School Library Journal Day of Dialog 2022 Spring

Join us May 19 for the most anticipated librarian gathering of the spring 2022 publishing season—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, and provide insight into industry trends as you work to grow and diversify your collections. 

Come 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. 

There will also be opportunities to visit the virtual exhibit hall to network with leading publishers, enjoy additional chats, and download digital galleys and other free resources.

EVENT HOURS: 9:00 AM ET - 6:00 PM ET | 6:00 AM PT - 3:00 PM PT 


Register
 

All live sessions will be on Zoom. Make sure to log in to your work or personal Zoom account before the day starts to avoid having to log in for each session.

Note that the event environment and the sessions have attendance capacity limits. If on the day of the event you find that you are unable to access the environment or join a session, know that sessions will be available for on-demand viewing within 24 hours, and the entire event will be accessible for three months from the event date.

Please make sure your computer and browser are up to date. Chrome tends to work best. The event platform does not support IE11 + Windows 7 or older versions.

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If you have any questions, email us at sljevents@mediasourceinc.com.  

9:00 - 9:30 AM ET | Exhibit Hall Opens/Visit the Booths

 

9:30 - 10:00 AM ET | Opening Keynote

Donna Barba Higuera, the 2021 Pura Belpre Award Winner (Lupe Won't Dance) and 2022 Newbery Award recipient (The Last Cuentista, both Levine Querido) in conversation with Shelley Diaz, Reviews Editor, School Library Journal.

 

Three Concurrent Sessions

 

10:05 - 10:35 AM ET | Embracing Identity (30-minute session)

New picture books offer children affirmation.


Brynne Barnes, Black Girl Rising (Chronicle) 

Tasha Spillett-Sumner, Beautiful You, Beautiful Me (Owlkids Books)
Korey Watari, I Am Able to Shine (Two Lions)
Moderator: Ashley Rayner, Librarian, NORC at the University of Chicago (IL)

 

10:05 - 10:55 AM ET | New in Graphic

The variety of genres embraced by the graphic format is in evidence in these exciting new titles for middle and high school fans.

 

Elizabeth Agyemang, Fibbed (Penguin Young Readers)

Lewis Hancox, Welcome to St. Hell (Scholastic)

Faith Erin Hicks, Ride On (Macmillan Children’s)

Minh Lê, Green Lantern: Alliance (DC Comics)

Ken Niimura, Never Open It (Yen Press)

Moderator: Crystal Chen, Teen Center Coordinator, YA Services, NYPL

 

10:05 - 10:55 AM ET | New in Nonfiction 

Selections to enlighten, inform, and empower your middle and high school readers.

 

Terry BlasWho Was the Voice of the People? (Penguin Young Readers)

Eric Groce, The Canteen (Arcadia)

Gail Jarrow, American Murderer: The Parasite that Haunted the South (Calkins Creek/Astra Books for Young Readers) 

Elizabeth Partridge, Seen and Unseen (Chronicle)

Jean J. Ryoo, Power ON! (The MIT Press)

Moderator: Alicia Abdul, High School Librarian, Albany High School, City School District of Albany (NY)

 

Three Concurrent Sessions

 

11:00 - 11:30 AM ET | Fighting Back (30-minute session)

These characters have something to say.

 

A. M. Dassu, Fight Back (Lee & Low)

Amy Sarig King, The Attack of the Black Rectangles (Scholastic)
Moderator: Sandra Farag, MLIS, Head of Youth Services at Kalamazoo Public Library (MI)

 

11:00 - 11:50 AM ET | A Reckoning of Spirits

YA fans of the paranormal and the occult will relish these stories of wandering spirits, goblin markets, and wishes gone awry.

 

Kalynn Bayron, This Wicked Fate (Bloomsbury)

Tori Bovalino, Not Good for Maidens (Page Street Press)

Sara Hosey, Imagining Elsewhere (CamCat Books)

Amanda Glaze, The Second Death of Edie & Violet Bond (Union Square & Co.)
Mahtab Narsimhan, Careful What You Wish For (Orca)

Moderator: Florence Simmons, Associate Editor, School Library Journal

 

11:00 - 11:50 AM ET | It’s in the Air

Authors of rom-coms, swoony love stories, and tales that address questions of identity, discuss their novels and the genre.

