Kate Albus writes historical fiction for young readers. She is the author of A Place to Hang the Moon, which was a New York Public Library Best Book for Kids, a Kids Indie Next List pick, an SCBWI Crystal Kite Award Winner, a CCBC Choice, and an ALSC Notable Book. Her latest novel for children, Nothing Else but Miracles, is set in New York City during World War II.
Twelve-year-old Dory Byrne lives with her brothers on New York City’s Lower East Side, waiting impatiently through the darkest hours of World War II for her pop to come home from fighting Hitler. Legally speaking, Dory’s brother, Fish, is not old enough to be in charge of Dory and her younger brother, Pike, but their neighbors know the score and, like Pop always says, “The neighborhood will give you what you need.” The lady from the bakery saves them leftover crullers. The kind landlord checks up on them. Every Thursday night, the Byrnes enjoy a free bowl of seafood stew at Mr. Caputo’s restaurant, where Dory learns about the hand-pulled elevator that is the only way to get to Caputo’s upper floors. The elevator that is so creaky and ancient, nobody’s been in it for decades. Until now. When the landlord dies unexpectedly and the new one hears about Pop being gone, he turns the Byrnes in, hoping they will be shipped off to an orphanage. Dory and her brothers need a hideout, and the elevator and the abandoned hotel it leads to provide just the solution they need.
Based on a real place in old New York and steeped in the history of the last year of World War II, Nothing Else but Miracles shows how, when things get tough, the neighborhood really will give you what you need … and may offer up a miracle or two in the process.
Gabriella Aldeman, a Panamanian American author, writes picture books in the hopes that more children become readers and that all readers feel seen. She is also a professional translator of academic resources and children’s books. Aldeman holds degrees from Georgetown University and the College of William and Mary. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with her partner and two children.
In Paula’s Patches, problem-solver Paula patches her pants, and she encourages her classmates to mend and reuse. Oh, no! While at school, Paula’s pants catch on a bush that rips a large hole. She tries everything to hide the hole from her classmates, only to find out that they have similar frustrations—like leaky lunchboxes, spaghetti stains, and hand-me-down backpacks. Nothing some colorful patches can’t fix! Children will follow Paula as she feels embarrassed about her torn pants, curious about patches, and excited for a possible solution that helps both her and her classmates.
Heather Alexander is the author of many nonfiction and fiction books for kids, including the books in the A Child’s Introduction to . . . series, Wallace and Grace series, Eat Bugs series (a National Science Teachers of America Best STEM book) and Only In America: The Weird and Wonderful 50 States (an Amazon Best Children’s Book). Alexander grew up and raised her kids in New Jersey before moving to Los Angeles.
Featured title: Only in New York
Only in New York explores the most amazing sites, cities, history, and natural landscapes of the Empire State.
From the roar of Niagara Falls to the tip of Lady Liberty’s torch, explore the length and breadth of New York with the help of little-known facts and colorful art. A state map, timelines, and spotlight spread shine a light on the best and most surprising sites, histories, places, people, culture, and food this state has to offer.
Mike Allegra is the author of 18 books for children including the picture books Pirate and Penguin, Sleepy Happy Capy Cuddles, and Scampers Thinks Like a Scientist. He also wrote the chapter book series Kimmie Tuttle and Prince Not-So Charming. A Pirate and Penguin sequel, Pirate and Penguin: 2 Few Crew, will hit shelves in 2024.
The rainforest roars with squeaks and squawks, alive with a rumpus of animal noises. Can any creature get a moment of rest and calm amidst this horrible hubbub? Not until … the blurbly blowing of bubbles, the fwippa fwip of flickering ears, and the shookita shimmy of a shaking booty bottom announce the arrival of the largest, friendliest rodent around (which really exists in the wild) who calls for something new: cuddles!
But, the animals wonder, can cuddles de-harden a shell? Don’t they look weird? Will that closeness feel uncomfortable? In Sleepy Happy Capy Cuddles, Capy has gentle answers to all these questions, helping every cuddler feel safe and happy. Because when others feel happy, the capy feels happy too. And when capy is happy, she floofs!
Airlie Anderson is the award-winning author and illustrator of several picture books, including Only (coming in 2024), Neither, and Cat’s Seasons. She grew up in California and was inspired by animation art, pop art, and comics. Anderson majored in illustration and focused on children’s books at the Rhode Island School of Design. She works in gouache on watercolor paper and loves saturated color and expressive characters. She now lives in beautiful New Jersey with her family.
In Cat’s Seasons, follow Cat and her kittens as they experience the different seasons, absorbing all that they bring. A charming, deceptively simple story about making the most of the world around us and giving something back in return.
Ethan T. Berlin is an Emmy Award-nominated television comedy writer and a Junior Library Guild-selected picture-book author. His numerous picture books have been called “hilarious” and “giggleworthy” by Kirkus Reviews and “recommended for all libraries” by the School Library Journal. Berlin’s television credits include Billy on the Street, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, and IFC’s Bunk. When he is not writing his own funny stuff, Berlin teaches comedy writing at New York University and Stony Brook University. He lives in Bloomfield, New Jersey.
