Bestselling Author Jeff Hirsch To Be Honored at Montclair State University

Michael Sokolove also highlighted

Jeff Hirsch, author of the Young Adult novels The Eleventh Plague, Magisterium, The Darkest Path, and The 39 Clues: Breakaway, will receive the Muriel Becker Literary Award at the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English annual conference at Montclair State University, Saturday, March 22.  This award is presented each year in honor of Montclair State University alumna, Muriel Becker.

Dr. Becker was an English Department faculty until her retirement and subsequent status as Faculty Emerita in May 1994.  She served three terms as President of the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English and this award is presented annually to a children’s or Young Adult author.  In past years, the honor has gone to such dignitaries as:

2013: Paul Janeczko
2012: Gayle Forman
2011: Walter Dean Myers
2010: Gordon Korman
2009: Tamora Pierce
2004: David Lubar

This year’s highlighted speakers include: Michael Sokolove (author of Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater); and Christopher De Vinck, award-winning author of more than 12 novels (including The Power of the Powerless: A Brother’s Legacy of Love, and Moments of Grace: Days of a Faith-Filled Dreamer). The annual NJ English Educator of the year will be announced and feted at this event, too.

The conference is open to the public and convenes at 8:30 a.m. in the Student Center Ballrooms on the north end of the campus. Registration is $35, or $20 for students and retired teachers.  Registration includes a light breakfast, lunch, and giveaways.

The New Jersey Council of Teachers of English is a non-profit 501(c)(3) professional organization dedicated to educational and beneficial purposes.  NJCTE fosters excellence in English Language Arts by developing academic and professional expertise at all levels. For more information, visit:

Montclair State University is New Jersey’s second-largest university. It offers the advantages of a large university--a comprehensive undergraduate curriculum with a global focus, a broad variety of superior graduate programs through the doctoral level, and a diverse faculty and student body--combined with a small college’s attention to students.