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Events for Children and Young Adults

Fostering the importance of literacy and encouraging the joy of literature in a young person's life is an important part of the Southern Festival of Books. 

The children's and young adult programs at the Festival are great opportunities for librarians, educators, and parents to seek and find the newest releases in all genres, old favorites, and hot discussion topics. All ages will find something they love at the Southern Festival of Books. 

Don't miss these children's and young adult authors this fall!

  • William M. Akers author of Your Screenplay Sucks! 100 Ways To Make It Great, is a Writers GuildLifetime Member who's had three feature films produced from his screenplays. He's written for studios, independent producers, and the major television networks. Akers gives writing workshops around the world and is a regular speaker at Story Expo in Los Angeles. Mrs. Ravenbach's Way
  • Joseph Bruchac is a storyteller, poet and novelist. He is an enrolled member of the Abenaki Nation of Vermont, and his work reflects his Native American heritage. Talking Leaves
  • Tracy Barrett is the author of twenty books for young readers and one book for adults. She holds a bachelor's degree with honors in medieval Italian literature from the University of California, Berkeley. A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study medieval women writers led to the writing of her young adult novel Anna of Byzantium, which received numerous awards and honors, including being named a Booklist Editors' Choice book, a Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Book and an ALA Quick Pick. Follow her on Twitter: @WritingTracy or online. The Song of Orpheus: The Greatest Greek Myths You Never Heard
  • Mary Reaves Uhles has created illustrations for numerous books and magazines. Her books include The Little Kid's Table by Mary Ann McCabe Riehle; Kooky Crumbs by J. Patrick Lewis; and Beyond The Grave. Mary has twice been awarded the Grand Prize for Illustration from the SCBWI Midsouth Conference and her piece, Eat, was a finalist in the 2014 SCBWI Bologna Book Fair Gallery. Prior to beginning her career as a freelance illustrator, Mary worked as an animator on projects for Warner Brothers and Fisher-Price Interactive. Mary lives with her family in Nashville. Kooky Krumbs: Poems in Praise of Dizzy Days
  • Katherine Morrow DePalma works for the Barefoot Books Home Office as Senior Editor and is also a Barefoot Books author. As Senior Editor at Barefoot Books, she has helped develop dozens of amazing picture books, including The Barefoot Book of Children (coming September 2016) and My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words, both of which she wrote and art directed with her mentor and friend Tessa Strickland. She also writes picture books under the pseudonym, Sunny Scribens (Space Song Rocket Ride), and is a published poet and scholar. She holds an M.A. in Classics from the University of Texas and has taught courses and workshops in writing and publishing at Emerson College, the Margaret Mitchell House and beyond. She lives with her husband and daughter. The Barefoot Book of Children
  • Mike Shoulders has been involved in education for more than thirty years. Dr. Shoulders travels extensively, visiting schools and speaking at conferences across the country. He lives in Clarksville. Crossing the Deadline
  • Linda Ragsdale is an illustrator and international speaker/ teacher. Her work in peace education has lead her around the world, empowering over thirty thousand students to see and speak with a new voice, and an expanded capability of choice. Every path of her career supports her current work, which has bloomed in her first picture books, Words and Not Opposites for her Peace Dragon Series. The books present the first two powers of teaching peace, View and Voice. Not Opposites Words
  • Kristin O'Donnell Tubb 's novel, Selling Hope, garnered terrific reviews. A star from Booklist said, "Tubb deftly ingrains a thoughtful ethical question into the story, but never overdoes it in this bouncy tale populated by a terrific cast of characters." Kristin lives in Tennessee with her family. E.F. Abbott is a pseudonym for her. John Lincoln Clem: Civil War Drummer Boy
  • Ashley Crownover is a program administrator for the Vanderbilt University American Studies and Film Studies programs. This is her first novel. Nashville Boo
  • Maggie Stiefvater is a writer, artist, and musician and the New York Times bestselling author of Shiver, hailed by Publishers Weekly in a starred review as “a lyrical tale,” and by BookPage as “beautifully written, even poetic at times, and a perfect indulgence for readers of all ages.” There are more than 1.7 million copies of the trilogy in print. Since publication, rights to more than thirty-six foreign editions of Shiver have been licensed. Linger, the second book in the Shiver trilogy, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. The Raven King
  • Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including The Missing series and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. Children in Exile
  • Jessica Young is an elementary/middle-school art teacher and author who grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. The same things make her happy now as when she was a kid: dancing, painting, music, digging in the dirt, picnics, reading, and writing. Her debut picture book My Blue is Happy was a 2014 Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended Title and was featured on multiple best-book lists. She lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee. Haggis and Tank Unleashed
  • Victoria Schwab is the #1 NYT bestselling author of more than a dozen books for children, teens, and adults, including Vicious, the Shades of Magic series, and most recently, This Savage Song. When she's not wandering Scottish hills or tucked into French cafes she can be found right here in Nashville, TN. This Savage Song
  • C.J. Redwine loves fairy tales, Harry Potter, and Sherlock. She is the author of the Defiance trilogy and The Shadow Queen. If the novel writing gig ever falls through, she'll join the Avengers and wear a cape to work. She lives in Nashville with her husband and children. The Shadow Queen
  • Sharon Cameron was awarded the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' Sue Alexander Award for Most Promising New Work for her debut novel, The Dark Unwinding, which was also awarded the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award and named an ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection. She lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee. The Forgetting
  • Lauren Oliver is the author of the YA novel Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages and are The New York Times and international bestselling novels. She is also the author of two novels for middle-grade readers, The Spindlers and Liesl & Po, which was a 2012 E. B. White Read-Aloud Award nominee. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, Lauren Oliver lives in Brooklyn, New York. Replica
  • Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them. She's the founder of AdventuresInYAPublishing.com, a Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a site devoted to encouraging literacy and all things YA Series. From her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband, children, and Auggie the wonder dog, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she'd love to visit. When she isn't writing, she's addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it. Illusion
  • David Arnold lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his wife and son. He is the critically-acclaimed author or Mosquitoland, which has been translated into over a dozen languages. Previous jobs include freelance musician/producer, stay-at-home dad, and preschool teacher. He is a fierce believer in the power of kindness and community. And pesto. He believes fiercely in pesto. Kids of Appetite
  • Beth Revis grew up in the Appalachian Mountains with a cemetery in her backyard. She prefers her stories to have some sort of weird angle; even when she's writing a contemporary novel like A World Without You. Her other books, Across the Universe trilogy, are New York Times bestsellers and have been translated into more than twenty languages. Beth lives in a house full of boys--her husband, son, and two massive dogs. She forces them all to watch reruns of Firefly and Doctor Who in between planning trips to see the world. A World Without You
  • Jeff Zentner is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who has recorded with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, and Debbie Harry. In addition to writing and recording his own music, Zentner works with young musicians at Tennessee Teen Rock Camp, which inspired him to write a novel for young adults. The Serpent King will be published in March 2016 and is Jeff's first novel. He lives in Nashville with his wife and son. The Serpent King
  • Ann Redisch Stampler is the author of the young adult novels Afterparty and Where It Began as well as half a dozen picture books. Her work has garnered an Aesop accolade, the National Jewish Book Award, Sydney Taylor honors, the Middle East Book Award, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year mentions. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband, Rick. How to Disappear
  • Meredith Russo was born, raised, and lives in Tennessee. She started living as her true self in late 2013 and never looked back. If I Was Your Girl was partially inspired by her experiences as a trans woman. Like Amanda, Meredith is a gigantic nerd who spends a lot of her time obsessing over video games and Star Wars. If I Was Your Girl
  • Brooks Benjamin formed a New Kids on the Block tribute dance crew in sixth grade called the New Kidz. He wasn't that good at dancing back then, but now he's got a new crew--his wife and their dog. They live in Tennessee, where he teaches reading and writing and occasionally busts out a few dance moves. He's still not that good at it. This is his first novel. My Seventh Grade Life in Tights