A “How to Draw” lesson spins hilariously out of control when Cat just won’t stay happy! A relatable, madcap read-aloud book, How to Draw a Happy Cat is immense fun, and perfect for fans of Dragons Love Tacos.
Drawing a happy cat seems like such an easy thing to do. Just follow the instructions in this book! Wait a minute . . . why doesn’t Cat look happy? We gave her a stuffy and a cool t-shirt! Uh-oh! Turns out drawing a happy cat is harder than it looks. Now it’s the reader’s job to find out why Cat isn’t staying happy, and to draw everything she wants! That might include skateboards, friends, and even a pizza-flinging catapult. This clever, often tender, laugh-out-loud picture book breaks will have kids asking for repeat reads and will definitely have parents nodding knowingly at the escalating cycle of demands. Can you draw a happy cat?
Linda Bozzo is the author of more than 70 children’s books. She has been an Honorable Mention recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Barbara Karlin Grant Award and received the 2013 Outstanding Author Award from the New Jersey Association of School Librarians. Bozzo is the Co-Assistant Regional Advisor for the SCBWI New Jersey Chapter.
With hard shells that protect them from predators, turtles are among the oldest group of reptiles. In How Turtles Grow Up, readers will discover that sea turtles rarely leave the water except to lay eggs in the sand. They will read about freshwater turtles that love to soak up the sun on logs or rocks. What most people don’t know is that the temperature of the turtle’s nest determines whether the babies are male or female. Interesting facts and stunning photographs are sure to open the door for discussions about habitat, predators, and other science-related topics.
Andrea Cáceres is an author, illustrator, and art director. Her work, much of it featuring dogs, has appeared on products, textiles, marketing, branding, and packaging for companies including Microsoft, Snapchat, J. Crew, and The Farmer’s Dog. My Dog Just Speaks Spanish is her debut picture book. Born in Venezuela, Cáceres is based in New York City.
When Aurora came to the United States, she learned to speak English. But her spaniel, Nena, did not. Sweet Nena loves to give “besos,” and she knows only Spanish. She doesn’t know “Sit,” but she does know “Siéntate.” She doesn’t know “Wait,” but she does know “Espera.” And while “Treat” doesn’t mean anything to Nena, she can certainly sniff out a “Postre”! At the park, Nena may not know what the other dog owners are saying, but she and Aurora will always understand each other just fine. Borrowing from her own experience, Venezuelan American author-illustrator Andrea Cáceres offers a gentle, charmingly illustrated ode to love that extends a hand—or a paw—to readers who may feel displaced or are learning a new language themselves.
Donna Cangelosi is a child psychologist who, much like Mister Rogers, spends her days working with children to help them understand and process their feelings. She was born in New Jersey and lives there today. In her free time, Cangelosi reads biographies, visits museums, and does yoga. Mister Rogers’ Gift of Music is her debut picture book.
Growing up with asthma, young Fred Rogers was often stuck inside while other kids played outdoors. He discovered that playing the piano was a great way to express loneliness and other emotions. Soft sinking sobs, loud rippling roars, and trickles of teardrops flowed through his fingertips. As an adult, Fred shared his gift of music with the world on television on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, inspiring and lifting countless young lives. Mister Rogers’ Gift of Music shows how Fred’s honest lyrics and charming tunes helped children deal with emotions, reassured them that they were special and loved, and created a neighborhood of kindness throughout the country, for generations.
Selene Castrovilla is the author of Seeking Freedom, a 2023 ALA/ALSC Notable Book and a Cooperative Children’s Book Center 2023 Choice for best books, and This Is Tap: Savion Glover Finds His Funk, a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. Castrovilla holds an MFA in creative writing from The New School and a BA in English from New York University.
Featured title: This Is Tap: Savion Glover Finds His Funk
This Is Tap: Savion Glover Finds His Funk brings tap dancer Savion Glover’s exuberant story of creativity and passion to young readers. This picture book biography creates music with words and story, and dance with color and composition. Children and parents can read the rhymes and onomatopoeia together while enjoying the bold artwork.
Yvette Clark is the author of middle-grade novels Glitter Gets Everywhere and The House Swap. British by birth and a New Yorker by design, Clark lives in Manhattan with her husband, two teenagers, and a small blue cat. She is proud to be an author mentor for Girls Write Now.
The Parent Trap meets The Holiday in this heartwarming and funny story of two girls, one American and one British, who become friends and confidantes when their families swap houses. Allie is British and dreams of being a spy. Sage is an only child from sunny California. They meet when their families swap houses for the summer. Although they are polar opposites, Allie and Sage quickly realize that they are both dealing with family issues. Sage’s parents may be on the brink of divorce, and Allie is struggling to feel heard in her big family. It may take a trip around the world for them to find their place at home.
