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Higher Ed - Author Peter Sisk - UHCL pictureAward-winning author and illustrator Peter Sis was the featured speaker at the Children Between Worlds Exhibition and Conference, Oct. 13 at University of Houston-Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Blvd., Houston.

Award-winning author Peter Sis spoke at Oct. 13 writing conference, Book exhibition continues

- The Children Between Worlds international book exhibition will be on display Oct. 8-20.

From the Office of Communications at University of Houston-Clear Lake

October 17, 2007

HOUSTON—Acclaimed author and illustrator Peter Sis took center stage as the featured speaker for the Children Between Worlds Exhibition and Conference, hosted by University of Houston-Clear Lake’s School of Education . The conference was held Saturday, Oct. 13, 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at UH-Clear Lake , 2700 Bay Area Blvd. , Houston .

Sent to the United States by the Czechoslovakian government to produce a film for the 1984 Olympics, Sis, a young award-winning film producer, opted to remain in the United States rather than return to his communist-ruled homeland. Receiving asylum and beginning his career anew, he ultimately became a six-time winner of The New York Times Book Review: Best Illustrated Book of the Year, and in 2003 received the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship Award reserved for those who have demonstrated extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits. Sis’ most recent book, “The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain,” released in August 2007, is a personal account of his experiences while in the communist-led country.

Ralph Fletcher, a children’s book author and a noted authority on writing prose and poetry, also spoke. Fletcher is considered one of the most influential writers for teachers today.

In addition to the conference speakers, the event featured the Children Between Worlds international book exhibition, which will be on display Oct. 8-20. The book exhibit originated at the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany, and includes more than 75 children’s books emphasizing tolerance and open-mindedness toward all people. The collection’s purpose is to promote dialogue between cultures, awaken interest in other cultures, and demonstrate to children that people of different backgrounds can be united through human interaction.

The International Youth Library was established through the efforts of Jella Lepman, a Jewish German survivor of World War II who was horrified by the book burning carried out in Nazi Germany.- After the war, she was determined to find a way to bring peace and stability to war-torn Europe .- She believed the first messenger of peaceful co-existence was through children’s books, and in the early 1950s with support from influential people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Lepman realized her dream and established the library in Munich to house exemplary children’s books from around the world.

Every two years, the library’s International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) issues a call to the international community to nominate children’s books for inclusion in the library. Peter Sis, Naomi Shihab Nye and Jerry Spinelli are three writers from the United States whose books were selected to be featured in the traveling exhibition.

The conference and exhibit was sponsored by the UH-Clear Lake School of Education’s Greater Houston Area Writing Project, the Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading, the Greater Houston Area Reading Council and the UH-Clear Lake Student Reading Council.

University of Houston-Clear Lake offers more than 30 undergraduate and over 40 graduate degree programs, as well as a doctoral program, from its four schools, which include the School of Business, School of Education, School of Human Sciences and Humanities, and School of Science and Computer Engineering.

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