Keynote Speakers

Gene Luen YangGene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. He has written and drawn many graphic novels, including American Born Chinese, which was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. His graphic novel set Boxers and Saints won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He is the author of the Secret Coders series, combining comics and computer programming, and he has also written for the hit comics Avatar: The Last Airbender and Superman. You can visit him online at
Megan Whalen TurnerMegan Whalen Turner is the bestselling and award-winning author of five novels set in the world of The Queen’s Thief. She has been awarded a Newbery Honor and a Horn Book–Boston Globe Honor and the LA Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature. She has won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature and was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award. She worked as a bookseller for seven years before she started writing. Her first book was a collection of short stories called Instead of Three Wishes. Thick as Thieves, the eagerly anticipated new stand-alone novel set in the world of The Queen’s Thief, will be available in May. She lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio. You can visit her online at

Kwame AlexanderKwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and New York Times bestselling author of 21 books, including The Crossover, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American Literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Passaic Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children of all ages and is part of the Scholastic Reading Club. His other works include Surf’s Up, a picture book; Booked, a middle grade novel; and Crush: Love Poems for Teenagers.


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