School Library Journal Day of Dialog

Join us for the most anticipated librarian gathering of the year—now fully virtual and free to attend! Our daylong program of author panels, in-depth conversations, and keynote talks will keep you informed, inspired, and entertained. Attendees will hear about the latest and most exciting forthcoming titles for children, tweens, and teens, from picture books and nonfiction to graphic novels and YA, and engage in Q&A sessions with authors and illustrators. Visit the virtual exhibits hall to network with leading publishers, enjoy additional author chats, and download digital galleys and other free resources.

We are anticipating an unprecedented number of library and education professionals to attend this event, so you may find the environment or live sessions become full during the day.

But fear not! All sessions and author chats will be available for viewing on-demand within an hour of their initial broadcast, and the entire event will be available on-demand until December 15, 2020.



9:00 AM | Exhibit Hall Opens

9:30 AM–10:00 AM ET | Welcome and Opening Keynote 
Kwame Alexander, Becoming Muhammad Ali (HMH; Little, Brown)
Jacqueline Woodson, Before the Ever After (Penguin)
Moderator: Kathy Ishizuka, Editor in Chief, School Library Journal

Morning Concurrent Sessions

10:05 AM–11:00 AM ET | In the Midst of It All: Books for Middle Graders

Representing a range of genres, from fantasy to historical fiction, these authors will talk about the challenges and rewards of writing for the middle grade audience.
Sarwat Chadda, City of the Plague God (Disney)
Dan Gutman, Houdini and Me (Holiday House)
David Levithan, The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan. S. (as Told to His Brother) (Random House)
Wendy Orr, Cuckoo’s Flight (Pajama Press)
Moderator: Ashleigh Williams, Assistant Editor, Chapter Books & Middle Grade, School Library Journal

10:05 AM–11:00 AM ET | Picture Books To Bolster the Spirit

We're living in especially turbulent times, but books can be a balm. These authors will speak about creating age-appropriate works that still sensitively address deep issues, from Black Lives Matter to grief.
Jessixa Bagley, Daisy (Holiday House)
Matthew Burgess, The Bear and the Moon (Chronicle Books)
Shani Mahiri King, Have I Ever Told You That Black Lives Matter? (Tilbury House)
Baptiste Paul, Peace (NorthSouth Books)
Monique Gray Smith, When We Are Kind (Orca Books)
Moderator: Melanie Kletter, School Library Journal Reviewer

10:05 AM–11:00 AM ET | Beyond Just the Facts: Noteworthy Nonfiction

Taking on a variety of topics, all deeply relevant, from disease to the First Amendment, these authors will speak about the importance of crafting nonfiction that’s accurate, trustworthy, and appealing to children and teens.
Christy Mihaly, Free for You and Me: What Our First Amendment Means (Albert Whitman)
Karyn Parsons, Flying Free: How Bessie Coleman's Dreams Took Flight (Little, Brown)
Marilee Peters, Patient Zero: Solving the Mysteries of Deadly Epidemics, 2nd Edition (Annick Press)
Don Tate, William Still and His Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad (Peachtree)
Jamia Wilson, This Book Is Feminist: An Intersectional Primer for Feminists in Training (Quarto)
Moderator: Vanessa Willoughby, Associate Editor, Nonfiction & Series Made Simple, School Library Journal

11:00 AM–11:30 AM ET | Break/Visit Booths

11:30 AM–12:05 PM ET | Authors in Dialog
Nikki Grimes, Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance (Bloomsbury)
Carole Boston Weatherford, Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre (Lerner)
Moderator: Kara Yorio, News Editor, School Library Journal

12:10 PM–12:40 PM ET | Afternoon Keynote
Bryan Collier, All Because You Matter (Scholastic)
Moderator: Sarah Bayliss, News & Features Editor, School Library Journal

12:40 PM–1:40 PM ET | Lunch Break/Visit Booths

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions I

1:40 PM–2:30 PM ET | Remaking History in Fiction and Nonfiction

History is more than the dates and names in textbooks; it's the stories of everyday people—especially the accounts of marginalized people, which have often gone untold. These authors will discuss surfacing information that has gone unaddressed in history textbooks but that is vital to give students a well-rounded and nuanced understanding of history.
Kyandreia Jones, Choose Your Own Adventure Spies: Mary Bowser (Chooseco)
Randi Pink, Angel of Greenwood (Macmillan)
Michael O. Tunnell, Desert Diary: Japanese American Kids Behind Barbed Wire (Charlesbridge)
Lee Wind, No Way, They Were Gay?: Hidden Lives and Secret Loves (Lerner)
Paula Yoo, From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial That Galvanized the Asian American Movement (Norton)
Moderator: Mahnaz Dar, Reference and Professional Reading Editor, School Library Journal & Library Journal

