School Library Journal Day of Dialog 2019

School Library Journal Day of Dialog, May 29, 2019
New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
9 am - 6 pm
Registration Opens at 8 am!




Join us for the most anticipated librarian-only gathering of the year and be informed, inspired and entertained by the best authors, editors, and publishers working in the fields of children’s and young adult literature today. Enjoy access to exclusive author signings, free ARCs, and opportunities to network with publishing professionals and library colleagues from around the country.

Space is limited, so don’t wait to register for the best and brightest talk about books and libraries. We'll update you with program announcements as information becomes available.

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School Library Journal Day of Dialog, May 29, 2019
New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
9 am - 6 pm
Registration Opens at 8 am!



8:00 AM — 8:45 AM Registration and Breakfast

8:45 AM — 8:50 AM Welcome

9:00 AM — 9:20 AM Opening KeynoteJerry Pinkney A Place To Land (Holiday House)

9:20 AM — 10:10 AM Panel l Middle Grade moderated by Jessica Agudelo, Bronx Library Center

Rob Buyea, The Perfect Star (Delacorte / Random House Children's Publishing) 
Nicole Melleby, Hurricane Season (Workman Publishing)
Celia PérezStrange Birds A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers (Penguin/Kokila) 
Tim Tingle, Doc and the Detective (Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic) 
Ibi Zoboi, My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich (Dutton) 

10:15 AM — 10:30 AM Break

10:30 AM — 11:00 AM Publisher Pitch Panel I

Blink (Harpercollins Focus)                                                            
Chronicle Books


11:00 AM — 11:50 AM Panel II Graphic Novels moderated by Mahnaz DarSchool Library Journal

Jerry CraftNew Kid (HarperCollins)
Faith Erin HicksPumpkinheads (First Second)
Kyo MaclearOperatic (Groundwood)
Emma Steinkellner, The Okay Witch (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing / Aladdin)
Jen Wang, Stargazing (First Second Books / Macmillan) 

11:50 AM — 12:20 PM Publisher Pitch Panel II

HarperCollins Children’s Publishing                                                          
Holiday House                                                                                                                                   
Listening Library (LL)  (Penguin Random House)


12:20 PM — 12:35 PM Guest Speaker Sharon Robinson, Child of a Dream (Scholastic)

1:20 PM — 1:50 PM Publisher Pitch Panel III

Macmillan Children's Publishing                                                                        
Macmillan Library Mktg/TOR Teen                                                                  
Penguin Young Readers                                                                         
Random House Children's Books


1:50 PM — 2:40 PM Panel III YA moderated by Katy Hershberger, School Library Journal

Jessica Bennett, This Is 18 (Abrams)
Alison Gervais, The Silence Between Us (Blink / HarperCollins)
Thanhha Lai, Butterfly Yellow (HarperCollins)
Kim Liggett, The Grace Year (Wednesday Books)
Tochi Onyebuchi, War Girls (Penguin/Razorbill)

2:45 PM — 3:35 PM Editors Panel, New Voices, New Visions moderated by Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

Kwame Alexander, Founding Editor of Versify, an imprint at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers  
Claudia Zoe Bedrick, publisher, editor, and art director of Enchanted Lion Books
Zareen Jaffery, Executive Editor of Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Cheryl Klein, Editorial Director, Lee & Low
Christopher Myers, Creative Director, Make Me a World, an imprint of Random House Children's Books
Namrata Tripathi, Vice President and Publisher of Kokila, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers

3:35 PM — 3:50 PM Break

3:50 PM — 4:20 PM Publisher Pitch Panel IV

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing                                                                


4:20 PM — 5:10 PM Panel IV Picture Books, moderated by Genielysse Reyes, Simmons University Center for the Study of Children’s Literature

Isabelle Arsenault, Just Because (Candlewick)
Raúl the Third, ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market! (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) 
Kyle LukoffWhen Aidan Became a Brother (Lee & Low)
Yu Rong, Summer (Macmillian/Imprint)
Traci Sorell, Powwow Day (Charlesbridge)
Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Layla’s Happiness (Enchanted Lion) 