A sweet and emotional story, The House Swap is told in alternating chapters from each girl’s point of view, offering two unique perspectives on family and belonging.
Alyssa Colman is the author of The Gilded Girl and The Tarnished Garden. Her debut novel won the 2021 Northern Lights Book Award for middle grade fantasy and was selected as a Best Book of the Year by Bank Street College of Education and A Mighty Girl. Alyssa now lives with her family in Virginia where she enjoys making messes in her kitchen, reading, and hiking with her dog, Daisy.
The Manhattan School for Magic is the newest kindling school in New York, but Maeve O’Donnell knows she doesn’t deserve her place there. Though her sister, Izzy, is one of the school’s founders and a hero to those who can now kindle, Maeve can’t control her magic and she lives in fear of anyone—especially Izzy—finding out.
In The Tarnished Garden, the sequel to The Gilded Girl, when Maeve’s worst fears come true and her magic goes rogue, it damages not only the new school but Izzy’s reputation as well. While trying to repair what she’s broken, Maeve discovers a mysterious garden in the tenement neighborhood of the Tarnish, a hidden place where her magic actually works. As her magic and confidence grow, she befriends the others for whom the garden is a haven: a litter of talking kittens (house dragons, of course) who need Maeve’s help to find their missing mother. But someone else is searching for the kittens, too, someone who doesn’t care how many magical sites they have to destroy to stop magic’s expansion. And Maeve’s unstable magic might be the only way to save her sister’s school from being snuffed out next.
Paul Czajak struggled with reading and writing as a child, and never thought he’d end up writing books. But after working as a scientist for 20 years, he discovered that his creativity could no longer be contained to the laboratory. Now the author of nine picture books with his tenth to be released in 2024, he hopes his books will be the seeds to a new generation of readers and writers! In addition to the “Monster Needs A …” series, Czajak has written The Book Tree and Seaver the Weaver. In his own words, “I write books to make you laugh, root for the underdog, and care for the world around you. If I’ve hit on one of those things, then I’ve done my job.” Paul lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children.
In Trees Make Perfect Pets, Abigail is determined to get the perfect pet. So she chooses Fido. He keeps her cool from the sun, stays where she tells him, and even gives her air to breathe. That’s because Fido is a tree! But not everyone thinks having a tree as a pet is a good idea, though, especially when Fido starts to grow. Will Abigail be able to keep her perfect pet?
Bill Doyle has over two million interactive adventures, mysteries, and true tales in print, including the Escape This Book! series. He has also created games for Sesame Workshop, Warner Bros., and Nerf. Bill graduated from Georgetown University, continuing on to earn an MFA in dramatic writing from the Tisch School of Film and Television at New York University. Bill lives in New York City.
In the interactive novel, The Fifth Hero: The Race to Erase, the Calamity Corporation is determined to end life on Earth as we know it. The company has built hotels that orbit Earth and small cities on the moon and has plans to move the human population to Mars. The sinister corporation is determined to ruin Earth so that people have no choice but to leave it.
Not so fast! Four kids who secretly possess the powers of land, air, sea, and creatures are about to change the course of history. These kids may not be the likeliest of heroes, but they are determined to stop Calamity Corporation from destroying Earth. And they have a secret weapon: a fifth hero. YOU!
Throughout the book, there are three chances for you to help change the course of the story alongside our fearless team. Choose incorrectly and it’s game over. But choose wisely and you might save the planet!
Molli Jackson Ehlert grew up in Miami, Florida where she fell in love with cooking, animals, and helping others. Having grown up in a larger body, Ehlert knows first-hand the disrespect and lack of acceptance people face when they are seen as “different”. Currently residing in West Orange, New Jersey, Ehlert is a mother to an active toddler she hopes will grow up with an open mind and an open heart. She is the author of Everybody Has a Body.
Everybody Has a Body. Whether you’re short, tall, fat, thin, hairy, bald, whether you use a wheelchair or have a limb difference, we all rely on our bodies to take us through the world.
From hiking a mountain to playing baseball to exploring an aquarium, debut author Molli Jackson Ehlert and illustrator Lorian Tu show us all the different ways that bodies can look and the things they can do, with representation of all different types of bodies.
With a body neutral approach—your body isn’t good or bad, it just is—this is an accessible and fun read that’s perfect for kids who have questions about the different bodies they encounter every day.
Daniel Errico is a best-selling children’s author and producer. His titles include The Journey of the Marmabill, The Journey of the Noble Gnarble, and The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived. He is the creator, writer, and executive producer of the groundbreaking Hulu Original series The Bravest Knight, winner of the GLAAD Award for Outstanding Kids & Family Programming. His latest book, Don’t Hug the Quokka!, was named to Children’s Book Council’s 2023 Kids’ Favorites Award List. Errico is from Short Hills, New Jersey, attended Villanova University, and currently resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
That quokka may be cute, but does it want a hug? The quokka says “No!” In Don’t Hug the Quokka!, young readers get a lighthearted and friendly introduction to the concept of consent, learning that even the most adorable creatures might not want a hug—unless they say so!