1:40 PM–2:30 PM ET | We Are Family: Picture Book Representations of the Ties That Bind

There's no singular definition of family, but these picture books offer a few examples of what it can look like. These authors will talk about how they chose to depict families and why it's important for all readers to see representations of their own families in books.
Thao Lam, Paper Boat: A Refugee Story (OwlKids Books)
Carrie Lara, The Heart of Mi Familia (Magination Press)
NoNieqa Ramos, Your Mama (HMH)
Farida Zaman, When Mom’s Away (Second Story Press)
Moderator: Kimberly Olson Fakih, Senior Editor, Picture Books, School Library Journal

2:35 PM–3:10 PM ET | Authors in Dialog
David Bowles, translator, The Immortal Boy: Sacred Stories of the Americas; The Sea Ringed World (Levine Querido)
Anton Treuer, Everything You Wanted To Know About Indians but Were Afraid To Ask: Young Readers Edition (Levine Querido)
Moderator: Cynthia Letitch Smith, cofounder, Heartdrum imprint (HarperCollins)
Staff Moderator: Stephanie Klose, Media Editor, School Library Journal & Library Journal

3:10 PM–3:40 PM ET | Break/Visit Booths

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions II

3:40 PM–4:30 PM ET | In Between Reads

Finding books for students who can read independently but aren't quite ready for longer middle grade titles is a challenge. These authors will discuss how they create appealing titles that meet readers where they are.
Atinuke, Too Small Tola (Candlewick)
Art Coulson, The Reluctant Storyteller (Reycraft)
J. Dillard, J.D. and the Great Barber Battle (Penguin)
Zetta Elliott, The Dragon Thief (Random)
Moderator: Andrea Davis Pinkney, She Persisted: Harriet Tubman (Penguin)
Staff Moderator: Nia Todd, Sales/Marketing Assistant, School Library Journal & Library Journal

3:40 PM–4:30 PM ET | Turbulent Tales for Teens

Writing in a variety of genres and formats—fantasy, thriller, graphic novel, and more—these authors will speak about exploring the tumultuous period that is adolescence through characters who undergo difficult journeys.
Olivia Chadha, Rise of the Red Hand (Workman)
Isabel Ibañez, Written in Starlight (Page Street)
L.L. McKinney, Nubia: Real One (DC Comics)
Marieke Nijkamp, Even if We Break (Sourcebooks)
Ray Stoeve, Between Perfect and Real (Abrams Books)
Moderator: Shelley Diaz, Reviews Editor, School Library Journal

4:35 PM–5:05 PM ET | Closing Conversation
Hena Khan
, Amina’s Song (Simon & Schuster)
Meg Medina, Merci Suárez Can’t Dance (Candlewick Press)
Moderator: Anja Webb, Assistant Editor, School Library Journal & Library Journal

5:05 PM–6:00 PM ET | Visit Booths



Atinuke was born in Nigeria and spent her childhood in both Africa and the United Kingdom. She is the author of the popular Anna Hibiscus series and Africa, Amazing Africa; Baby Goes to Market; B Is for Baby; and Catch That Chicken! Atinuke lives in Wales.

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times Bestselling author of more than 35 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, Swing, and the picture books, Out of Wonder and The Undefeated, which was longlisted for the National Book Award, and won the Caldecott Medal, a Newbery Honor, and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. 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 founder of Versify, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Jessixa Bagley is the author and illustrator of Daisy, coming in February 2021. Jessixa has written and illustrated multiple award-winning picture books including Before I Leave and Boats for Papa, winner of an SCBWI Golden Kite Award for best picture book text. Her book Laundry Day was not only a Junior Library Guild Selection, but also a recipient of the Ezra Jack Keats Honor Award for writing. Her book Henry and Bea received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

