All-Star Lineup Promises Dynamic Discussion at SLJ Day of Dialog

The free, virtual event features author conversations between Christina Soontornvat and Steve Sheinkin, James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, and Malinda Lo and Daniel Nayeri, as well as creator panels and a closing keynote from Traci Sorell.

For the second year in a row, the SLJ Day of Dialog will be virtual, allowing librarians and their fellow educators from around the country to take advantage of a packed day of programming filled with a who’s who in kid lit creators.

The opening keynote of the May 20 event will be a discussion between author Christina Soontornvat (A Wish in the Dark; All Thirteen), who earned two Newbery Honors and a Sibert Honor this year, and Steve Sheinkin (Fallout: Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown). They will talk about the inspiration and research behind their nonfiction titles.

Theirs is the first of three “keynote conversations.” During a lunchtime discussion, authors Malinda Lo (Last Night at the Telegraph Club) and 2021 Printz winner Daniel Nayeri (Everything Sad Is Untrue) will talk about coming of age and the hard truths in searching for one’s identity during difficult circumstances.

And later in the afternoon, James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein discuss collaborating on their new middle grade title, Best Nerds Forever.

As in the past, the day will feature panels on timely topics in publishing, education, and society. Participating authors and illustrators include Tracey Baptiste (African Icons), Mac Barnett ( What Is Love?), Chelsea Clinton (She Persisted), Brandy Colbert (Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre), Jay Coles (Things We Couldn't Say), Brittney Cooper (Feminist AF: A Guide to Crushing Girlhood), Kekla Magoon (Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People), Meg Medina (Sonia Sotomayor), Yuyi Morales (Bright Star and Lucero), LeUyen Pham (Outside, Inside), Andrea Wang (The Many Meanings of Meilan), Dan Yaccarino (The Longest Storm), and others.

Topics addressed include histories and narratives that are often missing from the national conversation and education curriculum; tweens and teens grappling with family issues, fears, racism, and questions of identity; sexual identity, family, and Black boyhood; social and emotional learning; feminism; inspirational women; emotional, physical, and political journeys; and more.

The day will wrap up with a closing keynote from Traci Sorell (One Land, Many Nations: Volume 1), who will speak about her forthcoming middle grade title that explores the Cherokee Nation’s history and contemporary life.

Registration is now open for this free event.

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