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Boston-area children’s lit events in September

After a somewhat quiet summer on the event front, September is back in full swing with events for just about every reader! Here’s a selection of what’s coming up. Don’t miss our handy new calendar of Boston-area happenings; email to submit events.

Tonight, September 3rd, at Wellesley Book, Natick author Suzanne LaFleur (Love, Aubrey, Eight Keys) will celebrate the launch of her new novel, Listening for Lucca. LaFleur will also discuss her writing process and offer advice for aspiring writers. The event is free and begins at 7:00 pm.

On Thursday, September 5th, at the Cambridge Public Library’s Main Branch Teen Room, Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Tithe, Doll Bones) will read from her latest dark fantasy novel The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. The free event, hosted by Porter Square Books, begins at 7:00 pm. Black will also be appearing at the Burlington Barnes and Noble on Saturday, September 7th, at 2:00 pm. A signing will follow.

Susan Axe-Bronk, author of new picture book The Vanishing Gourds: A Sukkot Mystery, will read and sign at the New England Mobile Book Fair on Sunday, September 8th, at 1:00 pm.

Also on Sunday the 8th, A. J. Paquette (Nowhere Girl, Paradox) will be signing her intermediate novel Rules for Ghosting at Newtonville Books. The event begins at 2:00 pm; children 8 and up welcome.

On Tuesday, September 10th, from 3:30 to 5:00 pm, Simmons College’s Center for the Study of Children’s Literature and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art will co-host an information session on the Simmons College MFA in Writing for Children program. The graduate offerings will expand this year to include “the continuation of the MFA in Writing for Children program, a new MA in Children’s Literature, and a new joint degree combining the MFA/MA degree programs.” Please pre-register. For more information, contact instructor Megan Lambert at

On Thursday, September 12th, at 5:30 pm, new organization Children’s Books Boston will hold its kick-off party at Simmons College. CBB (co-operated by Candlewick Press, Charlesbridge, The Horn Book, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Simmons College’s Center for the Study of Children’s Literature) is dedicated to bringing Boston-area children’s book professionals together for fellowship and information sharing. If you have an interest in children’s books and work in publishing, writing, teaching, librarianship, or book-selling, we hope you will join us! Please RSVP here; space is limited.

Caroline Carlson will sign at a launch party for her middle-grade novel The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot at Wellesley Books at 7:00 pm on Thursday the 12th. Refreshments will be provided.

Three local authors — A.J. Paquette, Erin Dionne (Notes from an Accidental Band Geek, Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking), and Ellen Booraem (Small Persons with Wings, Texting the Underworld) — will offer a workshop called “Ghost, Ghouls, and Gangsters: Writing Suspenseful and Spooky Stories” at Wellesley Books at 3:30 pm on Saturday, September 14th. The workshop is free, but please RSVP to

Gina Damico (Croak, Scorch) will sign Rogue, the latest installment in her YA series Croak, at Brookline Booksmith at 2:00 pm on Sunday, September 15th.

The Carle will celebrate creativity on International Dot Day with author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds (The Dot, The Museum) and Paul Gagne of Weston Woods at 1:00 pm, Sunday the 15th. A presentation and special activities will be followed by a book signing. The event is free with museum admission.

Also on Sunday the 15th, Booksellers Café will host Nancy Werlin’s (The Rules of Survival, Impossible) book launch party for her new YA fantasy Unthinkable. The event begins at 4:00 pm.

Susan Cooper (The Dark Is Rising series, Victory) will sign Ghost Hawk, her latest historical fiction novel, on Monday, September 16th, at 7:00 pm at Porter Square Books.

If You Want to See a WhaleOn Tuesday, September 17th, illustrator Erin E. Stead (A Sick Day for Amos McGee, And Then It’s Spring) and author/illustrator Philip C. Stead (A Sick Day for Amos McGee, A Home for Bird) will celebrate their recent picture books If You Want to See a Whale and Hello My Name is Ruby. The event will be held at Porter Square Books at 10:00 am.

Author Sara Farizan will read from her debut novel If You Were Mine at Harvard Bookstore at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, September 17th. Hosted by Porter Square Books,  Farizan will also read at the Cambridge Public Library’s Main Branch Teen Room at 1:00 pm on Wednesday the 18th. Both events are free.

