General Sessions

Thursday, November 14
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Opening Keynote

Ellen Oh is co-founder, president and CEO of We Need Diverse Books, the groundbreaking, grassroots non-profit organization that  aims to help produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

Ellen is the author of the Texas Bluebonnet Award nominated middle grade novel Spirit Hunters and its sequel, The Island of Monsters, as well as the highly-acclaimed, young-adult Prophecy trilogy. It was a 2000 article in Time magazine about Genghis Khan that jumpstarted Ellen’s writing career and ignited her obsessive fascination with ancient Asian history, especially Korean history.

Ellen loves martial arts films, adores K-pop, thinks Avatar: The Last Airbender series is the best animated show ever created, randomly quotes lines from The Princess Bride, and knows that Krispy Kreme doughnuts are her kryptonite.


Friday, November 15

Friday General Session

Dr. Adolph Brown, III without a doubt, offers the most uniquely inspiring, relevant and entertaining presentations around.  He is an American urban and rural school educator, author, research-scientist, businessman, and keynote speaker.  He is a servant-leader at heart, and is admired around the world for his simple and direct “Real Talk,” and powerful, universal and timeless teachings.  Dr. Brown is best known for inspiring all who hear him to learn, laugh and lead, while simultaneously reducing implicit bias at every turn.  He is highly regarded as the leadership speaker who gets you from where you are to where you want to be.  As a much sought-after and highly effective Equity and Diversity keynote speaker, Dr. Brown skillfully addresses the impact of stereotypes.  He credits much of his success to the luxury of humble beginnings of being reared by a single parent mother in abject poverty of the inner-city housing projects infested with gangs, drugs and violence. Adolph became the first in his family of five to participate in Head Start, graduate high school, and attend college.   

As a Master Teacher, Dr. Adolph Brown shines in the classroom and in research.  He is in the top 1% of world-class scholar teachers based on peer-reviews, nominations, teaching performance, teaching awards, published evaluations and ratings from American’s best schools, colleges and universities. He is recognized as one of the top 10 most influential thought leaders in America. Although he does not consider himself a motivational speaker, he was selected as one of the top motivational and inspirational speakers in America as well. Dr. Adolph Brown is one of the world’s foremost attitude experts, personal development coaches and humorists.

Numerous clients exclaim that they wish there was a way that everyone in the world could hear Dr. Adolph Brown, III. Many also say he’s the best they have ever seen. Dr. Brown remains humble and grateful for his journey. He is most proud to be the husband of Marla and father of eight uniquely beautiful human beings including a special needs daughter.

The Friday General Session is generously sponsored by OverDrive Education.

Saturday, November 16
8:00 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.

Saturday General Session

Jarrett J. Krosoczka is a New York Times bestselling author, a two-time winner of the Children’s Choice Book Award for the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year, an Eisner award nominee, and the author and/or illustrator of more than 30 books for young readers. His work includes several picture books, select volumes of Star Wars: Jedi Academy, the Lunch Lady graphic novels, and the Platypus Police Squad novel series, and National Book Award finalist Hey, Kiddo.

Jarrett has given two TED Talks, both of which have been curated to the main page of and have collectively accrued more than two million views online. He is also the host of The Book Report with JJK on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live, a weekly segment celebrating books, authors, and reading.

Jarrett lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife and children, and their pugs, Ralph and Frank.

A signing will follow the session. Appearance made possible by Scholastic.

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