5:10 PM — 5:30 PM Closing KeynoteMac BarnettJust Because (Candlewick)

5:30 PM Book Signing / Meet and Greet

Keynote Speakers


Legendary author and illustrator Jerry Pinkney's many accolades include the Caldecott Medal, five Coretta Scott King Awards, five Coretta Scott King Honor Awards, four New York Times Best Illustrated Books, and four gold medals from the Society of Illustrators. He served on the National Council of the Arts, is a Trustee Emeritus of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and has taught at Pratt Institute, the University of Delaware, and the University of Buffalo. He lives in Westchester, New York.

Mac Barnett is the author of numerous books for children, including five illustrated by Jon Klassen: the Shape Trilogy (Triangle, Square, Circle); The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse, an E. B. White Read-Aloud Award winner; Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, an E. B. White Read-Aloud Award winner and a Caldecott Honor Book; and Extra Yarn, which received a Caldecott Honor and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. Mac Barnett lives in California.



Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times best-selling author of 28 books, including Rebound, the follow-up to his, Newbery medal-winning middle-grade novel, The Crossover. Some of his other works include Booked, which was longlisted for the National Book Award, The Playbook: 52 Rules to Help You Aim, Shoot, and Score in this Game of Life, Swing, and the picture books, Out of Wonder and The Undefeated. A regular contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition, Kwame is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, The NCTE/Charlotte Huck Honor, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, and the 2017 Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award. He believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people around the world through The Write Thing, his K-12 Writing Workshop. Kwame is the Founding Editor of Versify, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Isabelle Arsenault


Isabelle Arsenault is the creator of Alpha and the illustrator of several other picture books, including Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt, a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year; Captain Rosalie by Timothée de Fombelle; and Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois by Amy Novesky. Isabelle Arsenault lives in Montreal.


Claudia Zoe Bedrick is a publisher, editor, and art director of Enchanted Lion Books, an award-winning, independent company based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. A graduate of Harvard College, Bedrick has also been recognized for her translations of French picture books and is co-editor, with Maria Popova, of A Velocity of Being.

Jessica Bennett has spent her award-winning journalism career focusing a gender lens on social issues and culture — from the persistence of workplace inequality to the ripple effects of #MeToo. She is the New York Times’ first-ever gender editor, leading a newsroom-wide initiative to expand global coverage of women and gender across platforms, and is author of the best-selling book, Feminist Fight Club: A Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace, which has been translated into 14 languages, a podcast, and is being adapted for television.

Rob Buyea

Rob Buyea taught third and fourth graders for six years; then he taught high school biology and coached wrestling for seven years. Currently, he is a full-time writer and lives in Massachusetts with his wife and daughters. He is the author of The Perfect Score, The Perfect Secret, and the upcoming The Perfect Star. His first novel, Because of Mr. Terupt, was selected as an E. B. White Read Aloud Honor Book and a Cybils Honor Book. It has also won seven state awards and was named to numerous state reading lists. Mr. Terupt Falls Again and Saving Mr. Terupt are companion novels to Because of Mr. Terupt. Visit him online at and on Facebook, and follow @RobBuyea on Twitter.

Jerry Craft

Jerry Craft is an author and illustrator who has worked on numerous picture books, graphic novels, and middle grade novels, including The Zero Degree Zombie Zone by Patrik Henry Bass. Jerry is the creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award-winning syndicated comic strip. He has won five African American Literary Awards and is a cofounder of the Schomburg Center’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts and now lives in Connecticut. Visit him online at

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is the author of Strut (Agape Editions), Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (Grand Concourse Press) and Karma’s Footsteps (Flipped Eye). She has performed poetry & taught in the United States, Namibia, The Netherlands, Belgium, & England. Her work is the subject of the film I Leave My Colors Everywhere. She is the mother of three galaxies who look like daughters.

