Too Gay or Not Gay Enough?

Several years ago, I was invited to an all-day reading festival held at a brand-new library in a mid-sized town in South Carolina. Four authors had been invited to speak and sign books, one for each age group. I was the young adult author. At the lavish party held the night before the festival, I […]

Rebecca Stead: A New York Story

Rebecca Stead is a real New Yorker. Born in Manhattan. Grew up on the Upper West Side. She went to P.S. 75, where her first published story appeared in the school magazine, The Spicy Meatball. At Stuyvesant High School she studied creative writing with the writer Frank McCourt. She did go out of town for […]

What Makes a Good YA Road Trip Novel?

bray_going bovine

“All I wanted was to go somewheres; all I wanted was a change.” And with this simple statement, the chain of events leading to Huck Finn’s trip down the Mississippi River begins. Mark Twain published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn one hundred and twenty-five years ago this February, but Huck’s adventures with Jim — the […]

2010 Coretta Scott King Author Award Acceptance

There’s an old Western expression — You can never step in the same river twice. Soon this moment will be behind me. I can never get it back. So please bear with me and resist the urge to cattle-prod me off the stage before I’m through. Sixteen years ago, the pioneer spirit overtook my husband, […]