 

Kacen Callender, Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution (Abrams)

Jas Hammonds, We Deserve Monuments (Macmillan Children’s)

Susan Lee, Seoulmates (Inkyard Press)

Maya Prasad, Drizzle, Dreams, and Lovestruck Things (Disney Publishing Worldwide)

Rhiannon Wilde, Henry Hamlet’s Heart (Charlesbridge)
Moderator: Emma Carbone, Senior YA Librarian, Central Youth Wing, Brooklyn Public Library (NY)

 

11:50 AM - 12:30 PM ET | Break/Visit the Exhibit Hall

 

12:30 - 1:00 PM ET | Afternoon Keynote Conversation

Former Olympic athlete Tommie Smith, Victory Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice (Norton), in conversation with co-writer Derrick Barnes and award-winning artist Dawud Anyabwile.
Moderator: Dr. Kimberly N. Parker, Director of Crimson Summer Academy at Harvard University (MA)

 

Two Concurrent Sessions

 

1:05 - 1:55 PM ET | Centering Latinx Authors and Characters 

New and familiar characters greet readers in this exciting line-up of forthcoming novels, middle grade and up.

 

David Bowles, They Call Her Fregona (Penguin Young Readers)

Alda P. Dobbs, The Other Side of the River (Sourcebooks)

Celia C. Pérez, Tumble (Penguin Young Readers)
Kaela Rivera, Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls (HarperCollins)

Monica Zepeda, Boys of the Beast (Lee & Low)
Moderator: Ruth Quiroa, National Louis University

 

1:05 - 1:55 PM ET | Out and About

Children, their families, and communities shine in these uplifting picture books.

 

Davilyn Lynch, illus., Owen’s Day with Daddy (Clavis)

Kelly Starling Lyons, My Hands Tell a Story (Reycraft)

Doua Moua, Today Is Different (Lerner)
Anna Orenstein-Cardona, The Tree of Hope (Beaming Books)
Debbie Zapata, Up and Adam (Kids Can Press)

Moderator: Jonathan Hunt, Coordinator, Library Media Services, San Diego County Office of Education (CA)  

 

Two Concurrent Sessions

 

2:00 - 2:30 PM ET | Nail Biters (30-minute session)

Andrea L. Rogers, Man-Made Monsters (Levine Querido), and Courtney Summers, I’m the Girl (Macmillan), talk about the genre and their new books.
Moderator: Jennifer Hubert Swan, Library Department Chair and Upper School Librarian, Hackley School, Tarrytown (NY)

 

2:00 - 2:50 PM ET | Lives and Legacies 

From a mother who refused to let her son’s murder go unchallenged to a high school student who brought his case to the Supreme Court, the struggles and enduring legacies of five extraordinary individuals are illuminated in these illustrated books. 

 

Lauren Gamble, It’s Her Story: Josephine Baker (Sunbird)
Gavin Grimm and Kyle Lukoff, If You’re a Kid Like Gavin (HarperCollins)

Angela Joy, Choosing Brave (Macmillan Children’s)

Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Mae Makes a Way (Random House Children’s Books)

Rob Sanders, Mother of a Movement (Magination Press)
Moderator: Edi Campbell, Cunningham Memorial Library, Indiana State University

 

2:50 - 3:20 PM ET | Break/Visit the Exhibit Hall

 

3:20 - 4:20 PM ET | Tough Stuff 

Who said growing up was easy? From the personal to the political, these books for tweens have a lot going on.

 

Art Coulson, Chasing Bigfoot (Reycraft)
Barbara Dee, Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet (Simon & Schuster)
Susan Juby, Me Three (Tundra)

Michelle Kadarusman, Berani (Pajama Press)
Nicole Melleby, The Science of Being Angry (Workman)
Katie Zhao, Winnie Zeng Unleashes a Legend (Random House Children’s Books)
Moderator: Kristyn Dorfman, Lower and Middle School Librarian, Friends Academy (NY)

 

4:25 - 5:25 PM ET | Talking with Kids  

Important conversations can start with a picture book.

 

Linda Cutting, A Is for Always (Familius)

Linsey Davis, Smallest Spot of a Dot (Zonderkidz)

Josephine Wai Lin, Whoever You Are (Collective Book Studio)

Maryann Macdonald, How to Have Friends (Albert Whitman)

Patricia Schaller, Christina and Marianna’s Wild Hair Adventure (Austin Macauley)

Alicia D. Williams, The Talk (Simon & Schuster)
Moderator: Myiesha Speight, Book Reviewer, Common Sense Media and SLJ

 

5:30 - 6:00 PM ET | Closing Keynote Conversation

Julie Fogliano, author of I Don’t Care in conversation with illustrators Juana Martinez-Neal and Molly Idle (Holiday House).
Moderator: Allison Tran, Teen Services Librarian, Mission Viejo Library (CA)

 

Register

Keynote Speakers

 

Dawud Anyabwile is an Emmy Award winning and two-time Glyph Comics Award winning comics artist and the founder and CEO of Big City Entertainment. He was nominated for a Will Eisner Award for Best Artist for his work on the comic series, Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline, and has illustrated books including Clean Getaway by Nic Stone, Becoming Muhammad Ali by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander, and Monster by Walter Dean Myers. He is the illustrator of Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice, which will be published by Norton Young Readers in September 2022.


