Summer Institute in Children's Literature

Since 1975, the biennial Summer Institute in Children's Literature has gathered to advocate, explore, and celebrate literature for young people through a single thematic lens.  Our time together refreshes and fortifies as it reignites our commitment to excellence across children's and young adult literature.

Copyright James Yang art
© James Yang

Lost & Found

Saturday, July 23 - Sunday, 24, 2022
Boston, Massachusetts

...then I found a lost ribbon on the trail,
the kind I would be sad to lose,
satiny smooth, with no rips
or blemishes.
I picked it up and put it in my pocket.
Later I worried.
What if the [one] who lost it came back
looking for it?
We are tied by a trail, 
tied by a ribbon.
I hope someone nice
finds the things I lose.

– Naomi Shihab Nye
“Finding a Pink Ribbon on the Wilderness Trail"


Grab a pencil
some paper

Let loose your heart 
raise your voice.

What if I have many voices?

Let them dance together
twist and turn
like best friends
in a maze
till you find
your way
to that one true word

(or two).

– Kwame Alexander
“How to Write a Poem: Celebrating Naomi Shihab Nye”

Lost & Found invites us to consider the intertwining paths we traverse in search of story. What do we lose – and find – along the way? Stories make us seekers – of justice, of belonging, of individual inspiration and collective action. We turn to stories told in words and images, stories of discovery and self-discovery, of heroics in the domestic and magical, of fact and fiction. Lost & Found pushes us – writers and illustrators, parents and teachers, librarians and publishers, storytellers all – to pick up where others have left off. 


To register for the Institute, visit our secure payment website.

Email [email protected] with questions.

crop of lanterns in James Yang illustration

In Gratitude

Many thanks to James Yang for permission to use his art from A Boy Named Isamu: A Story of Isamu Noguchi (Viking, 2021) to interpret the institute theme. 

“How to Write a Poem: Celebrating Naomi Shihab Nye” from Out of Wonder. Text copyright © 2017 by Kwame Alexander. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

"Finding a Pink Ribbon on the Wilderness Trail" from A Maze Me by Naomi Shihab Nye - Illustrated by: Terre Maher. Text Copyright (c) 2005 by Naomi Shihab Nye. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.