Consent is a really important topic for parents to introduce with young children, but it can be tricky to do so in a way that’s clear without being frightening. This book is funny and cute, but has a clear message that you have to ask before touching someone else—it’s a good place to start for young kids.
Jenna Gavigan grew up dreaming of Broadway. As a teenager, she made her Broadway debut in Gypsy, opposite Bernadette Peters. Since then, she’s appeared in a handful of films, on a gaggle of television shows, and on stages east and west. Also a producer, Jenna won her first Tony in June of 2022 with the team of the best new musical, A Strange Loop. A fourth generation New Yorker, Jenna holds a BA in creative writing from Columbia University, where she focused on fiction, television, and screenwriting. She lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and son.
Featured title: Lulu the Broadway Mouse – The Show Must Go On
In Lulu the Broadway Mouse readers meet Lulu, who is a little girl with a very big dream: she wants to be on Broadway. She wants it more than anything in the world. As it happens, she lives in Broadway’s Shubert Theatre; so achieving her dream shouldn’t be too tricky, right? Wrong. Because the thing about Lulu? She’s a little girl mouse.
When a human girl named Jayne joins the cast of the show at the Shubert as an understudy, Lulu becomes Jayne’s guide through the world of her theatre and its wonderfully kooky cast and crew. Together, Jayne and Lulu learn that sometimes dreams turn out differently than we imagined. But sometimes, just when we’ve given up all hope, bigger and better dreams than we’d ever thought could come true, do.
In Lulu the Broadway Mouse – The Show Must Go On, readers are reacquainted with Lulu, whose show has just received its closing notice. Lulu takes readers back in time to just after she made her onstage debut and of Lulu and Jayne rising in popularity and esteem. However, there is one critic who is determined to break Lulu’s career. When Benji, Lulu’s brother, comes up with an idea on how to boost ticket sales, the company members hit the streets, desperate to save the show from closing. But will Lulu and Stella be able to stop the nasty critic from completely ruining Lulu’s dreams and those of the rest of the cast?
Dan Gutman was born in a log cabin in Illinois and used to write by candlelight with a piece of chalk on a shovel. Oh, wait. That was Abraham Lincoln. Actually, Dan has written 175 books for beginning readers (Rappy the Raptor), young readers (My Weird School), and advanced readers (The Genius Files, Flashback Four). Dan is a Jersey boy, but now he lives in New York City with his wife and two children.
Featured title: Miss Banks Pulls Lots of Pranks!
In the first installment of the newest My Weird School arc, Miss Banks Pulls Lots of Pranks!, A.J. and his friends are starting fourth grade. A new school year means a new teacher, and Miss Banks may be their weirdest one yet.
She won’t stop playing practical jokes on the class, and A.J. has reached his breaking point. Will he and the gang learn to not fall for their teacher’s tricks? Or will Miss Banks prevail as the ultimate prankster?
Perfect for reluctant readers and all kids hungry for funny school stories, Dan Gutman’s hugely popular My Weird School chapter book series has something for everyone. Don’t miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and his friends!
Dan will read onstage from 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Also known by his stage name Lushlife, Raj Haldar is an American rapper, composer, and producer who grew up in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. He’s also the #1 New York Times best-selling author of P Is for Pterodactyl and This Book Is Banned. Haldar currently lives in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
This Book Is Banned is a hilarious picture book explaining how books get banned – including this one! With each page, characters are erased from the story, cut out, and taped over. This Book Is Banned playfully discourages readers from turning the page, even to throw the book away, but when readers finally get to the end they find an absurd surprise ending – one that shows the importance of free speech.
Janay Harden, LCSW, is a millennial mental health therapist. Janay comes with over ten years’ experience working in the mental health field with children, families, and schools, providing individual counseling, group counseling, and mental health workshops. Harden’s creativity and imaginative mind took shape when she spent hours reading books from her local library. In addition to therapy, she is a full-time author and uses storytelling as a therapeutic tool to promote healing and conversation. Her main focus is creating stories that empower and uplift women, and providing a safe space for readers to explore and process their own experiences and emotions. If you enjoy stories about melanated characters navigating love, friendships, and family, please consider sticking around while Janay makes sense of the world through her collection of words.
Raven Jamison, and her three best friends, Nia, Jasmine, and Trinity, make up The Brown Girls Club. The girls spend long and carefree days in their bayou town of Lake Lacroix, nestled behind the big city of New Orleans. A dinnertime knock at the door abruptly changes everything. When child protective services descend on their doorstep dropping off her younger cousin Carter, Raven is suddenly thrust into a brand-new reality. Generational ties that affected the entire family for decades soon resurface. Carter’s presence rips at the Jamison household, and his aggressive and shocking behaviors may prove too much to handle for this seemingly picture-perfect family. Raven and her family and friends must work together to overcome their shared pain and help Carter find his voice before it’s too late. Hey, Brown Girl is a compelling and thought-provoking young adult novel about struggle, forgiveness, and hope.
