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Books on Film: JJK and TED

books on film banner1 Books on Film: JJK and TED

I think this could start a new genre: the surprise TED talk. Lunch Lady creator Jarrett J. Krosoczka was asked to fill in at a recent TEDx event. The event started in four hours. Mr. Krosoczka more than filled in on short notice – he delivered a talk about his life and work that was funny, touching, and inspiring.

I think my favorite part is young Jarrett’s brief, but meaningful interaction with children’s lit legend Jack Gantos.

Screen Shot 2012 11 16 at 7.06.54 AM Books on Film: JJK and TED

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About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. I know. Should we all practice a brilliant, life-changing, 18-minute TED talk, just in case we get The Call?

    And here is one video where I can honestly say: I laughed, I cried.

    • Travis says:

      Ha – yes, an “In Case of TED” speech. It was great, wasn’t it?

      • SO GREAT! I loved everything about it. I went into it thinking, “Oh, fun, I can see Jarrett Krosoczka talking.” And especially after reading the intro, and how he found out about it four hours earlier, I thought it might be “here’s my process” or something like that. I didn’t expect it to be all inspirational and heartwarming and tear-jerking. I am in awe.

  2. Thanks so much guys! I’m so happy that you all enjoyed my TEDx talk. 4 hours of anxiety is far better than 4 months of anxiety. Last minute is the way to go!

    • Travis says:

      Thanks for your comment, Jarrett. What a great talk – thanks. Ha – I can see how last minute is the way to go, rather than worrying for months.

      • How much of it had you presented in some format before? Did you have all the slides in order, ready to go? Because I can imagine the tech-prep side of it would be the most time consuming.

        I am also super impressed at how seamlessly you talked. It looked like you’d been practicing for months.

      • I had the majority of the slides in some order because of my school visits, but I’ve never spoken so openly and publicly about my childhood. To give you a sense of how last minute it was, I placed my keynote file on my dropbox and texted the link to the organizer as I was getting ready to head over to Hampshire College. Lucky for me, in that 4 hours, I also had a haircut already scheduled! Fortuitous, as I was looking pretty shabby….

      • That’s even more amazing. I would’ve been like, “I can’t get a haircut! I can’t shower! I can’t groom! THERE’S NO TIME!”

        It was a really powerful speech. Thanks for sharing so much about your life.

    • I so totally love that you linked to that. And now I kind of want to wear a bell-bottomed pantsuit. Because why not? (And then I’d have something to wear to my surprise TED talk.)

      I’m thinking that Surprise TED Talk would make a great reality show. Or: not. Too highbrow.

  3. PragmaticMom says:

    This is so great. Thank you for sharing!

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