Lerner Is Coming to ALA

By Megan Ciskowski, Associate Publicist

Get ready for an amazing weekend with Lerner at the 2023 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition. This year the conference will be held in Chicago, Illinois, from June 22nd to the 27th, and we hope to see all of you there. So stop by Lerner booth #3620 to talk with authors and illustrators, discover our latest titles, and grab free swag.

Read on to find out more!

Lerner Author Signings

Saturday, June 24th

9:30 – 10:00 A.M. CDT

We’ve got the best way to kick off the weekend. Mayo Clinic Press will be giving out free galleys of Dash Can Do It and Lumos Helps with Healing from the Helping Paws Academy series. Alicia the Service Dog will be there to say hi, so come get some puppy snuggles!

This inviting chapter book series explores health topics through the friendly lens of therapy dogs. Therapy dogs are specially trained to help kids through medical experiences—from lifting spirits, motivating movement, modeling the power of play, and more. Nonfiction back matter provides more information about medical topics introduced in the books, from acute to chronic issues, while also providing more information about therapy dog programs and the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center.

10:30 – 11:00 A.M. CDT

Don’t go too far! Dr. Artika Tyner will be signing free copies of her picture book Justice Makes a Difference: The Story of Miss Freedom Fighter, Esquire. Ask Dr. Tyner about her upcoming YA nonfiction Reimagining Police: The Future of Public Safety.

Cover of Justice Makes a Difference

In this book, Justice has grown up witnessing the many ways her grandma serves the community. She wants to make a difference in the world, too, but how? Isn’t she too young? Justice learns about important women and men throughout history who changed the world.

12:00 – 12:30 P.M. CDT

Grab some lunch and circle back around to get your free signed copy of the upcoming graphic novel Strikers by Kiel Phegley. Don’t forget to visit Kiel in the Artist’s Alley throughout the rest of the show!

Cover of Strikers a Graphic Novel

Strikers is the perfect middle-grade graphic novel for all your sporty readers. In 1986, Flint, Michigan Evan just wants to win a game. But Bobby would rather fight than win. Hockey—and life—keep handing them losses, but together, they’ll find their reasons to keep taking the ice.

2:00 – 2:30 P.M. CDT

Our final signing for Saturday features the gallant author and illustrator Hannah Batsel. Be the first to grab a free signed copy of her upcoming picture book The Knight of Little Import and ask her about these incredible illustrations.

Cover of the Knight of Little Import

Charlie is a young knight who can’t find a single beast to slay. Until . . . she discovers there are monsters all around, and only she knows what to do to help her town of Little Import!

Sunday, June 25th

10:00 – 10:30 A.M. CDT

Our Sunday morning signings start with cartoonist Anya Davidson and her coming-of-age graphic novel Night and Dana. Grab a free copy and chat for a while.

Cover of Night and Dana

When special-effects obsessives Dana and Lily begin work on an eco-horror movie, tempers flare. But as everything starts going up in flames, Dana begins to forge her voice as a climate activist.

10:45 – 11:15 A.M. CDT

Stick around to meet Ann Jacobus, author of The Coldest Winter I Ever Spent. Receive a free signed copy of this unflinching, hopeful YA novel in the Lerner booth.

Cover of the Coldest Winter I Ever Spent

Eighteen-year-old Del is in a healthier place more than a year after a suicide attempt, but her aunt’s terminal cancer diagnosis forces her to confront the demons she’s been keeping at bay. Kirkus Reviews said this book “Honestly and courageously explores sensitive topics.”

12:00 – 12:30 P.M. CDT

This January From the Tops of the Trees won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in the Picture Book Category. Come by the Lerner booth at noon on Saturday to get your free copy signed by both author Kao Kalia Yang and illustrator Rachel Wada!

Cover of From the Tops of the Trees

A powerful true story of a young girl who has never known life outside a refugee camp and a father determined to help her dream beyond the fences that confine them. With four starred reviews, this book is an inspiring example of fatherly love and childhood wonder.

1:00 – 1:30 P.M. CDT

This year book bans have continued to challenge the right to read across the nation. Author Ashley Hope Pérez is at the frontlines of this battle to keep books on library shelves for all readers. Stop by the Lerner booth to meet Ashley and pick up your free signed copy of Out of Darkness.

Cover of Out of Darkness

New London, Texas. 1937. Naomi Vargas and Wash Fuller know about the lines in East Texas as well as anyone. They know the signs that mark them. They know the people who enforce them. But sometimes the attraction between two people is so powerful it breaks through even the most entrenched color lines. And the consequences can be explosive. Ashley Hope Pérez takes the facts of the 1937 New London school explosion—the worst school disaster in American history—as a backdrop for a riveting novel about segregation, love, family, and the forces that destroy people.

2:00 – 2:45 P.M. CDT

We are inseparable from the natural world. Author and adaptor Monique Gray Smith brings Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the lessons of plant life to a new generation in Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults. This is your chance to receive a free signed copy and talk plants with Monique!

Cover of Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults

Drawing from her experiences as an Indigenous scientist, botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer demonstrated how all living things—from strawberries and witch hazel to water lilies and lichen—provide us with gifts and lessons every day in her best-selling book Braiding Sweetgrass. Adapted for young adults by Monique Gray Smith, this new edition reinforces how wider ecological understanding stems from listening to the earth’s oldest teachers: the plants around us.


We know you’ve got totes to fill! Stop by the Lerner booth to pick up bookmarks, ARCs, pins, and more.

Support Banned Books

At ALA, we’ll be showing our support for libraries facing book bans at challenges with “I’m with the Banned” buttons. Pick up your own from the Lerner booth while supplies last.

We’ve made our design available for purchase on clothing, tote bags, and more at cafepress.com/standwiththebanned. Proceeds will be donated to Unite Against Book Bans.

We’re so excited to talk books with you!

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