NEWS: 2021 Book Week – A Celebration of Children’s Literature

Event: 2021 Book Week: A celebration of children’s literature

Date: Tuesday 19 October 2021

Time: 5:30-8:30 p.m. (Central Time)

Hybrid Event: McNamara Alumni Center, Minneapolis or via livestream

Book Week is the University of Minnesota’s celebration of children’s literature, with an annual author guest talk since 1941. This year’s speaker is Eliot Schrefer and for the first time we’ll be streaming the event live. Which means it’s open and free to anyone interested.

Hybrid Event

This year’s event will be hybrid, which means you have the option to attend in person or livestream the lecture from home. During registration, you must select IN PERSON or VIRTUAL. The deadline to register for attending in person is October 13, 2021.

Register here:

Book Week is the annual celebration of children’s books and authors organized at the University of Minnesota since 1941. The event attracts teachers, librarians, educators, students, and audiences passionate about young readers’ literacy. Over the past 79 years, Book Week has featured some of the most notable authors of children’s and YA literature, including Madeleine L’Engle, Kate DiCamillo, Christopher Paul Curtis, and Gene Luen Yang. Book Week is hosted by faculty and graduate students from the children’s literature program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. The guest author’s books are available for sale and autographing.

Please join us on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, at the McNamara Alumni Center, for a discussion with Eliot Schrefer.

Free and open to the public. CEUs available.


  • 5:30-6:15 PM Reception and Opening
  • 6:15-7:00 PM Eliot Schrefer, “It’s lonely out there for a human: How literature for young people can bond us with the natural world.”
  • 7:00-7:30 PM Discussion and Q&A
  • 7:30-8:30 PM Book signing

Eliot Schrefer’s books will be available for purchase from the Red Balloon Bookshop.

2021 Book Week features Eliot Schrefer

Eliot Schrefer is a New York Times-bestselling author, and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award. In naming him an Editor’s Choice, the New York Times has called his work “dazzling… big-hearted.” He is also the author of two novels for adults and four other novels for children and young adults. His books have been named to the NPR “best of the year” list, the ALA best fiction list for young adults, and the Chicago Public Library’s “Best of the Best.” His work has also been selected to the Amelia Bloomer List, recognizing best feminist books for young readers, and he has been a finalist for the Walden Award and won the Green Earth Book Award and Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award. He lives in New York City, where he reviews books for USAToday.

Title: “It’s lonely out there for a human: How literature for young people can bond us with the natural world.”

Description: Children have a natural inclination to anthropomorphize the world around them, effortlessly assigning emotional states to the non-human. Zoology has classically encouraged us to do the opposite, to avoid assigning human feelings to non-human animals. But how might this “anthropodenial” maintain the narrative of human exceptionalism that has fueled environmental degradation and climate change … and how might literature for young people provide a hopeful solution?