems to be at her emotional lowest. With the other color of post-it notes, mark the poems where Maddie is at an emotional high point. You may need to move your post-it notes as you read and make some decisions about which are the highest highs and the lowest lows.”

This activity encourages students to focus their energy on exploring Maddie’s emotional journey as she survives this familiar territory in an unfamiliar way.

Formative/Summative Assessments

Formative: Once students finish reading the book, they should have marked their 10 poems as having the highest highs and the lowest lows for Maddie’s emotional state. 

Now, ask students to revisit each of those 10 poems, on a post-it note, and write a sentence defending this particular poem as their choice. They should include textual evidence for why this poem demonstrates the lowest lows or the highest highs. 

Summative Activity: Once students have explained on their post-it notes why they chose each poem, have them work with a partner to compare poem selections. Have them work together to determine which single poem demonstrates Maddie’s lowest emotional point in the novel and which demonstrates her highest emotional point in the book. 

The partners can now analyze the language in the poems to determine what writing decisions the author made in each of these poems to demonstrate to readers Maddie’s emotional state. Perhaps the author used powerful diction or vivid imagery or particularly powerful metaphors. Whatever the students find, they should capture on two posters similar to the format below. 

Poem Title for Highest Point

Label the writing decision the author made
“Textual example”

Label the writing decision the author made
“Textual example”

Label the writing decision the author made
“Textual example”
Poem Title for Lowest Point

Label the writing decision the author made
“Textual example”

Label the writing decision the author made
“Textual example”

Label the writing decision the author made
“Textual example”

Once students complete the posters, they should hang them up around the room (or in a hallway) and students should do a gallery walk. This works nicely if you give every student in the class four small stickers and they can put their stickers on the posters they agree with most strongly. 

Reviewed by: Heather Garcia, Curriculum and Instruction Specialist for Secondary ELA and Media, Charlotte County, Florida.

2022 ALAN Breakfast Speaker Announced

2022 ALAN Breakfast Speaker Announced

The 2022 ALAN Breakfast speaker will be Angeline Boulley!

Angeline Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a storyteller who writes about her Ojibwe community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She is a former Director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Her debut YA novel Firekeeper’s Daughter is the winner of the 2022 Printz Award, Morris Award, Walter Award, Edgar Award, and a American Indian Youth Literature Award Young Adult Honor Book. It was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller, a TIME Magazine Best YA Book of All Time selection, and a Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club YA pick. Firekeeper’s Daughter is being adapted for Netflix by the Obamas’ production company, Higher Ground. Angeline’s second novel Warrior Girl Unearthed will be available on May 2, 2023.

Press Release: ALAN Award 2022

Press Release: ALAN Award 2022

The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN) is pleased to announce Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop as the recipient of the 2022 ALAN Award. The award is given to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the field of adolescent literature. Join us at the ALAN Breakfast to celebrate Dr. Bishop’s achievements. 

Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop is Professor Emerita of Education at The Ohio State University, where she has taught courses on children’s literature.  Dr. Bishop is often referred to as the mother of multicultural literature and is the author of several books including Shadow and Substance: Afro-American Experience in Contemporary Children’s Fiction (1982), Presenting Walter Dean Myers (1990), Kaleidoscope: A Multicultural Booklist for Grades K-8 (1994),  Wonders: The Best Children’s Poems of Effie Lee Newsome (1999), and Free within Ourselves: The Development of African American Children’s Literature (2007). Shadow and Substance provided a framework for analyzing cultural authenticity in children’s books, which remains today a standard in the field.  Dr. Bishop’s essay, “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors (1990)” focused on the need for black children to see themselves in the books that they read. The metaphor continues to be widely referenced by educators, librarians, academics, textbooks, conference presentations and academic journals; it’s also the subject of TEDx talks, podcasts, and blogs.  Dr. Bishop’s work was used to inspire the We Need Diverse Books movement, an organization devoted to promoting, celebrating and supporting diverse representations in publishing and youth literature.    

Dr. Bishop received the distinguished 2017 Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Library Association (ALA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Outstanding Educator in English Language Arts Award, and the International Literacy Association’s (ILA) Arbuthnot Award. She was the chair of the Coretta Scott King Award Jury and has been on the selection committee for both the Newbery and Caldecott Awards. Also, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) , a division of ALA, selected Dr. Bishop to give the 2021 Lecture. Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop’s work has been pivotal in the change in publishing trends, public and school library collections, teaching practices at all levels, and the lives of children and adolescents who have had access to books with increased diversity. 

Dr. Christina Dorr will provide remarks on behalf of Dr. Bishop at the upcoming ALAN breakfast to be held on November 19 during The 2022 NCTE Conference in Anaheim, CA.  ALAN Award Committee members are Chair Lisa Morris-Wilkey, Dr. Rob Bittner, Jewel Davis, Shalonda Foster, and Morgan Jackson.