David Bowles is a Mexican-American author and translator from Texas. He has written several titles, most notably The Chupacabras of the Rio Grande (with Adam Gidwitz), The Smoking Mirror (Pura Belpré Honor Book), They Call Me Güero (Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, Pura Belpré Honor Book, Walter Dean Myers Honor Book).
He is also the translator of two titles forthcoming from Levine Querido in Spring 21: The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas written by María García Esperón and The Immortal Boy by Francisco Montaña Ibáñez.
David teaches at the University of Texas Río Grande Valley. He spends most of the rest of his time writing or traveling through Mexico, the land of his ancestors, studying its history. He likes to focus on indigenous culture, philosophy, and language, especially Nahuatl—spoken by the Aztecs and many of their descendants today.

Matthew Burgess is an assistant professor at Brooklyn College and a poet-in-residence in NYC schools through Teachers & Writers Collaborative. His award-winning first children's book, Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings, was a Junior Library Guild selection and an ALA Notable Children's Book. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Sarwat Chadda is a first generation Muslim immigrant, has spent a lifetime integrating the best of his family's heritage with the country of his birth. There have been tensions as well as celebrations, but he wouldn’t wish it any other way. As a lifelong gamer he decided to embrace his passion for over-the-top adventure stories by swapping a career in engineering for a  new one as a writer. That resulted in his first novel, Devil’s Kiss, back in 2009. Since then he has been published in a dozen languages, writing comic books, TV shows, and novels such as the award-winning Indian mythology-inspired Ash Mistry series and the epic high-fantasy Shadow Magic trilogy (as Joshua Khan). While he’s traveled far and wide, including Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, he’s most at home in London, where he lives with his wife, two more-or-less grown-up daughters, and an aloof cat. Feel free to drop him a line @sarwatchadda.

Olivia Kaur Chadha began her writing career with a stint in Los Angeles writing comic book scripts for Fathom. She has a Ph.D in creative writing from Binghamton University and a master's in creative writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research centers on exile, folklore and fairy tales, and the environment. She is first-generation American of Punjabi Sikh and Latvian/German descent and lives in Colorado with her family and two very odd dogs.

Bryan Collier loves to paint. He has successfully channeled his creative energy and love of art into an illustrious career as a children's book illustrator and writer. He began painting at the age of fifteen and eventually landed a scholarship to attend Pratt Institute in New York. His books have received numerous awards and accolades including four Caldecott Honors, nine Coretta Scott King Honors and Awards, the Horn Book Honor Award, the NAACP Image Award for Best Children’s Book, and the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award. Bryan lives in New York City.

Art Coulson is Cherokee and comes from a family of storytellers. He is the author of The Creator's Game and Unstoppable. Art lives in Minnesota with his family but still plays traditional Cherokee stickball when he visits friends and relatives in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

J. Dillard (known as the "Barberpreneur") is a former managing partner for ConAllegiance, a consulting firm based out of Atlanta, Georgia. He is a master barber, a certified consultant, and an industry leader who started cutting his own hair at the age of ten. After many trials and tribulations, J. began cutting hair professionally in 1999 and became a shop owner while attending college at Tuskegee University in Alabama. He travels the country with his clients as a personal barber and calls Atlanta home. This is his first book series for children.

Zetta Elliott was born in Canada and moved to the United States in 1994. She is the author of over twenty-five books for young readers, including the award-winning picture books Bird and Melena's Jubilee. She is also a contributor to the anthology We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, published by Crown Books for Young Readers. Elliott is an advocate for greater diversity and equity in publishing. A longtime resident of Brooklyn, she currently lives in Lancaster, PA.

Nikki Grimes is a New York Times bestselling author and the recipient of the Children's Literature Legacy Award, the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her distinguished works include Southwest Sunrise, illustrated by Wendell Minor; the Printz Honor and Sibert Honor book Ordinary Hazards; NAACP Image Award nominee Planet Middle School; Coretta Scott King Award winner Bronx Masquerade; Coretta Scott King Author Honor books Jazmin’s Notebook, Talkin’ About Bessie, Dark Sons, The Road to Paris, and Words with Wings, which was also named an ALA Notable Book; and What Is Goodbye?, an ALA Notable Book. She lives in Corona, California.

