Many titles on The Great American Read list have had multiple covers over the years, and we are often captivated by illustrations inside our favorite books. On Thursday, October 18 at 7pm, illustrators Stephen Gardner and Dennis Dittrich, of New Jersey City University, will discuss the history and process of book illustration, with sketches to go along with the stories. Artist Mo Buckey, 2018 NJCU alumna, will present her design of a mock cover for one of the Great American Read titles.

Gardner attended art school in Cornwall, England, moving to New York in 1989, where he joined the Society of Illustrators. He has designed hundreds of book covers. After receiving his MFA, he began teaching illustration. He is currently working on art that captures his affection for old taverns and bars. More information can be found at

Dittrich, in addition to being an Associate Professor of Illustration at NJCU, is a past-president of the Society of Illustrators and teaches The History of American Illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. He presented a program about WWI propaganda illustration at the library last year. More information about his art can be found at

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Mo Buckey, student of Gardner and Dittrich, is a recent graduate of NJCU receiving her BFA in illustration. Currently building her portfolio, with an emphasis on humorous illustration, she hopes to enter the world of book illustration. For more information on her art you can follow her on Instagram @MoBuckey.

Programming for The Great American Read is offered as part of a grant from the American Library Association and PBS.

Registration is required for this event. Visit, email, or call (908) 322-5007 x 204. The Scotch Plains Library is located at 1927 Bartle Avenue, one block from Park Avenue in the center of town.