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.
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
Moderated by Heather Booth,
Teen Librarian, blogger, Toolbox
Education and Outreach Librarian
Finger Lakes Library System, NY
La Vista Public Library, NE
Teen Advisory Board (TAB)
Ann Arbor District Library, MI
Teen Services Librarian
Tulare County Library, CA
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 Jose Older
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
Moderated by Karen Jensen, Teen Librarian, blogger, Toolbox
East Orange Public Library, NJ
Librarian at Sewanhaka High School
Floral Park, NY
HOW TO CREATE AND SUSTAIN A TEEN VOLUNTEER GROUP
Tween/Teen Volunteer Coordinator
Chattanooga Public Library, TN
YA ROMANCE: IT’S COMPLICATED
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