Dan Gutman grew up in New Jersey loving sports, which inspired him as an adult to write his baseball card book series, that begins with Honus & Me, which was nominated for eleven state awards and adapted for television. Other titles of his include the My Weird School series, The Genius Files series, The Kid Who Ran for President, and much more. He lives with his wife and two kids in New York City. Houdini and Me is Dan's first title with Holiday House and will be available in March 2021.

Isabel Ibañez is the author of Woven in Moonlight (Page Street, 2020), which received two starred reviews and earned praise from NPR. She was born in Boca Raton, Florida, and is the proud daughter of two Bolivian immigrants. Isabel is an avid movie goer and loves hosting family and friends around the dinner table. She currently lives in Winter Park, Florida, with her husband, their adorable dog, and a serious collection of books. Say hi on social media at @IsabelWriter09.

Hena Khan is a Pakistani American writer. She is the author of the middle grade novels Amina’s Voice, Amina’s Song, and More to the Story and picture books Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, Under My Hijab, and It’s Ramadan, Curious George, among others. Hena lives in her hometown of Rockville, Maryland, with her basketball-loving family.

Kyandreia Jones received a Creative Writing BFA from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. She was born and raised in South Florida. When she thinks of home she likes to muse that she is in a “sunshine state of mind.” Jones’ poetry and prose has been published in various college literary publications and magazines such as Red Weather, Grasping Roots, The Black List Journal and The Underground. Opportunities like having her first short story “At Home” published by Living Spring Publishers in Stories Through the Ages, College Edition 2017 inspired Jones to take her writing to new heights. Working for Choose Your Own Adventure has been the highlight of Jones’ career and she cannot wait to see what other adventures await her! Jones values reading, writing, laughing, and promoting universal kindness. She lives in the Miami area with her dog, Noble.

Shani Mahiri King (Miami, FL) is a law professor at the University of Florida, where he is director of the Center on Children and Families and an Associate Director of the Center on Race and Race Relations. Shani is the father of a eight-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son, for whom he wrote the picture book Have I Ever Told You? (Tilbury House, 2019)

Thao Lam is the critically acclaimed author/illustrator of THAO (forthcoming April 2021), The Paper Boat (new September 2020), My Cat Looks Like My Dad (2019), Wallpaper (2018), and Skunk on a String (2016). She studied illustration at Sheridan College and has an insatiable love of colored and textured papers, which she uses to create her exuberant collages. She draws inspiration from the stories she hears, from the beauty in everyday things, and from the work of the many illustrators she admires. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

Carrie Lara, PsyD, specializes in working with children and families on child and human development, including foster and adoptive youth, those with learning disabilities and special education, and children dealing with trauma, using attachment-based play therapy. This is her second children’s book, which is the follow up to Marvelous, Maravilloso. Carrie lives in Sonoma County, California.

Some of David Levithan's many acclaimed novels and story collections include 19 Love Songs, Every Day, Two Boys Kissing, and Boy Meets Boy. His bestselling collaborations include Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, and The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily (written with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (written with John Green). David was named the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for his contribution to YA literature.

Leatrice “Elle” McKinney, writing as L.L. McKinney, is an advocate for equality and inclusion in publishing, and the creator of the hashtag #WhatWoCWritersHear. She’s spent time in the slush by serving as a reader for agents and participating as a judge in various online writing contests.
Elle’s also a gamer, Blerd, and adamant Hei Hei stan, living in Kansas, surrounded by more nieces and nephews than she knows what to do with. She spends her free time plagued by her cat–Sir Chester Fluffmire Boopsnoot Purrington Wigglebottom Flooferson III, esquire, Baron o’Butterscotch or #SirChester for short.
Her works include the Nightmare-Verse books, starting with the A BLADE SO BLACK trilogy, and an upcoming graphic novel for DC featuring Nubia, Wonder Woman’s twin sister. 
Elle is a Gryffindor with Slytherin tendencies.

Meg Medina is the 2019 Newbery Medalist for Merci Suárez Changes Gears. About this sequel, Merci Suárez Can’t Dance, she says, “I’m so excited to bring my readers into the world of the Suárez family and Seaward Pines once again. . . . New friends, new teachers, and new self-doubts. It’s been a thrill to write about all the zany things that the seventh grade can throw at a person.” The recipient of the Pura Belpré Author Award for her young adult novel Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, Meg Medina is also the author of the novels Burn Baby Burn and The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind and the picture books Mango, Abuela, and Me and Tía Isa Wants a Car, for which she received an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award. Meg Medina lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her family.