 

Derrick Barnes is the author of the New York Times bestseller The King of Kindergarten, as well as the critically acclaimed picture book, Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, which received a Newbery Honor, a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, the 2018 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, and the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Young Readers. Derrick is a graduate of Jackson State University and was the first African American male creative copywriter hired by greeting cards giant Hallmark Cards. He is the co-author (with Tommie Smith) of Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice, which will be published by Norton Young Readers in September 2022.


 

Julie Fogliano is the New York Times bestselling author of, among other titles, And Then It’s Spring and If You Want to See a Whale as well as the poetry collection, Just in Case You Want to Fly, illustrated by Christian Robinson. Recipient of the 2013 the Ezra Jack Keats award and two Boston Globe-Horn Book Honors, her books have been translated into more than ten languages. Julie lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband and three children.


 

Don na Barba Higuera grew up in central California surrounded by agricultural and oil fields. As a child, rather than dealing with the regular dust devils, she preferred spending recess squirreled away in the janitor’s closet with a good book.


 

Molly Idle's work as an author-illustrator includes the Caldecott Honor Book Flora and the Flamingo, Flora and the Penguin, Flora and the Peacocks, Flora and the Chicks, Flora and the Ostrich, and Tea Rex, Camp Rex, Sea Rex, and Santa Rex, among other books, including Pearl, an original fable about a mermaid who learns the power of one small act. She lives with her family in Arizona, and invites you to visit her at idleillustration.com.


 

Juana Martinez-Neal is the author and illustrator of the Caldecott Honor winning book Alma and How She Got Her Name. She also illustrated La Princesa and the Pea by Susan Middleton Elya, for which she won a Pura Belpré Illustrator Award, Babymoon by Hayley Barrett, Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry, and Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, which won a Robert F. Sibert Medal. Juana Martinez-Neal lives in Connecticut with her family. Visit her online at www.juanamartinezneal.com.


 

Dr. Tommie Smith was born near Clarksville, Texas, in 1944 and moved to California at the age of seven. An outstanding high school athlete, he earned a scholarship to San Jose State University, where he was a member of the “Speed City” track team. He held as many as 11 world records simultaneously, and at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City became the first man to officially run the 200 meters in under 20 seconds, setting a world record and winning the gold medal. His protest on the podium led to his removal from the Olympics, exclusion from subsequent national and world athletic competition, death threats, and economic hardship. His graphic memoir, Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice, will be published by Norton Young Readers in September 2022.


Speakers

 

Elizabeth Agyemang is an illustrator, printmaker, and storyteller. She writes about magic, history, folklore, love, and fairy tales, and draws from elements of her Ghanaian heritage and faith. Elizabeth graduated from Carnegie Mellon University where she studied Fine Arts and Professional Writing, and she now works in publishing. When she isn’t gushing over books or comics, she spends her time dissecting classic movies and playing video games.

Brynne Barnes has colored the world with her pen writing stories, poetry, and music since earning her BS from the University of Michigan and MA from Eastern Michigan University. She has taught at several colleges and universities. Her picture books include the award-winning Colors of Me and Books Do Not Have Wings. She lives in Southfield, Michigan.

Kalynn Bayron is the author of Cinderella Is Dead, This Poison Heart, and its sequel This Wicked Heart, and is a classically trained vocalist. She grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. When she’s not writing you can find her listening to Ella Fitzgerald on loop, attending the theater, watching scary movies, and spending time with her kids. She currently lives in Ithaca, NY with her family. www.kalynnbayron.com • @KalynnBayron

blas

Terry Blas is an illustrator and writer based in Portland, Oregon. His auto-bio comics You Say Latino and You Say LatinX were featured on NPR, OPB, Vox.com and Cosmo.com. His first graphic novel, Dead Weight: Murder at Camp Bloom, was named by YALSA as a 2019 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers. Terry’s most recent title, Who Was the Voice of the People? is a nonfiction graphic novel biography of Cesar Chavez.