Christopher Healy is the author of the new fantasy whodunit No One Leaves the Castle, as well as the acclaimed Hero’s Guide series; the historical sci-fi adventure trilogy A Perilous Journey of Danger & Mayhem; and the picture book This Is Not That Kind of Book. His books have appeared on the IndieBound Indie Next List, Amazon’s Best books of the Year, Kirkus’s Best Young Adult Books, and the New York Times Notable Books list. He lives in New Jersey.
Featured title: The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You’ve never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change.
Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, the princes stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it’s up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.
Christopher Healy’s The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is a completely original take on the world of fairy tales, the truth about what happens after “happily ever after.” It’s a must-have for middle-grade readers who enjoy their fantasy adventures mixed with the humor of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Witty black-and-white drawings by Todd Harris add to the fun.
Kathryn Holmes is the author of the Class Critters chapter book series. Her next book, and her middle-grade debut, is The Thirteenth Circle, co-written with MarcyKate Connolly. Holmes grew up in Maryville, Tennessee, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, daughter, and piles upon piles of books. A graduate of The New School’s MFA in creative writing program, Kathryn works as a freelance dance journalist, among other writing gigs.
In Madison Morris Is Not a Mouse!, the title character tries her best to spread joy and be helpful, even when people like her Great-Aunt Joelle seem to think that she can’t do or say anything right. On the day that Mrs. Norrell’s class is brainstorming for a group project on activism, Madison is full of ideas … until Great-Aunt Joelle shoots them down one by one. Madison starts to wonder if maybe she isn’t really cut out to be a leader or change-maker. Then, something strange happens: Madison turns into a mouse!
Her voice is high-pitched and squeaky, her heart beats furiously in her body, and she’s so, so small. Luckily, one of her kindhearted classmates, Tally Tuttle, helps to get her to safety so no one squishes her by accident. Will Madison be able to navigate her own insecurities and the unexpected dangers of being a mouse to turn back into herself before the end of the day? Or will she be stuck eating cheese and hiding from cats for the rest of her life?
Monique James-Duncan is the author of Mommy Time, her publishing debut. Born in Britain and raised on the tiny island of the Commonwealth of Dominica, she is passionate about writing literature with mirrors so all children can feel seen. A busy stay-at-home mother, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Rollicking rhyme and playful illustrations record a day in the life of two rambunctious children and their stay-at-home mother. As fun as it is being a kid, it can be hard work being a mom. When Dad heads to his job, the joyful chaos of getting ready for the day begins. To the children, that day is a happy blur of school and playdates, singing and dancing, supermarket walks and library stops, bath time, story time, bedtime. But Mommy’s time is filled with a whole lot more—sweeping, laundry, stinky diapers—tiring work achieved with love in her eyes and care in her smiles. An authentic catalog of precious moments in the life of an ordinary family, this warm, revealing story builds a bridge of empathy between parent and child and celebrates the value of “Mommy time.”
About the book, James-Duncan says, “Mommy Time is a sweet book visually and a warming story. However, as Black mothers continue to experience the pain of police and other brutality upon their children, Mommy Time is an act of resistance. Mommy Time answers the age-old question for all stay-at-home parents: What do you do all day? The answer being: they work.”
Susie Jaramillo serves as the president and chief creative officer of Encantos, an award-winning entertainment-driven edtech company creating direct-to-learner family brands that both kids and parents love. Susie is also the creator of Canticos, the Emmy-nominated Latino-inspired bilingual nursery rhyme series which launched in 2016, and is also the author/illustrator of over 20 children’s books.
Skeletina’s day starts just like any other in the mixed-up, upside-down, in-between world she calls home. That is, until she hears a strange sound coming from right inside her house. There’s a little girl crying behind the walls, and her teeth keep falling out! But Skeletina knows who can sniff out the truth.
Join fun-loving and fearless Skeletina on another in-between adventure as she helps a frightened little girl conquer her fears and turn a scary dream into something much more fun!
Welcome to the in-between world, where the living go when they are fast asleep and where ghosts hang out when they have unfinished business. Visitors who come to the in-between world can confront their fears or see a loved one who has recently left the world of the living. Luckily, anyone who visits the in-between world can face their fears and anxieties with friends at their side. In the in-between world, anything is possible!
Amy Kerns is the author of two adorable children’s books, Harlow Learns He’s Loved and Mismatched Socks. She writes these family-inspired stories in Basking Ridge, NJ, where she lives with her husband, her two boys, and her dog. In her free time, she loves to watch cooking shows and swim in her pool. She currently works as the director of social engagement and brand operations at L’Oreal.
Featured title: Harlow Learns He’s Loved
Harlow, a beloved hedgehog, is confused why he isn’t getting as much affection from Mommy & Daddy Fox after the sudden arrival of his baby brother. He wonders how he will ever get his kisses back. What’s a hedgehog to do? Written by Amy Kerns and illustrated by Kim Hanzo, Harlow Learns He’s Loved reinforces the love that parents have for their children—no matter who they are.