Christy Mihaly writes children's books, articles, stories, essays, and poems, including the recently released picture book Free for You and Me, which gives vivid examples from history and everyday life of the five liberties protected by the First Amendment. She lives in Vermont, where she writes under the daily supervision of her dog and cat.

Marieke Nijkamp is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of This Is Where it Ends and Before I Let Go. She is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies, has served as an executive member of We Need Diverse Books, and is the founder of DiversifYA. She lives in the Netherlands. Visit her at

Award-winning author Wendy Orr was born in Edmonton, Alberta. The daughter of an Air Force pilot, she has since lived around the world, including several years in Colorado, France, and England. She now lives in Melbourne, Australia, but returns to North America yearly to visit her family. Wendy's many books for children have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Prominent among them is Nim's Island, which was made into the 2008 film of the same name; a 2013 sequel, Return to Nim's Island, was loosely based on Orr's book Nim at Sea. Orr's 2017 novel Dragonfly Song is a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Kirkus Best Middle-Grade Books selection, and a finalist for the prestigious TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, among others. Its 2018 companion Swallow’s Dance earned three starred reviews and was a USBBY Outstanding International Book and a School Library Journal Best Middle Grade Books selection.

Karyn Parsons is best known for her role as Will Smith’s cousin Hilary Banks on NBC’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. After leaving acting behind, Karyn has gone on to found and produce Sweet Blackberry, an award-winning series of children’s animated films, to share stories about unsung black heroes in history, featuring narration from stars such as Alfre Woodard, Queen Latifah, and Chris Rock. The videos have been screened on HBO and Netflix, and enjoyed by schools and libraries across the country. How High the Moon is Karyn’s self-authored debut novel.

Baptiste Paul is a Caribbean-born author of three books for children. His debut picture book, The Field, was the winner of the Sonia Lynn Sadler Award, a Junior Library Guild selection, as well as appearing on the Horn Book Fanfare Best of 2018, the School Library Journal Best of 2018, and the CCBC 2018 Choices lists. He is also the co-author of I Am Farmer and Adventures to School, with Miranda Paul. Born and raised on the island of Saint Lucia, Baptiste is a native Creole/Patois speaker who enjoys reading his books and sharing about his experiences with anyone who will listen. Learn more about Baptiste at

Marilee Peters is a former librarian who over the years has written about politics, theater, the environment, parenting, farming, and health, among other topics. She is the author of Patient Zero, 10 Rivers that Shaped the World, and Making It Right. She lives with her family in Vancouver, BC.

Randi Pink grew up in the South and attended a mostly white high school. She lives with her husband and their two rescue dogs in Birmingham, Alabama, where she works for a branch of National Public Radio. She is the author of Angel of Greenwood, Girls Like Us, and Into White.

Andrea Davis Pinkney ( is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of numerous books for children and young adults, and has been recognized by the Coretta Scott King Author Award committee with an honor for Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters and a medal for Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America. She is a four-time nominee for the NAACP Image Award. In addition to her work as an author, Ms. Pinkney is a publishing executive. She has been named one of the "25 Most Influential Black Women in Business" by The Network Journal, and is among Children's Health magazine's "25 Most Influential People in Our Children's Lives."

NoNieqa Ramos is an educator who wrote the THE DISTURBED GIRL'S DICTIONARY, a 2018 New York Public Library Best Book for Teens, a 2019 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection, and a 2019 In the Margins Award Top Ten pick. It earned starred reviews from Booklist, Voya, and Foreword. You might find NoNieqa in Virginia salsa dancing with her soulmate and her children Prince Lango Tango and PrincX Rainbow Cat.

Monique Gray Smith is a mixed-heritage woman of Cree, Lakota and Scottish ancestry and a proud mom of twins. Monique is an accomplished consultant, writer and international speaker. Her first novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience, won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature. Monique's picture book My Heart Fills With Happiness won the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize and was selected as the TD Grade One Giveaway Book for all grade one students in Canada in 2019. Monique and her family are blessed to live on Lekwungen territory in Victoria, British Columbia.