Alison Gervais 

Faith Erin Hicks is a writer and artist in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her graphic novels include Zombies Calling, The War at Ellsmere, Brain Camp (with Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan), Friends with Boys, Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong (with Prudence Shen), The "Bigfoot Boy" series (with J. Torres), The Last of Us: American Dreams (with Neil Druckmann), the Eisner Award-winning The Adventures of Superhero Girl, the “Nameless City” series, and Pumpkinheads (with Rainbow Rowell).

Zareen Jaffery

Zareen Jaffery

Cheryl Klein is the editorial director at Lee & Low Books, where she works with a team of four editors on a wide array of diverse books and edits both seasoned authors like Hena Khan and Sherry Thomas and debut talents like Hilda Eunice Burgos and Aaliya Jaleel. She is also the author of The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults and two picture books. 

Thanhha Lai

Thanhhà Lại is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Inside Out & Back Again, her debut novel in verse, which won both a National Book Award and a Newbery Honor, and the acclaimed Listen, Slowly, which was named to numerous best book of the year lists. She was born in Việt Nam and now lives in New York with her family. To learn more about Thanhhà, visit

Kim Liggett

At 16, Kim Liggett left her rural Midwestern town for New York City to pursue a career in music. Along with lending her voice to hundreds of studio recordings, she was a backup singer for some of the biggest rock bands in the 80's. Kim spends her free time studying the tarot and scouring Manhattan for vials of rare perfume and the perfect egg white cocktail.

Kyle Lukoff

Kyle Lukoff is the author of A Storytelling of Ravens, which Kirkus Reviews called "not to be missed" in a starred review. After a decade as a bookseller, he now works as a school librarian and book reviewer in New York City. You can find his book recommendations, notes on trans life, and praise from Rachel Maddow online at and on Twitter as @shekels_library.

Cheryl Klein

Kyo Maclear is a beloved author of books for children and adults. Her recent children’s books include Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli, illustrated by Julie Morstad, Yak and Dove, illustrated by Esmé Shapiro, and The Liszts, illustrated by Júlia Sardà. She lives in Toronto with her two sons, two cats and a singer.

Kyo Maclear

Nicole Melleby is a born-and-bred Jersey girl with a passion for storytelling. She studied creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University and currently teaches creative writing and literature courses with a handful of local universities. When she’s not writing, she can be found browsing the shelves at her local comic shop or watching soap operas with a cup of tea. Hurricane Season is her debut novel for middle grade readers.

Nicole Melleby

Christopher Myers is a widely acclaimed author and illustrator living in New York. In addition to illustrating his own titles, he has worked with numerous authors, including e. e. cummings, Zora Neale Hurston, and his father, Walter Dean Myers. The two worked together on the Caldecott Honor winner Harlem, as well as the Coretta Scott King Honor winners Black Cat and H.O.R.S.E. Most recently he collaborated with dancer Misty Copeland on the picture book Firebird. Myers is a versatile artist, working with photos, gouache, woodcuts, collage, and other artistic media. His fine art has been exhibited at MoMA PS1 and numerous museums and galleries nationally and internationally. Myers also co-directed the documentary film Am I Going Too Fast? with Hank Willis Thomas, and recently wrote and designed a play based on his experiences working with refugee youth in Munich, Cartography, commissioned by the Kennedy Center. He has written several notable essays, among them “Young Dreamers,” an eloquent reflection on Trayvon Martin and Ezra Jack Keats’s The Snowy Day, as well as the much-discussed “The Apartheid of Children’s Literature,” published in the New York Times in 2014.

 Chris Myers 

Tochi Onyebuchi is a writer based in Connecticut. He holds a BA from Yale, an MFA in screenwriting from Tisch, and a JD from Columbia Law School. Tochi is the author of Beasts Made of Night and Crown of Thunder.

