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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

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.

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.

    • 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!

    • 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. This is so great. Thank you for sharing!