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.

If you would like to stay on campus, first register for the Institute, then complete the housing information form, and then return to the secure payment website to pay for housing.

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.