Michelle Knudsen is the New York Times best-selling author of 50 books, including the award-winning Library Lion (one of Time magazine’s 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time), The Dragon of Trelian (VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers), and Evil Librarian (YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults and Sid Fleischman Humor Award). Her latest book is the early-reader biography She Persisted: Nellie Bly. Knudsen teaches writing at Lesley University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, is very particular about rules in the library. No running is allowed. And you must be quiet. But when a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do because there aren’t any rules about lions in the library. As it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to visiting the library. His big feet are quiet on the library floor. He makes a comfy backrest for the children at story hour. And he never roars in the library, at least not anymore. But when something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how. Library Lion, Michelle Knudsen’s disarming story, which is illustrated by the matchless Kevin Hawkes in an expressive, timeless style, will win over even the most ardent of rule keepers.
Nancy Krulik is the international best-selling author of more than two hundred books for children. Her series, including Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo; George Brown, Class Clown; Magic Bone; Princess Pulverizer; and Ms. Frogbottom’s Field Trips, are beloved around the world. She lives in New York City.
Featured title: The Great Mathemachicken; Hide and Go Break
Chirpy is a young chicken stuck in the family coop. But she’s not like the other chickens who just sit around peck peck pecking all day. She’s intrigued by the children who come home from a place called school. They always look so happy! (Well, most days.)
So Chirpy sneaks onto the bus one morning, hides in the classroom . . . and discovers a true love of math. When she shares what she’s learned with the other chickens, they think she’s one kernel short of a cob.
Even so, Chirpy is determined to find a formula for fowl success by pecking away. But when a hungry fox tries to attack the coop, can she find the equation for a simple solution?
With lively two-color art throughout and a fun hands-on simple machine activity, this eggs-ellent hilarious young chapter book series starter is a Grade-A pick for emerging readers to get them eggs-ited about science and math.
Kendall Kulper is an author living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She writes historical fantasy for young adults, including Murder for the Modern Girl, which was a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection and received two starred reviews. She graduated from Harvard University with an honors degree in history & literature and lives with her husband, two daughters, and much-Instagrammed dog, Abby.
In A Starlet’s Secret to a Sensational Afterlife, 18-year-old Henrietta arrives in Los Angeles in 1934 with dreams of trading her boring life for stardom. She’s determined to make it as an actress, despite her family’s doubts and rumors of would-be starlets gone missing. And by the skin of her teeth, she pulls it off! A serendipitous job offer arrives and Henrietta finds herself on a whirlwind publicity tour for a major film role—with a vexingly unpleasant actor tapped by the studio to be her fake boyfriend. But fierce Henrietta has more in common with brooding Declan than she realizes. They both have gifts that they are hiding, for fear of being labeled strange: he is immune to injury and she can speak to ghosts. When the co-stars get tangled up in the disappearance of a beautiful young actress, they go from bitter enemies and pretend lovers to reluctant partners—and possibly even friends. Together, they might be the only people in Hollywood who can do something about these poor missing girls. And in doing so . . . they might just fall in love for real.
Rosanne L. Kurstedt is the author of several books for children, including Karate Kid, And I Think About You, and Sticks vs. Stones. Kurstedt’s favorite part about being an author is sharing her books with children and families at schools, libraries, bookstores, and festivals. She lives in New Jersey and hopes to live on a lake one day.
Featured title: And I Think About You
And I Think About You poignantly captures the love and connection shared by a working mama bear and her cub. The rhythmic pattern will enchant and delight young readers — all the way to the surprising end! Illustrated by Ya-Ling Yuang.
Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in the Boston area, where she practices medicine and writes award-winning books for young readers, including the Newbery Honor-winning middle grade novel in verse, Red, White, and Whole. She’s always been an omnivorous reader, and now she’s an omnivorous writer of fiction and nonfiction, novels and picture books, prose and poetry. She finds inspiration in her family, her childhood, the natural world, math, and science.
Featured title: Mirror to Mirror
Maya is the pragmatic twin, but her secret anxiety threatens to overwhelm her.
Chaya is the outgoing twin. When she sees her beloved sister suffering, she wants to tell their parents—which makes Maya feel completely betrayed. With Maya shutting her out, Chaya makes a dramatic change to give her twin the space she seems to need. But that’s the last thing Maya wants, and the girls just drift further apart.
In Mirror to Mirror, the once-close sisters can’t seem to find their rhythm, so they make a bet: they’ll switch places at their summer camp, and whoever can keep the ruse going longer will get to decide where they both attend high school—the source of frequent arguments. But stepping into each other’s shoes comes with its own difficulties, and the girls don’t know how they’re going to make it.
