The Alliance for the Study and Teaching of Adolescent Literature at Rhode Island College




- A.S.T.A.L. News -

ASTAL Books for Kids Program

For the past couple of years, I have taken authors out to the schools when they come to RIC. We took Rodman Philbrick to Gorton Junior High School, Rita Williams Garcia to Shea High School, and Patty McCormick to Shea (in memory of Montie) and to Central Falls High School. In some cases, the schools had fund-raisers to help pay for the author's visit, but in others, the authors went without additional compensation.

Additionally, we completed our third annual Author-in-Residence program at Bain Middle School with Joyce Hansen in 2005. In that case ASTAL added compensation to the funding provided by Title 1 as part of the ASTAL/Bain Literacy Project.

With Patty McCormick's visit, I initiated a new program when she declined ASTAL's offer to pay for her expenses. I used that money to buy books which we then gave to students at Shea and at Central Falls (ASTAL's Books for Kids Program). The books were given directly to students, not to the schools. In addition to that, when Caroline Cooney spoke at Under the Spell of Books in 2005, she donated her whole honorarium to purchase books for kids.

Through our annual Spring Authors Luncheon, raffle ticket sales, and other fund raising efforts, this is a program (taking authors to the schools and giving their books to students) that I am deeply committed to continue.

Dr. Jean E. Brown

Want to hear more about ASTAL?

You can join the new ASTAL Listserv by sending your e-mail address to Dr. Jean E. Brown at and indicate that you want to be added to the list.

Authors’ Appearances Now Available on Tape

ASTAL speakers, beginning with Janet Taylor Lisle’s appearance at RIC in 2002, have been videotaped and will be available to local schools for a rental fee of $5.00 a week. Teachers may borrow the videos for up to two weeks. Tapes available for rent are as follows:

Janet Taylor Lisle, April 2002
Lois Lowry at the Under the Spell of Books Conference, 2002
Kelly Easton, Summer 2002
Ellen Wittlinger, November 2002
Jack Gantos and Patricia Reilly Giff, both at the Under the Spell of Books Conference, 2003

Janet Taylor Lisle’s and Rodman Philbrick’s appearances this fall will be available at a later date, as will the tape of the RI Authors’ Luncheon, the ASTAL Lecture by Dr. Gary Salvner, and future programs. If interested, contact Dr. Jean Brown at 456-8457 (352 CL Hall) or

Christopher-Gordon Grant Sponsors Speakers

We are delighted to announce a grant from Christopher-Gordon Publishing Company of Norwood Massachusetts to establish the Christopher-Gordon / ASTAL Speakers Program. This grant will sponsor "Authors on Campus" lectures three times a year (fall, spring, and summer semesters). The funding will provide honoraria for the speakers, some travel funds, and expenses for videotaping the speakers. All lectures will be videotaped and the tapes will be available to area educators. This program makes it possible, in spite of difficult economic times, for us to continue to provide teachers and students in this area with opportunities meet and interact with authors of outstanding works for teens.

As we reported in the first issue of our newsletter (News from ASTAL), Christopher-Gordon became the first corporate sponsor of ASTAL by donating a selection of teacher resource books about using YA literature in the classroom to Adams Library at Rhode Island College. Publisher Sue Canavan has indicated that the company will continue to donate appropriate titles to the library. They also contributed a subscription to their outstanding journal, The New Advocate. Our thanks to Christopher Gordon for their support and we look forward to future collaboration.

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This web page was last updated on: 21 June 2007

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