Don Tate is the award-winning illustrator of numerous books for children, including Swish! The Slam- Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters, Carter Reads the Newspaper, No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas, and Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions. He is the author and illustrator of Strong As Sandow: How Eugen Sandow Became the Strongest Man on Earth and Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, for which he won the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award. He is also a co-contributor to the Brown Bookshelf, a blog designed to raise awareness of African Americans writing for young readers. Don lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and son.


Dr. Anton Treuer (pronounced troy-er) is Professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University and author of 19 books. He has a B.A. from Princeton University and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
He is Editor of the Oshkaabewis (pronounced o-shkaah-bay-wis) Native Journal, the only academic journal of the Ojibwe language. He has sat on many organizational boards and has received more than 40 prestigious awards and fellowships, including ones from the American Philosophical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Bush Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Treuer is on the governing board for the Minnesota State Historical Society.
In 2018, he was named Guardian of Culture and Lifeways and recipient of the Pathfinder Award by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums.

Michael O. Tunnell is a retired professor of children's literature and the author of several books for young readers, including Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift's "Chocolate Pilot," an Orbis Pictus Honor book. While writing Desert Diary, he had the privilege of speaking extensively with Mae Yanagi and many of her former classmates from Topaz Camp.

Carole Boston Weatherford is the author of numerous books, including Freedom in Congo Square, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, which received a Caldecott Honor; Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, which received a Caldecott Honor and a Sibert Honor; and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, which won a Caldecott Honor and an NAACP Image Award. Her writing covers such topics as jazz and photography, as well as the slavery and segregation eras. When she’s not traveling or visiting museums, Carole is mining the past for family stories, fading traditions, and forgotten struggles. The daughter of educators, she has a passion for rescuing events and figures from obscurity by documenting American history. She lives in North Carolina.


Jamia Wilson is the executive director and publisher of the Feminist Press. An activist and writer, Wilson has contributed to New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Today Show, CNN, BBC, Teen Vogue, Elle, Refinery 29, Rookie and The Guardian. She is the author of Young Gifted and Black, Step Into Your Power, and Big Ideas for Young Thinkers; a co-author of Road Map for Revolutionaries; and wrote the introduction and oral history to Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard Around the World.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. is a lighthouse of stories—true and fictional—that center Queer and marginalized kids and teens and celebrate their power to change the world. His debut middle grade nonfiction, NO WAY, THEY WERE GAY? Hidden Lives and Secret Loves publishes in April 2021 from Zest/Lerner. His crowdfunded YA novel, Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill, was a Publishers Weekly Indie Success Story. He is the founding blogger of I'm Here. I'm Queer. What The Hell Do I Read?, an award-winning website about books, culture, and empowerment for LGBTQIA2+ kids, teens, and their allies. He also works for IBPA and SCBWI. Visit to subscribe to Lee's newsletter and start your journey to discover our past and live your future.

Jacqueline Woodson was the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. In 2018, she received both the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Children's Literature Legacy Award. Her New York Times bestselling memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, won a National Book Award, Coretta Scott King Award, Newbery Honor, NAACP Image Award, and Sibert Honor. Her adult book Another Brooklyn was a National Book Award finalist. Her over two dozen books include Newbery Honor winners Feathers, Show Way, and After Tupac and D Foster; Miracle's Boys, which won the LA Times Book Prize and the Coretta Scott King Award, and the New York Times bestsellers Harbor Me and The Day You Begin. She also received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement for her contributions to young adult literature and the Jane Addams Children's Book Award. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Paula Yoo is an award-winning book author, TV writer/producer and feature screenwriter. She is also a former journalist. She graduated with a B.A. cum laude in English from Yale University, an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College, where she was the recipient of the Larry Levis Fellowship in Fiction. Paula is the author of many published children’s books and YA novels. Her latest Young Adult narrative non-fiction book, From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement is coming from Norton Young Readers in April 2021. Her books have won many awards, including IRA Notables, Junior Guild Library Selections, and starred reviews from Kirkus. Her debut YA novel Good Enough (HarperCollins 2008) was one of the winners of the Asian Pacific American Awards for Youth Literature. When she’s not writing or playing her violin, Paula loves hanging out with her family and cats in Los Angeles, California.

Farida Zaman has a passion for art and design and in her 20 years as a freelance illustrator she has worked in Europe, North America, and the Middle East with clients across the world. Farida is married and lives in Toronto where she has her friends, family, and art studio.



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sponsor the event, please contact 
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