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Authors & Illustrators

Biographical information about writers and illustrators of books for young people.

Five questions for Traci Sorell and Frané Lessac

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge, 5–8 years), is a lushly illustrated, through-the-seasons look at a contemporary Cherokee community’s daily life, pausing for celebrations of traditional observances (e.g., Cherokee New Year) and making special note of gratitude. 1. “Cherokee people say otsaliheliga to express gratitude. It is a reminder […]

Look Here. Not There. — The Zena Sutherland Lecture

I am honored to give this year’s Zena Sutherland Lecture, named for an important educator and champion of children’s literature. Where the world saw shock and controversy in such now-iconic children’s books as Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen, Zena Sutherland saw imagination and humanity. Where the world saw idealization of childhood, Sutherland saw young people, […]

“Waiting in the Deep”: A Character Development Workshop with Rita Williams-Garcia

When I first heard about the Kweli Journal’s annual Color of Children’s Literature Conference for writers (the 2018 conference marked its seventh year), I couldn’t wait to attend. A conference dedicated to books about children of color and the people who create those books? What an amazing opportunity! And a chance to meet and learn […]

Erin Entrada Kelly Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by In You Go First, 2018 Newbery medalist [for Hello, Universe] Erin Entrada Kelly probes the lives of two kids, Ben and Charlotte, who only know each other through online Scrabble […]

Jason Reynolds at Temple Kehillath Israel

Hearing Jason Reynolds speak is a bit like listening to spoken-word poetry, as Cindy and I discovered at last Wednesday’s event at Temple Kehillath Israel*, sponsored by Brookline Booksmith. The hugely prolific, award-winning middle-grade and YA author said he would tell us the story of how he got where he is today, and did so […]

Why Sensitivity Readers Matter: (And Why We Should Call Them Something Else)

Last year, one of the controversies that hit the headlines was the use of sensitivity readers in publishing. The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune covered the topic but chose to feature clickbait headlines that included words like outrage and censorship. This led to the usual cacophony of opposing views. Lee & Low Books […]

Five questions for Kate DiCamillo

Fans of Kate DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale will remember Louisiana Elefante as the perceptive friend (and orphaned daughter of trapeze artists) who reassures the others: “We’ll rescue each other.” In companion book Louisiana’s Way Home (both Candlewick, 8–11 years), it seems that Louisiana may need rescuing — from the “care” of her grandmother who takes her […]

Mitali Perkins at Belmont Books

I don’t usually fangirl out (though, yes, when I do I go hard). In fact I can be downright mean about books! But last night Martha and I went to Belmont Books to see Mitali Perkins, author of one of my favorites from last year You Bring the Distant Near, and I admit I got […]

Kiersten White Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by You might not remember Elizabeth Frankenstein — I didn’t — but she was the original bride of Frankenstein — Victor Frankenstein — and things didn’t go so well for her. […]

Jennifer A. Nielsen Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by Although Jennifer A. Nielsen has written historical fiction before (A Night Divided, set in postwar Berlin) readers will mostly know her for the palace intrigue of the Ascendance series (The […]