Jason Reynolds is crazy. About stories. After earning a BA in English from The University of Maryland, College Park, he moved to Brooklyn, New York, where you can often find him walking the four blocks from the train to his apartment talking to himself. Well, not really talking to himself, but just repeating character names and plot lines he thought of on the train, over and over again, because he’s afraid he’ll forget it all before he gets home. Jason Reynolds is the author of critically acclaimed When I Was the Greatest, for which he was the recipient of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent, and Boy in the Black Suit. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com.
THE TEEN TRANSGENDER EXPERIENCE
Alex Gino is as a “[p]rogressive middle grade novelist, author, fat queer activist, glitter liberationists, urban gardener, and then some.”
Susan Kuklin is the award-winning author and photographer of more than thirty books for children and young adults that span social issues and culture. Her photographs have appeared in Time magazine and the New York Times.
Robin Talley’s debut novel, LIES WE TELL OURSELVES, published in October to much critical acclaim. When not writing, Robin plans communication strategies at an organization fighting for equal rights and social justice. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her wife, and on the web at www.robintalley.com or on Twitter: @robin_talley.
Ingrid Abrams has been a public children’s, and sometimes teen, librarian in NYC since 2008. She is one of the American Library Association’s Emerging Leaders of 2012. Ingrid is starting her second term as Director-at-Large of ALA’s GLBT Round Table and a proud former member of the Rainbow Book Project Committee (February 1, 2013, to January 31, 2015). She is a current editor of librarianwardrobe.com and blogs at magpielibrarian.wordpress.com
NEW AGE OF YA NONFICTION
M.T. Anderson is the author of Feed, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, as well as The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party, winner of the National Book Award and a New York Times bestseller. It was also named a Michael L. Printz Honor Book.
Marc Aronson is an author, professor, speaker, editor and publisher who believes that young people, especially pre-teens and teenagers, are smart, passionate, and capable of engaging with interesting ideas in interesting ways. His mission is to inspire young people to ask questions, to look around, behind, and inside of the stories the world tells us.
Paula Ayer has worked as an editor, translator, researcher, art director and writer of magazine articles and music reviews. She also maintains a blog about TV shows. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband and young daughter.
Susan Campbell Bartoletti is the author of the Newbery Honor book Hitler Youth, the Sibert Medal–winning Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, and They Called Themselves the KKK. A former teacher, she is now a full-time writer living in Moscow, Pennsylvania. Visit her website at www.scbartoletti.com.
GAMING IN THE LIBRARY
Heather Booth is the Teen and Tween Services Coordinator at the Thomas Ford Memorial Library in Western Springs, IL, a Booklist reviewer, a member of The Robot Test Kitchen, and a contributor on Teen Librarian Toolbox. Her most recent publication is “Club Programs for Teens: 100 Activities for the Entire Year” (ALA Editions, 2015) co-authored by Amy Alessio.
Amanda Schiavulli is an experienced librarian who has worked in a variety of library systems over the past 15 years. Amanda has been the Education and Outreach Librarian at the Finger Lakes Library System since 2012 and provides assistance to their 33 members in the areas of Youth, Adult and Outreach. Amanda also moonlights at her local GameStop where she actively infuses videogames with literacy with customers. In her (very little) spare time, Amanda enjoys traveling, reading while cuddling her kitties and (of course) gaming.
Lindsey Tomsu was named a Mover & Shaker by her TAB in 2013 for the outstanding programs she has provided them with over the years. She has brought in more than $10,000 in grant funds to supplement such activities, including Life-Size Candy Land, Arkham Horror, and LIFE. The TAB is currently working on a grant that would cover the supply cost for creating 25 smaller life-size games the teens can play annually.
Keyahna Wood has been a TAB member since 2010. She is also participating in the third year of the TAB Teen Internship, learning about all aspects of librarianship. She has volunteered more than 1,000 hours help plan the SRPs and various life-size games. She is also a member of Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo’s Zoo Crew and a recent graduate of its Zoo Academy. She would like to become a vet or work with young children.
Eli Neiburger is Deputy Director of the Ann Arbor District Library in MI, where he was hired as helpdesk technician in 1997. He’s the author of Gamers… in the LIBRARY?! published in 2007 by ALA Editions, and a contributor to VOYA, Library Technology Reports, BOOK: A Futurist’s Manifesto, and Well Played, a journal of videogame criticism produced by Carnegie Mellon’s ETC Press. He’s spoken across the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand about libraries, gaming, ebooks, publishing, and web, and he has a tattoo consisting solely of Nintendo’s intellectual property.
Faythe Arredondo is a teen services (and more!) librarian in the middle of agricultural California. She loves working with teens and spreadsheets, watching hockey, and is gearing up for the new Star Wars movie. You can usually find her on Twitter @farre rating about something.
THAT SCARED THE PANTS OFF ME! HORRORS, THRILLERS AND SUSPENSE
Joelle Charbonneau began telling stories as an opera singer, but these days she finds her voice through writing. She lives near Chicago with her husband and son, and when she isn’t writing, she works as an acting and vocal coach. Visit www.joellecharbonneau.com.