At 2:00 on Wednesday the 18th at Wellesley Books, artist, author, and LEGO-certified professional Sean Kenney will lead children in a LEGO play activity and sign his new book Cool Creations in 35 Pieces. Tickets ($5 each; may be used as a $5 coupon for Kenney’s book) may be purchased in-store, online, and by phone; space is limited.

Beginning Thursday, September 19th, Elaine Dimopoulos will lead a six-week writing class covering genres for children and young adults: young adult realism, middle-grade humor, the picture book, historical fiction, and speculative fiction. Participants will work with the texts of contemporary children’s books in class and compose short pieces in each genre. The class runs for six Thursdays from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. Fees are $280/members and $305/non-members.

Eric Carle himself will sign books at the Carle Museum on Saturday, September 21st, at 10:00 am. Tickets will be only available the day of the event, beginning at 9:00 am. The signing is free with museum admission. See the museum’s FAQ about the event here.

The second annual Boston Teen Author Fest will be held at the Cambridge Public Library on Saturday, September 21st, at 11:00 am. Join twenty-two New England YA authors — including Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Kim Harrington, Carrie Jones, Jo Knowles, Nancy Werlin, and Wendy Wunder — for five hours of panels and book signings. Panel options are “Dear High School, You Suck,” “Uncover the Mystery,” “Surviving the Supernatural,” and “Sassy Leading Ladies.” RVSPs appreciated; please RSVP here.

On Saturday the 21st at 2:00 pm, Mike Lupica (Travel Team, Heat) will sign QB 1, his latest sports novel, at the Burlington Barnes and Noble.

Join Jasper Fforde (The Last Dragonslayer, adult series Thursday Next) to celebrate The Song of the Quarkbeast, the second entry in The Chronicles of Kazam series. The event will be held at the Coolidge Corner Theater at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, September 24th. Tickets ($5 each, or free with the purchase of either Chronicles of Kazam book) are on sale now in-store, at, and by phone.

Matthew Kirby (Icefall, The Clockwork Three) will sign Cave of Wonder, his entry in the Infinity Ring series, at the Burlington Barnes and Noble on Wednesday, September 25th, at 6:30 pm. Kirby will also be appearing at Wellesley Books at 4:00 pm on Thursday the 26th to celebrate Cave of Wonder and his other recent release The Lost Kingdom.

YA authors Marissa Meyer (Cinder, Scarlet), Leila Sales (This Song Will Save Your Life), S. A. Bodeen, (The Compound, The Fallout) and Alexandra Coutts (Tumble & Fall) will make a stop at Wellesley Books on their Fierce Reads tour. The free event will be held at 7:00 on Wednesday the 25th and includes a panel discussion among the authors, a Q&A session, and book signing.

Julie Berry (Secondhand Charm, The Amaranth Enchantment) will appear at Wellesley Books on Friday, September 27th, for a meet-and-greet at 6:00 pm and a presentation at 7:00 pm. She will be speaking about her new YA novel All the Truth That’s in Me and her writing process, then taking questions and signing. The Belmont Public Library will also host a book launch party with Berry for All the Truth That’s in Me on Saturday, September 28th, at 3:00 pm.

At 2:00 pm on Saturday the 28th, author Peter Mandel (Jackhammer Sam, Bun, Onion, Burger) will be the guest of honor at a special storytime at the Carle Museum. Mandel will read several of his picture books, including new release Zoo Ach-oooo. He will also ask attendees for input on a current project: what kinds of songs would wild animals sing in the shower?

Porter Square Books will host a book launch party for Gareth Hinds and his new graphic novel adaptation of Romeo and Juliet on Saturday the 28th at 7:00 pm.

The Boston Public Library celebrates its fifteenth annual Literary Lights for Children tea party at 2:00 pm on Sunday, September 29th. This year’s honorees are Jeanne Birdsall, Helen Frost, Kadir Nelson, and Rick Riordan. The tea party will be held at the Copley Branch’s Bates Hall and space is limited. Single tickets are $85/adults and $60/children, available online and at the Associates of the Boston Public Library office.

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

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