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2017 Boston Teen Author Festival

On Saturday afternoon, the place to be for fans of YA literature was the sixth annual Boston Teen Author Festival, held at the Cambridge Public Library and the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. Forty (!) authors participated throughout the day on panels including “Family Portrait” (authors S. K. Ali, Sarah Nicole Lemon, Jen Malone, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, moderated by Kat Cho), “Out of Character” (authors Leigh Bardugo, Kerri Maniscalco, Ashley Poston, Jason Reynolds, moderated by Claribel Ortega), “Through the Ages” (authors Mackenzi Lee, Katherine Locke, S. M. Parker, Mitali Perkins), “Fantastical Four” (authors Stacey Lee, Lana Popović, Adam Silvera, Ibi Zoboi). Events took place at the high school library and all throughout the main library — the impressive downstairs lecture hall, upstairs in the cheery Curious George Room, the hip and spacious dedicated Teen Room, etc. — so participants also got a de facto tour of that amazing community space and all it has to offer.

The “Tropes on You” panel in the Teen Room.

My biggest takeaway? When asked during the “Out of Character” panel (“Same characters, new stories!”) which other stories they’d like to retell, Miles Morales [Spider-Man] author Jason Reynolds talked about a new, contemporary-set Three Bears as a metaphor for urban gentrification (“You weren’t home, so I took your house. What, now you’re mad?”). Yes, please!

The “Out of Character” panel: “Same characters, new stories!”


Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.

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