  • Karen Harrington was born and raised in Texas, where she still lives with her husband, children and one sneaky dog. Mayday
  • Ashley Herring Blake lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two boys. She has worked as a songwriter and performer, substitute teacher, barista, ABA therapist, and a special education teacher in a private school for kids with autism. Suffer Love
  • Emery Lord is the author of Open Road Summer and The Start of Me and You. She lives in a pink row house in Cincinnati, with a husband, two rescue dogs, and a closet full of impractical shoes. When We Collided
  • Donna Gephart 's award-winning novels are packed with humor and heart. They include Death by Toilet Paper; Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen; How to Survive Middle-School; and As if Being 12-3/4 Isn’t Bad Enough, My Mother Is Running for President! Donna is a popular speaker at schools, conferences, and book festivals. Lily and Dunkin
  • Randi Pink grew up in the South and attended a mostly white high school. She lives with her husband and their two rescue dogs in Birmingham, Alabama, where she works for a branch of National Public Radio. Into White is her fiction debut. Into White
  • Roshani Chokshi comes from a small town in Georgia where she collected a Southern accent. She grew up in a blue house with a perpetually napping bear-dog. At Emory University, she dabbled with journalism, attended some classes in pajamas, forgot to buy winter boots and majored in 14th century British literature. She spent a year after graduation working and traveling and writing. After that, she started law school at the University of Georgia. The Star Touched Queen
  • Kendare Blake holds an MA in creative writing from Middlesex University in northern London. She is the author of Anna Dressed in Blood, a Cybils Award finalist; Girl of Nightmares; Antigoddess; Mortal Gods; and Ungodly. Her books have been translated into 18 languages, have been featured on multiple best-of-year lists, and have received many regional and librarian awards. Kendare lives and writes in Kent, Washington. Three Dark Crowns
  • Nicole Castroman received her BA from Brigham Young University and has lived in Germany, Austria, and two different places called Georgia. One is the country near the Black Sea; the other is the state of Georgia where she currently lives with her husband and children. Blackhearts is her first novel. Blackhearts
  • Brendan Kiely received his MFA from City College of New York. He is the author, with Jason Reynolds, of the Coretta Scott King Author Honor book All American Boys. His debut novel, The Gospel of Winter, has been published in eight languages, selected as one of the American Library Association's Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults 2015, and was a Kirkus Reviews selection for the Best of 2014. Originally from the Boston area, he now lives with his wife in Greenwich Village. The Last True Love Story
  • Shaun David Hutchinson is the author of numerous books for young adults, including The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley, which won the Florida Book Awards' Gold Medal in the Young Adult category and was named to the ALA's 2015 Rainbow Book List, the anthology Violent Ends, which received a starred review from VOYA, and We Are the Ants, which received five starred reviews and was named a best book of January 2016 by Amazon.com, Kobo.com, Publishers Weekly, and iBooks. He lives in South Florida with his partner and adorably chubby dog. We are the Ants
  • Amanda K. Morgan lives in Nashville, Tennessee and is the author of After Hours under the name Claire Kennedy. As a freelance writer, she covers events and works as a technical writer when she isn't working on her YA novels. She headed up the Do The Write Thing for Nashville Project (with co-organizers/authors Victoria Schwab and Myra McEntire), which tapped some of the biggest authors, editors, and agents in the industry for an online auction that raised over $70,000 for Midsouth flood relief. Secrets, Lies and Scandals
  • Jason Reynolds earned a BA from the University of Maryland, College Park, then moved to Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of critically acclaimed When I Was Greatest, for which he was the recipient of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent; the Coretta Scott King Honor books Boy in the Black Suit and All American Boys (co-written with Bredan Kiely); and As Brave as You, his middle grade debut. Ghost
  • Laura Stampler is a Californian turned New Yorker. After graduating from Stanford University, she became a journalist, interning - and then worked on staff at various newspapers and magazines. Laura has written about everything from dating to social media stars to social justice issues at Time magazine, Business Insider, Huffington Post, The Nation, The New Republic, and The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. When she isn't writing, she's probably looking at pug gifs on the Internet.