David Bowles grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, where he teaches at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He’s the author of several award-winning titles, including They Call Me Güero, The Smoking Mirror, the 13th Street series, and Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico and the forthcoming They Call Her Fregona. His picture book debut, My Two Border Towns, is available in English and Spanish. In 2020, David co-founded #DignidadLiteraria, a grassroots activist hashtag and movement dedicated to promoting equity for Latinx people in publishing.

Kacen Callender is the bestselling and award-winning author of multiple novels for children, teens, and adults, including the Stonewall Honor Book Felix Ever After and the National Book Award for Young People's Literature King and the Dragonflies. Callender enjoys playing RPG video games, practicing their art, and focusing on healing and growth in their free time. They currently live in St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, where they were born and raised.

Anna Orenstein-Cardona was born and raised in Puerto Rico. After attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), she worked for over two decades in finance in the U.S.A. and Europe, before turning to writing for children. Anna is an alumna of Faber Academy and an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her debut picture book, The Tree Of Hope, is out on the 23rd of August 2022 with Beaming Books. You can follow her on IG @wearyourmoneycrown, Twitter @BoricuaAnna, or learn more at http://www.annaorensteincardona.com/.

Art Coulson is a writer of Cherokee, English, and Dutch descent and comes from a family of storytellers. Some of his earliest memories are of listening to stories and reading books on his grandmother’s lap. He has been a writer his whole life. A navy brat, Art traveled the world as a child, attending fourteen schools on three continents before graduating high school. After an award-winning career in journalism spanning twenty-five years, he served as the first executive director of the Wilma Mankiller Foundation in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Today, Art lives in Minneapolis, but still visits friends and relatives in the Cherokee Nation several times a year.

A Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” award winner, Linda Katherine Cutting’s Memory Slips also won the ASCAP  Deems-Taylor award for excellence in writing about music. Linda, a professional pianist and former college teacher, left her career to write full time in 2017. She has published essays in The New York Times, The London Guardian, The New Republic, The Boston Globe, Lithub, Cognoscenti, Wired, and The Beacon Book of Essays by Contemporary American Women. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with her husband and two adopted children who inspired A is for Always.

A. M. Dassu won the international We Need Diverse Books mentorship award in 2017. She is the deputy editor of SCBWI-British Isles' Words & Pictures magazine and a director at Inclusive Minds, an organization for people who are passionate about inclusion, diversity, equality, and accessibility in children's literature. Her work has been published by The Huffington Post, the Times Educational Supplement, SCOOP Magazine, Lee & Low Books, and DK Books. She lives in the heart of England. You can find her on Twitter as @a_reflective or at amdassu.com.

Linsey Davis is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and an anchor for ABC News Live Prime, which is ABC News Live’s first-ever streaming evening newscast, and weekend World News Tonight on Sundays. She is a correspondent filing reports for World News Tonight, Good Morning America, 20/20, and Nightline and is also the bestselling author of the children’s books The World Is Awake, One Big Heart, Stay This Way Forever, How High Is Heaven and Smallest Spot of a Dot. Linsey lives in New York with her husband and son, who is her biggest inspiration. You can follow her on Instagram @linseytdavis.

Barbara Dee is the author of thirteen middle grade novels published by Simon & Schuster, including the forthcoming Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet (Sept. 27, 2022). Violets Are Blue (2021) is one of School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2021, a Project Lit selection. a 2021 Cybils Finalist, and one of A Mighty Girl’s 2021 Books of the Year. Barbara’s other books include My Life in the Fishtank, Everything I Know About You, Maybe He Just Likes You, Halfway Normal and Star-Crossed. Barbara lives with her family in Chappaqua, NY.

Alda P. Dobbs is as passionate about connecting children to their past, their communities, and nature as she is about writing. Alda lives with her husband and two children outside Houston, Texas.

Lauren Gamble is a multimedia writer from Mobile, Alabama. She uses her voice to tell character-driven stories about Black female artists, and speaks through television, novels, and audio stories. It’s Her Story: Josephine Baker is dedicated to her nieces Zoë and Milan, two little Black girls who now have the opportunity to obtain anything their hearts desire.

Amanda Glaze grew up in Northern California where she spent most of her time in imaginary worlds. She received a bachelor’s degree in theater from UCLA and an MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University. She’s lived many lives: as a bookseller, a theater director, and an Emmy award-winning film and tv producer. When she’s not running off to the mountains, she lives in Los Angeles with her partner where she can most often be found cuddled up with a cat dreaming up ways to bring more magic into the world. The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond is her debut novel. You can visit her at amandaglaze.com.