Rajani will read onstage from 12:30 – 1:00 pm
Sophia N. Lee grew up in the Philippines. She wanted to be many things growing up: doctor, teacher, ballerina, ninja, crime-fighting international spy, wizard, time traveler, journalist, and lawyer. She likes to think she can be all these things and more through writing. She is the author of Soaring Saturdays; What Things Mean, which won a Scholastic Asian Book Award’s grand prize; Holding On; and Lolo’s Sari-Sari Store.
For one girl, summers used to mean helping Lolo run his sari-sari store, which was always brimming with goods for the neighborhood: shampoo packets for Ate Jane, rice and eggs for Tonton, and a sympathetic ear for anyone who needed it. “Sari-sari means a good variety—just look around and you’ll see. What help can you give your community?” Lolo would say, as he filled his shelves with what people would need.
Now that she’s far from the Philippines, she misses Lolo and the friendly faces that surrounded his sari-sari store. But when she remembers her grandfather’s words, her heart keeps Lolo close, and she starts to see opportunities for connection and community in her new home.
Peter Lerangis’s 175 books have sold nearly seven million copies and been translated into 35 languages. His nine New York Times bestsellers include The Seven Wonders fantasy-adventure series and the multi-author 39 Clues series. Recent novels include the Jules-Verne-inspired Max Tilt series and the time-travel Throwback trilogy. His books often appear as Junior Library Guild and Bank Street selections, and he won an American Library Association Schneider Award for the YA novel Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am. His novel Smiler’s Bones, based on a true story, was honored as a N.Y. Public Library Best Books for Teens. Lerangis was one of three authors, along with R. L. Stine and Marc Brown, invited by the White House to represent the U.S. in the first Russian Book Festival in 2003.
Lerangis is a popular speaker who has spoken at schools around the U.S. and the world. He’s also performed on Broadway, run a marathon, rock-climbed in Yosemite during a 6.1 earthquake, and graduated Harvard with a degree in biochemistry. But not all on the same day! He lives in New York City with his wife, singer/songwriter Tina deVaron.
What if you could, along with just a few others, actually time travel? And what if you were the ONLY one with the power to change the past? Would you try to hop back to 9-11 to keep your late grandmother from going to work that fateful day? Or to early 1900s Vienna to keep the world’s most murderous dictator from coming to power? Would you risk doing something that prevented your own self from being born? Welcome to the mind-blowing world of Corey Fletcher and Leila Sharp in Peter Lerangis’s trilogy, Throwback!
Peter will read onstage from 12:00 – 12:30 pm
Julie Leung was raised in the sleepy suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, though it may be more accurate to say she grew up in Oz and came of age in Middle-earth. By day, she is the marketing director for Random House’s sci-fi/fantasy imprint, Del Rey Books. By night, she writes to calm the ghosts from the past. In her free time, she enjoys furtively sniffing books at bookstores and winning at obscure board games. Her favorite mode of transportation is the library. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and many untold stories.
Brought to life with lavish and ornate illustrations, The Truth About Dragons follows a young child on a journey guided by his mother’s bedtime storytelling. He ventures into two very different forests, as his two grandmothers help him discover two different, but equally enchanting, truths about dragons. Eastern and Western mythologies coexist and enrich each other in this warm celebration of mixed cultural identity.
Suzy Levinson is a New York–based children’s author and poet. Her work has been published in many magazines, including Highlights, Cricket, and the School Magazine, as well as in poetry anthologies including A World Full of Poems, I Am a Jigsaw, and Shaping the World. Animals in Pants is her debut picture book.
What? You’ve never seen animals in pants? A dog in yoga pants, a goat in overalls, a yak in slacks? Animals in Pants presents a parade of impeccable poems about animals wearing perfectly pressed pants.
Steve Light is the creator of many picture books, including Have You Seen My Dragon?, Have You Seen My Monster?, and Road Trip! A Whiskers Hollow Adventure, which School Library Journal described in a starred review as “a near-perfect story that invites children to look at its pages and make connections.” Among his board books are Black Bird Yellow Sun; Mama Tiger, Tiger Cub; and Up Cat Down Cat. About A Spider Named ITSY, he says, “As a child singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” I always wondered: ‘Why does the spider go up the waterspout, not once—but twice?’” He lives in New York City.
Everyone knows the rhyme “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” We know about the climb up the waterspout, the washout, the return of the sun, and the determined climb back up the spout—again. Generations of children have sung this beloved verse and mastered its accompanying twisty finger play. But what sent the tiny spider on his upward trek to begin with? What happened along the way—and where is Itsy now? Light, with his meticulously rendered, highly detailed pen, ink, and watercolor illustrations and an endearing cast of insect characters, riffs on a classic as he offers some surprising answers, ushering us into a charming tale of perseverance, kindness, and community. And it all starts when a branch falls from a tree.
Alex London is the author of over 25 books for children, teens, and adults with over two million copies sold. He’s the author of the middle-grade Dog Tags, Tides of War, Wild Ones, and Accidental Adventures series, as well as two titles in The 39 Clues. For young adults, he’s the author of the acclaimed cyberpunk duology Proxy, and the epic fantasy trilogy, The Skybound Saga. A former journalist covering refugee camps and conflict zones, he can now be found somewhere in Philadelphia, where he lives with his husband and daughter.