  • Ann E. Burg 's debut novel, ALL THE BROKEN PIECES (2009), was named a Jefferson Cup award winner and an IRA Notable Book for a Global Society, among its many honors. Her follow-up, SERAFINA S PROMISE (2013), was named an ALA Notable, Parents Choice Gold Award Winner, and an NAACP Image Award finalist. Burg worked as an English teacher for ten years before becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Rhinebeck, New York, with her family. Unbound: A Novel
  • Christine Kendall has been published in Niche Literary magazine. She studied children's literature at the Southampton Writers Conference, and was nameed a semi-finalist in the 2014 River Styx Micro-fiction Conest. Before becoming an author, she worked in the field law firm talent management, where she coordinated the NAACP 50th anniversary commemoration of the historic "Brown v. Board of Education" decision. Riding Chance is her first novel. She lives in Philadelphia, PA. Riding Chance
  • Maria Dahvana Headley is a memoirist, novelist, and editor, most recently of the novel Queen of Kings and the New York Times bestselling anthology Unnatural Creatures (co-editor with Neil Gaiman). As the author of the work of short fiction "The Traditional," she has been nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award. She lives in Brooklyn with a seven-foot stuffed crocodile and a collection of star charts from the 1700s. Aerie
  • Dave Dietrich spent his formative years in Nashville splashing through waves at Nashville Shores, playing baseball near The Hermitage at Rotary Park, and whipping through the rides at Opryland Theme Park. He is a writer and non-profit executive who loves participating in causes that help other people. Inspired by his wife Megan, daugher Isla, and dogs Ace and Grace - Dave and his mom wrote the book Sleep Tight Nashville for people of all ages to experience Nashville the way he did growing up. Sleep Tight Nashville
  • Debbie Brown lives in Nashville with her husband Larry and their two furry pets, Bug and Gracie. She is a published song writer and loves children, especially her two granddaughters: Isla and Avery. Debbie enjoys spending time with family and friends, baking, writing, and sports which makes Nashville the perfect home for her. She hopes that kids everywhere will enjoy following the story of Banjo as he reveals the colorful world of Nashville. Sleep Tight Nashville
  • Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside New York City, where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life's finer points with her cats. Stalking Jack the Ripper is her debut novel. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history. Stalking Jack the Ripper
  • Megan Shepherd grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is the author of several acclaimed young adult books, and The Secret Horses of Briar Hill is her debut middle-grade novel. Shepherd lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, two cats, and a dog. The Secret Horses of Briar Hill
  • Jean M. Malone is a librarian, author of three All-Aboard Readers for Penguin, and a former Nashville Zoo volunteer. Dexter the Very Good Goat
  • Monika Schroeder grew up in Germany and has worked as an elementary school teacher and librarian in American international schools in Egypt, Chile, Oman, and India. After living in India for eight years, she returned to the US in the summer of 2011. She now lives with her husband in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Whennot reading or writing, she loves to bake, hike, or watch movies. Be Light Like a Bird
  • Shannon Messenger graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts where she learned—among other things—that she liked watching movies much better than making them. She’s studied art, screenwriting, and television production, but realized her real passion was writing for kids and teens. She is the author of the middle grade series Keeper of the Lost Cities and the Sky Fall series for young adults. She lives in Southern California with her husband and an embarrassing number of cats. Let the Wind Rise
  • Pat Zietlow Miller is a children's book lover and the creatie force behind the blog Read, Write, Repeat, where she reviews books for young readers. Sophie's Squash, her first picture book, is based on a true story--her own daughter, Sonia, once loved a squash. Sophie's Squash Goes to School
  • Sarah Combs leads writing workshops at a nonprofit literacy center in Lexington, Kentucky, where she lives with her two young sons, two pacifist bird dogs, and her modern-day Atticus Finch of a husband. The Light Fantastic is her second novel for young adults. The Light Fantastic  

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