Dawn Kurtagich is a young writer of psychologically sinister fiction, and she has a dark and twisted imagination! She lives in Wales, an ancient and mountainous country within the UK (go to England’s Midlands and turn left towards the sea). However, she grew up all over the world, predominantly in Africa. She writes and blogs for YA Scream Queens and is a member of the YA League. The Dead House is her first novel. Visit her online at dawnkurtagich.com.
Amy Lukavics lurks within the forested mountains of Prescott, Arizona, along with her husband and two precious squidlings. When she isn’t reading or writing creepy stories, she enjoys cooking, crafting, and playing many video games. She prefers sour candy over chocolate and deeply enjoys a good movie soundtrack. DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS is her debut novel.
Devon McCormack spends most of his time adventuring in paranormal worlds with his island of misfit characters. A good ole Southern boy, he began spinning tales the old fashioned way: lying to everyone he encountered. He has since harnessed this penchant for tall tales to create his novels.
Paula Willey is a librarian and children’s literature critic in Baltimore. She is a regular contributor to SLJ and maintains her own book review blog, unadulterated.us. Horror devotees can keep up with the sicker side of her reading on somethingwickedcomesofage.tumblr.com.
AND NOW, FOR THE FIRST TIME…DEBUTS YOU’LL WANT TO KNOW ABOUT
Eleanor Herman is the New York Times bestselling author of several highly-acclaimed works of nonfiction, including Sex with Kings—a history of royal mistresses. Her historical nonfiction has received worldwide critical praise and was described by The Washington Post as “a lot more fun than Danielle Steel or Dan Brown.” Legacy of Kings is her first YA novel, and marks the beginning of the “Blood of Gods and Royals” series. She lives in McLean, Virginia.
Robert Hough is a freelance writer and the author of several critically-acclaimed novels for adults. Diego’s Crossing is his first book for young adults. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Daniel José Older is an activist, composer, and former paramedic, His YA debut Shadowshaper (Scholastic, 2015) has already garnered stellar reviews and buzz. He is also the author of the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, which begins in January 2015 with Half-Resurrection Blues.
Dodie Ownes is a YA/Adult services librarian about Douglas County Libraries in Colorado. She has a special place in her heart for debut novels. Dodie is proud to be participating in the fourth ever SummerTeen!
Emily Reed published her first book, Fairy Tales for Modern Queers, through Harmony Ink in 2015. She knows two dead languages and enjoys waffles, knitting, and ukulele. She would like to remind you all that gender is fuzzy and her answer to “are you a boy or girl” is “yes.”
TEEN SERVICES TOOLBOX
Karen Jensen is the creator and administrator of Teen Librarian Toolbox, an SLJ networked blog. She has been a YA librarian for 22 years and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services (ALA Editions 2014). She is currently the YA Services Coordinator at the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County.
Marissa Lieberman graduated with her MLS from Queens College, NY in 2011, and is a children’s librarian at the East Orange Public Library in NJ. She has worked at multiple libraries in the Nassau County, NY library system before relocating to NJ. She reviews books for School Library Journal, VOYA, and No Flying, No Tights. She is a contributor at Cosplay, Comics and Geek Culture in Libraries and has presented at New York Comic Con and other professional development events.
HOW TO CREATE AND SUSTAIN A TEEN VOLUNTEER GROUP
Megan Emery Schadlich is a library programmer for the Teen Department and 4th Floor of the Chattanooga Public Library in TN. When she’s not designing classes like Wool Felting for Cat Lovers or dreaming about getting fire hula hoopers into the building she’s managing the 2nd Floor’s robust teen volunteer program. She wrote a library programming book called Cooking Up Library Programs Teens and ‘Tweens Will Love: Recipes for Success. She tweets as @bibli and her blog is www.meganfemery.com
Laura Gardner has been a school librarian for ten years and is a teacher librarian and National Junior Honor Society advisor at Dartmouth Middle School in MA. A National Board Certified Teacher in Library Media, she serves on the board of the Massachusetts School Library Association. She has run a popular student volunteer program for the last five years with over 30 student volunteers per year in the library. She enjoys reading middle grade novels and specializes in singing song parodies on the announcements to get those overdue books back at the end of the year.
YA ROMANCE: IT’S COMPLICATED
Marie Marquardt is a Scholar-in-Residence at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and the author of Living Illegal: The Human Face of Unauthorized Immigration. She is widely published on issues of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. South. Marquardt has also worked as an advocate among immigrants in Atlanta. She is a founder and co-chair of El Refugio, a hospitality house near the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia. Dream Things True is Marie’s first young adult novel.
Fiona Wood has worked as a screenwriter for more than 10 years. Her first novel, Six Impossible Things, was short-listed for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year. She is also the author of Wildlife, which won the CBC Australia Book of the Year Award. Fiona lives in Melbourne, Australia. Visit her online at fionawood.com.
Joy Piedmont is a librarian and technology integrator at LREI – Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School. An active member of the Hudson Valley Library Association, she organizes their monthly book club and annual Mock Printz, and currently serves as President. Joy reviews YA literature on SLJ’s Someday My Printz Will Come.
Carol Lynch Williams is a PEN Award-winning author of more than a dozen books. She is a graduate of the Vermont College MFA program. Carol facilitates the children’s writing conferences at both Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University. She lives in Utah with her family. Visit her at CarolLynchWilliams.com