Gavin Grimm is a young adult trans activist. His journey began in 2015 when his high school in Gloucester, Virginia, banned him from the boys' bathroom because he is trans. Since then, Gavin has been working in the trans community to raise awareness and education for everyone.

Dr. Eric Groce is a Professor in the Elementary Education program in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at Appalachian State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a cognate in Gifted Education from Texas A&M University. He has published and presented at the international and national level and his articles have appeared in Social Education, Social Studies Research and Practice, Social Studies and the Young Learner, Middle Level Learning, and Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice. His current research focuses on the experience of the civilian population of Normandy during the Nazi occupation of World War II.

Jas Hammonds was raised in many cities and in-between the pages of many books. They have received support for their writing from Lambda Literary, Sundress Academy of the Arts, and the Highlights Foundation. They are also a grateful recipient of a MacDowell James Baldwin Fellowship. We Deserve Monuments is their debut novel.

Debut author-illustrator Lewis Hancox takes readers on the hilarious, heartbreaking, and healing path he took to make it past trauma, confusion, hurt, and dubious fashion choices in order to become the man he was meant to be. Lewis lives in the UK.

Faith Erin Hicks is a writer and artist who lives in Vancouver, Canada. Her published works include Friends with Boys, The Adventures of Superhero Girl, The Last of Us: American Dreams (with Neil Druckmann), The Nameless City trilogy, Comics Will Break Your Heart, and the New York Times bestselling Pumpkinheads (with Rainbow Rowell).

Sara Hosey is the author of the novel Iphigenia Murphy and the novella Great Expectations, as well as short fiction that has appeared in publications including Cordella Magazine and Casino Literary. Sara has also written an academic book about popular culture, titled Home is Where the Hurt Is: Media Depictions of Wives and Mothers. When she’s not writing or teaching, Sara likes to spend time with her family, pets, and books at her home in upstate New York.

Gail Jarrow is the author of nonfiction books and novels for ages 8-18. Her books for young readers have earned the Winner of the Excellence in Nonfiction Award from YALSA-ALA; the Robert F. Sibert Honor Book Award; Orbis Pictus Honor; Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award; the Jefferson Cup; Golden Kite Honor for NF for Older Readers; Eureka! Gold Award; ALA Notable Book; Notable Social Studies Trade Book; Best Books awards from the National Science Teachers Association, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Booklist, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Bank Street College of Education, New York Public Library, and Chicago Public Library. She lives in Ithaca, New York. Visit gailjarrow.com.

Angela Joy is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Before graduating from the University of Minnesota, Angela attended NYU and Spelman College. Angela then traveled as a background vocalist, also working in television and movie soundtracks. Her picture books include Choosing Brave and Black Is a Rainbow Color. angelajoyblog.com

Susan Juby is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of eight acclaimed novels for teenagers. Her debut novel, Alice, I Think (the first of the Alice MacLeod trilogy) was made into a successful television series. The Truth Commission was the winner of the Sheila A. Egoff Award, and was shortlisted for several other awards and named to several "Best of" lists. She is also the author of a memoir, Nice Recovery, and the adult comic novels The Woefield Poetry Collective and The Republic of Dirt. Susan Juby lives in Nanaimo, BC, Canada.

Michelle Kadarusman grew up in Melbourne, Australia, and also lived many years throughout her father’s homeland of Indonesia before moving to Canada in 2000. Her books have earned numerous nominations, including the Governor General’s Literary Awards, the Ontario Library Association Silver Birch Awards, and the Green Earth Book Award. Her novels include The Theory of Hummingbirds, Girl of the Southern Sea, and Music for Tigers. Her first picture book, Room for More, published in 2022. Michelle now lives in Toronto, Canada and Byron Bay, Australia.

Amy Sarig King is the author of the middle grade titles Me and Marvin Gardens, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, and The Year We Fell from Space, an ALSC Notable Children’s Book. She has also published many critically acclaimed young adult novels under the name A. S. King, including Please Ignore Vera Dietz, a Printz Honor Book; Ask the Passengers, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Printz Award; and LA Times Book Prize finalist Dig. Her upcoming middle grade title, Attack of the Black Rectangles addresses censorship and intolerance.

Minh Lê is the author of the graphic novels Green Lantern: Legacy and the upcoming sequel Green Lantern: Alliance. He has also written several acclaimed picture books, including Drawn Together (winner of the 2019 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature) and Lift (an Eisner Award-nominee). In addition to writing books, Minh serves on the board of We Need Diverse Books, is on the faculty of Hamline University's MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and has written for a number of national publications, including NPR, The Huffington Post, and the New York Times.