 Chris Myers 

Celia Perez

Celia Perez

Sharon Robinson, daughter of baseball legend and civil rights icon Jackie Robinson, is an acclaimed author as well as an educational consultant for Major League Baseball. Some of the widely praised books about her father include Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America, The Hero Two Doors Down, and Jackie’s Nine: Jackie Robinson’s Values to Live By. Her newest book, Child of the Dream, is a memoir about turning 13 in 1963—with an inside look at the Robinson family and Sharon’s attempts to discover her place in the fight for equality and justice. Sharon Robinson is also the founder of Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life, a baseball-themed national character education curriculum that helps empower students overcome obstacles in their lives. Ms. Robinson currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. She lives in Florida.

Yu Rong is an award-winning Chinese illustrator of children's picture books, especially known for her use of cut paper in her artwork.

Traci Sorell writes fiction and nonfiction for children featuring contemporary characters and compelling biographies. Traci’s debut nonfiction picture book, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, features a panorama of modern-day Cherokee cultural practices and experiences, presented through the four seasons. It conveys a universal spirit of gratitude common in many cultures. Traci is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She grew up in northeastern Oklahoma, where her tribe is located. She is a first-generation college graduate with a bachelor's degree in Native American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She also has a Master's degree in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin. Previously, she taught at the University of North Dakota School of Law and the University of New Mexico. She also worked as an attorney assisting tribal courts nationwide, advocated for national Native American health care, and directed a national nonprofit serving American Indian and Alaska Native elders. Traci lives in Oklahoma.

Emma Steinkellner is an illustrator, writer, and cartoonist living in Los Angeles, California. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the illustrator of the Eisner-nominated comic Quince. The Okay Witch is her debut graphic novel as an author.

Raúl the Third is the creator of ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market and the Pura Belpré Award-winning illustrator of the Lowriders in Space series by Cathy Camper. He is currently working on a YA graphic novel with David Bowles. He grew up between El Paso, TX and Ciudad Juárez, México and now lives in Boston, MA with colorist Elaine Bay. Twitter: @raulthe3rd Instagram:

Emma Steinkellner

Tim Tingle is an Oklahoma Choctaw and an award-winning author and storyteller. He received his Master's Degree in English Literature at the University of Oklahoma in 2003, with a focus on American Indian studies. His first children's book, Crossing Bok Chitto, garnered over 20 state and national awards, and was an Editor's Choice in the New York Times Book Review. He was a featured author and speaker at the 2014 National Book Festival in Washington, DC, based on critical acclaim for How I Became a Ghost, which won the 2014 American Indian Youth Literature Award. In February of 2016, his novel House of Purple Cedar won the American Indian Youth Literature Award. He has completed eight speaking tours for the US Department of Defense, performing stories to children of military personnel stationed in Germany. As a visiting author and performer, Tingle reaches audiences numbering over 200,000 annually. He lives in Canyon Lake, Texas.

Mariah Ekere Tallie

Namrata Tripathi is Vice President & Publisher of Kokila, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers dedicated to centering stories from the margins. Previously, Namrata held editorial positions at HarperCollins, Disney-Hyperion, and Simon and Schuster. She is the editor of the picture books Islandborn by Junot Díaz and Leo Espinosa and The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken; the middle grade novels The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani, and Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley; and the YA novels Where Things Come BackNoggin, and Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley. Namrata grew up in Afghanistan, India, Canada, Pakistan, Germany, and Poland, and has happily called New York City home for the last twenty years. Follow her on Twitter: @Tweetpathi.

Mariah Ekere Tallie

Jen Wang is a cartoonist, author and illustrator living in Los Angeles. She is the author of The Prince and the Dressmaker, Koko Be Good, and co-author of the New York Times best-selling graphic novel In Real Life with Cory Doctorow. Her work has also appeared in Los Angeles Magazine, The Believer, Hazlitt, Slate, and McSweeney’s. She has also written for the “Adventure Time” and “Lumberjanes” comic series. She is the cofounder and organizer of the annual festival Comics Arts Los Angeles.    

Mariah Ekere Tallie

Alyssa Zaczek  

Ibi Zoboi


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