Susan Lee has had a lifetime of careers from bartender, to network engineer, to HR Executive at some of today’s most successful companies. But one thing has always been clear throughout, she was born to be a storyteller. And she has channeled her myriad of experiences into her writing of light-hearted, quirky novels about the oftentimes hilarious human condition. And love. Always write about love. She currently lives in Southern California (fighting her inner New Yorker from breaking free too often) with a pack of three feisty chihuahuas and a too-hearty obsession with K-pop and K-dramas.

Josephine Wai Lin is a debut author who grew up from humble beginnings in Anaheim, California. The daughter of Filipino immigrants (dad in the Navy, mom a medical assistant), she never knew you could get paid to be creative. After graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles with degrees in English and Psychology, she’s been doing just that—working as an advertising creative, entrepreneur, and mother of two.

Kyle Lukoff is the Stonewall Award–winning author of When Aidan Became a Brother, the middle grade novel Too Bright to See, and many other books for young readers. A former school librarian, he lives and writes in Brooklyn.

Davilyn Lynch was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, where she would spend most days drawing. It wasn’t until her first child came along that she rediscovered her love of drawing and decided to make it a major part of her life. Being born biracial, (Filipino and Caucasian) Davilyn grew up in a community that was predominantly white and suffered school bullying due to others seeing her as ‘different’. She wants to make sure she sends a positive message to young readers through her character illustrations that diversity among children and families is completely normal. In addition to Owen’s Day with Daddy, Davilyn also illustrated Clavis’ Bear with Me (April 2022) and Daisy’s Bedtime (October 2022).

Kelly Starling Lyons grew up baking treats with her Grandma. Now, she celebrates those special moments in stories. Kelly has written many acclaimed children's books including Caldecott Honor winner Going Down Home with Daddy, Christopher Award winner Tiara's Hat Parade and Geisel Honor winner, Ty's Travels: Zip, Zoom. She is a teaching artist and a founding member of The Brown Bookshelf. Kelly lives in North Carolina with her family.

Maryann Macdonald is the Kirkus-starred author of more than thirty books for children, among them the Iggy Iguanodon series and the new picture book, How to Have Friends. She has also been published by Albert Whitman & Company, Dial Books and HMH Books for Young Readers, among others. Maryann’s love of books and reading began when she was growing up in a family of ten outside Detroit. Maryann lives in New York.

Nicole Melleby, a New Jersey native, is the author of highly praised middle-grade books, including the Lambda Literary finalist Hurricane Season. She lives with her wife and their cat, whose need for attention oddly aligns with Nicole’s writing schedule.

Doua Moua is an actor and writer based in Los Angeles, California. Moua recently played Chien Po in Disney's live-action remake of Mulan. As a writer, he has received recognition for his movie script The Harvest on the Cape List/ Black List, a We Screenplay Finalist, and an Academy Nicholl Fellowship Semi-Finalist. Today Is Different is his debut picture book.

Mahtab Narsimhan is an award-winning author with numerous critically acclaimed books, nominated for several awards, including The Third Eye which won the Silver Birch Fiction Award. She is inspired by the desire to make sense of the world through stories and is deeply committed to representing diversity in her books. Please visit www.mahtabnarsimhan.com for more information.

Ken Niimura is a Spanish-Japanese cartoonist and illustrator. He is the author of Henshin (2014), Umami (2018, winner of the Eisner Award for the Best Digital Comic) and Never Open It (2021). He is also the co-creator of I Kill Giants written by Joe Kelly (2009, International Manga Award) which was adapted into a film in 2019 starring Zoe Saldana. Ken Niimura’s work has been translated into twelve languages. He lives and works in Tokyo.

Elizabeth Partridge is the acclaimed author of more than a dozen books for young readers, including biographies of Dorothea Lange, Woody Guthrie, and John Lennon. Her books have received many honors, including National Book Award finalist, a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Michael L. Printz Honor, and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award.

Maya Prasad is a South Asian American writer, a Caltech graduate, and a former software engineer. She currently resides in the Pacific Northwest, where she enjoys hiking, canoeing, and raising her budding bookworm kiddo. Drizzle, Dreams, and Lovestruck Things is her debut novel.  

Celia C. Pérez is the author of the award-winning and critically acclaimed books The First Rule of Punk, Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers and Tumble. She lives in Chicago with her family, where in addition to writing books about lovable weirdos and outsiders, she works as a librarian. When she was in middle school, she filled diaries with recaps of televised wrestling matches.

Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich is the author of Operation Sisterhood, 8th Grade Superzero, and the nonfiction books Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow, Someday Is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins, and Saving Earth: The Climate Crisis and the Fight for Our Future. She is the coauthor of the middle-grade novel Two Naomis, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and its sequel, Naomis Too. Olugbemisola is a member of the Brown Bookshelf and a former board member of We Need Diverse Books. She lives with her family in New York City, where she writes, makes things, and needs to get more sleep. You can find her online at olugbemisolabooks.com.

Kaela Rivera still believes in the folktales of her Mexican-American and British parents, but now she writes about them from the adventure-filled mountains of the Wild West. When she’s not crafting stories, she’s using her English degree from BYU–I as an editor for a marketing company (or secretly doodling her characters in the margins of her notebook).

Andrea L. Rogers is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She graduated with an MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Her stories have appeared in several literary journals. In 2020, Capstone published Mary and the Trail of Tears. Her work has also appeared in You Too? 25 Voices Share Their #METoo stories from Inkyard Press, Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids from Heartdrum, and in the anthology Allies by DK. Her picture book called, When We Gather, is forthcoming from Heartdrum. Her collection of short stories, Man-Made Monsters, drops this fall from LQ.

Jean J. Ryoo (she/her) is Director of Research of the UCLA Computer Science Equity Project. Her research focuses on equity issues in STEM and computing education through qualitative examinations of student learning and educator pedagogy in both public schools and out-of-school contexts. Dr. Ryoo works in research-practice partnerships that explore topics regarding youth identity, agency, and engagement in relation to culturally responsive and sustaining STEM/computing education. She received a Ph.D. in Urban Schooling from the University of California, Los Angeles; a Masters of Education in Teaching from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa; and a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.

Patricia Schaller is from Deerfield Beach, Florida. She holds a master’s of science degree in early childhood education from Walden University. She has worked abroad as a special needs coordinator in China and the United Arab Emirates. She has traveled the world including China, United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi), Germany, Jordan, Egypt, Vietnam, Cambodia, Italy, Hawaii, and Alaska, just to name a few.

Tasha Spillett-Sumner is an Inninewak (Cree) and Trinidadian award-winning poet and author who is also working on her doctoral degree in Indigenous land–based education. She makes her home in Treaty 1 territory, Manitoba, where she raises her daughter, Isabella, with her husband. She is the author of the New York Times best-selling picture book I Sang You Down from the Stars and the award-winning Surviving the City graphic novel series.

Courtney Summers is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of several novels for young adults, including Cracked Up to Be, All the Rage, and Sadie. Her work has been released to multiple starred reviews, received numerous awards and honors--including the Edgar Award, John Spray Mystery Award, Cybils Award and Odyssey Award--and has been recognized by many libraries, 'Best Of' and Readers' Choice lists. She lives and writes in Canada.

Korey Watari is a sansei, or third-generation Japanese American, born and raised in Los Angeles. She played basketball for a Japanese American league, graduated from the University of California, Riverside, and studied at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Korey has worked in the animation and fashion industries for companies such as Disney and the Gap. I Am Able to Shine is her first picture book. Learn more at www.koreywatari.com or on Twitter at @tinyteru.

Rhiannon Wilde has been telling stories for as long as she can remember – inside her head, as well as through working as a journalist, terrible barista, and high school English teacher in Brisbane’s inner north. Rhiannon’s particular interests are caffeine, characters both real and imaginary, and the power of well-strung words to challenge and change us. Her second-person short story inspired by urban Brisbane, You Deserve Nothing, was longlisted for the Queensland Young Writer’s Award in 2014. Henry Hamlet’s Heart is her first novel and won the Queensland Literary Awards Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer in 2019.

Alicia D. Williams is the author of Genesis Begins Again, which received a Newbery and Kirkus Prize honors, was a William C. Morris Award finalist, and for which she won the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award for New Talent; and picture books Jump at the Sun and The Talk. She is a graduate of the MFA program at Hamline University and is an oral storyteller in the African American tradition.

Debbie Zapata is the author of Up and Adam, her debut picture book published by Kid Can Press and illustrated by Yong Ling Kang. Debbie enjoys helping others as a counselor and writing books for children that have heart and humor. She loves creating stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Debbie lives with her family in Austin, Texas. Visit her at debbiezapata.com.

Monica Zepeda is a Southern California native who spent her teen years in the desert wilds of Joshua Tree. She moved to Los Angeles, London, and Arizona before settling down permanently in L.A. Along the way, she's worked as a bookseller, produced reality television shows, and written plays, feature films, and video games. Monica now serves as a teen librarian and lives near the beach with her husband and their unbelievably cute cats. You can find her on the web at monicazepeda.com, on Twitter at @MZWrites, and on Instagram at @MZWrites2.

Katie Zhao is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where she earned a BA in English and political science in 2017 and a master of accounting degree in 2018. She is the author of the Dragon Warrior series, How We Fall Apart, Last Gamer Standing, and the Winnie Zeng series. She's a passionate advocate for diverse representation in literature and media.


Moderators

 

Alicia Abdul is a high school librarian in Albany, NY. She shares her reading (and dresses) on Instagram @ReadersBeAdvised and blogs at readersbeadvised.wordpress.com. She's served or chaired on several YALSA book committees, presents at local, state, and national conferences on books, programs, and graphic novels, and recently became an adjunct for two graduate programs on young adult literature.

Edi Campbell, Cunningham Memorial Library, Indiana State University

Emma Carbone is a librarian and blogger. She has been blogging about books at Miss Print (wordpress.com) since 2007. When she isn’t reading, you can find her baking, crocheting, or exploring local museums.

Crystal Chen is a teen librarian at The New York Public Library. She chaired YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens in 2020-21 and is currently a community admin for We Here (wehere.space).

Shelley Diaz, Reviews Editor, School Library Journal

Kristyn Dorfman has been a school librarian for over a decade and has worked with children of all ages, from early childhood to High School Seniors. She has been reviewing for School Library Journal since 2013 and has served on several ALA and ALA affiliate committees including most recently APALA's 2020-2021 Youth Literature Award. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, doing the crossword, and spending time with her three young children.

Sandra Farag, MLIS, is Head of Youth Services at Kalamazoo Public Library (MI).

Jonathan Hunt reviews for Horn Book, occasionally writes for School Library Journal, and frequently serves on award committees. Fortunately, he has an eight-year-old son, a two-year-old son, and a five-month-old daughter who help him evaluate picture books.

Dr. Kimberly N. Parker is an educator, literacy consultant, and writer based in Boston, and holds a steadfast belief in the power of literacy to normalize the high achievement of all students, especially Black, Latinx, and other children of color. She is currently the Director of the Crimson Summer Academy at Harvard University, and is completing a book with the Association for Curriculum and Supervision Development (ASCD) to document her successful literacy work based on her classroom and professional development experiences (anticipated spring 2022). Kim is the 2020 recipient of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Outstanding Elementary Educator Award; a co-founder of #DisruptTexts and #31DaysIBPOC; and the current president of the Black Educators’ Alliance of MA (BEAM). Follow her on Twitter at: @TchKimpossible

Ruth E. Quiroa, Ph.D., is an associate professor at National Louis University where she teaches graduate courses in youth literature and in literacy. A former kindergarten, bilingual second-grade educator, she completed her doctoral degree at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Ruth’s current research focuses on the history of Latinx youth literature. She has served on several youth literature award selection committees, including the Américas Book Award for Children and Adolescents (2010-2012), the Pura Belpré Award (2013), the Randolph Caldecott Award (2019), and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award (2021-2023).

Ashley Rayner is a Librarian at NORC, University of Chicago (IL).

Florence Simmons is an associate editor for SLJ. She hails from sunny Florida, where she has held several editorial positions—from reviews editor at Taylor & Francis Group to reviewing children’s books at Booklist. She is also the founder of children's and YA reviews blog “Book Nerds Across America,” which has been running strong since 2010.

 

Myiesha Speight holds a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in English with a minor in History from Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 2019, she received her Master's of Library and Information Science with a specialization in Diversity and Inclusion from the University of Maryland College Park’s iSchool located in College Park, Maryland. Myiesha Speight is currently a Book Reviewer for Common Sense Media and SLJ.

Jen Hubert Swan (@ReadingRants) is a former middle school, current high school librarian, author, adjunct professor, professional reviewer, and veteran ALA book committee member. She has been gushing about books for teens at Reading Rants since 1998 (!) In her spare time when she is not reading, writing or taking long river walks with her husband and dog, she watches way too much BRAVO reality TV, collects original SVH paperbacks, and eats out as often as possible in the Hudson Valley’s amazeballs restaurants.

Allison Tran is the Senior Librarian for Children's Services at the Mission Viejo Library in California. She is passionate about empowering children and families with early literacy skills, and is an irrepressible book recommender. Allison reviews books and apps for School Library Journal, and is active in the California State Library Association. Before earning her Masters of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University in 2006, Allison taught English in Japan.

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