Search and Rescue is a taut and harrowing depiction of the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the Pentagon, alternating between a boy caught in the chaos and the rescue dog who’s attempting to save him.
Twelve-year-old Mikey is doing a school project on the Pentagon, where his father works as a civilian contractor. Mikey has been given special permission to visit his dad’s office and do some research on the facility, all for a class report. At first he finds the tour strangely tame — until all the TVs across the office space begin showing the attacks on the Twin Towers. Like everyone, Mikey is transfixed and horrified by what he’s seeing. Then, the world around him explodes.
Sage is an 18-month-old border collie and search-and-rescue dog. He’s been training since he was a young pup, and is eager for his first official mission. Sage is confident in his skills, perhaps even too confident. But today those skills will be put to a dire and tragic test.
Thrust together on one of the darkest days in American history, Mikey and Sage are both still young. But they’ll do everything they can to help — and to survive.
Called a “YA rebel-author” by Kirkus Reviews, Barry Lyga has published 27 books in various genres in his career, including the New York Times bestseller I Hunt Killers. After graduating from Yale with a degree in English, Lyga worked in the comic book industry before quitting to pursue his lifelong love of writing. In 2006, his first novel, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, was published to rave reviews, including starred reviews from Booklist and School Library Journal. His second young adult novel, Boy Toy, received starred reviews in SLJ, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus. VOYA gave it its highest critical rating, and the Chicago Tribune called it “… an astounding portrayal of what it is like to be the young male victim.” Since then, Lyga has written a plethora of other novels, including the origin of the supervillain Thanos for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a six-book Flash series based on the hit television show. Lyga lives near New York City with his wife, the author Morgan Baden, their nigh omnipotent daughter, and their preternaturally chill son. His comic book collection is a lot smaller than it used to be, but is still way too big.
As a threat looms large at the end of Time itself, the Flash, his Kryptonian allies, and the Green Arrow seek help from the leading experts on time travel, the Legends of Tomorrow. Meanwhile, Cisco has been taken by a mysterious figure, and Owlman (the evil Batman from another universe) plans to make the universe his own. Based on the hit TV series and comic books, The Flash Crossover Crisis is an action-packed adventure which takes you to the end of the universe …. and beyond!
Torrey Maldonado was born and raised in Brooklyn’s Red Hook projects. He has taught in New York City public schools for over 25 years and his fast-paced, compelling stories are inspired by his and his students’ experiences. His popular young readers novels include What Lane?, which won many starred reviews and was cited by Oprah Daily and the New York Times for being essential to discuss racism and allyship; Tight won the Christopher Award, was an ALA Notable Book, and an NPR and Washington Post “Best Book of the Year”; and his first novel, Secret Saturdays, has stayed in print for over ten years. His newest book, Hands, is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection, won a starred School Library Journal review and amazing reviews from Horn Book, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly, and is a “Best New Book of 2023.”
Featured title: Hands
In Hands, Trev would do anything to protect his mom and sisters, especially from his stepdad. But his stepdad’s return stresses Trev—because when he left, he threatened Trev’s mom. Rather than live scared, Trev takes matters into his own hands, literally. He starts learning to box to handle his stepdad. But everyone isn’t a fan of his plan, because Trev’s a talented artist, and his hands could actually help him build a better future. And they’re letting him know. But their advice for some distant future feels useless in his reality right now. Ultimately, Trev knows his future is in his hands, and his hands are his own, and he has to choose how to use them.
Janae Marks is the New York Times best-selling author of From the Desk of Zoe Washington, A Soft Place to Land, and On Air with Zoe Washington. She has an MFA in writing for children from The New School, and lives in Connecticut with her family.
On Air with Zoe Washington continues the story of Zoe, who was first introduced in From the Desk of Zoe Washington. Now 14 years old, Zoe is determined to help her recently exonerated father, Marcus, achieve his dream of opening a restaurant—all while raising awareness around life after incarceration, navigating changing friendships, and of course, baking!
Wendy Mass is the New York Times best-selling author of 30 books for young readers (which have been translated into 26 languages and nominated for 91 state awards), including the Schneider Family Book Award-winner A Mango-Shaped Space, the bestselling Willow Falls and Candymakers series, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life (which was made into a feature film), and Bob (co-authored with Rebecca Stead). Wendy’s hobbies include geocaching, virtual reality, and learning magic tricks. Lo & Behold is her graphic novel debut. She lives with her family in New Jersey.
When you’re named after a 250-year-old tortoise, you grow up believing life is full of possibilities and wonder. But ever since Addie’s family got turned upside down, those things have been harder for her to see.
The last thing Addie wants to do is make a new friend, but when her dad’s summer job takes them across the country, she meets Mateo and finds herself caught up in an exciting project. With the help of a virtual reality headset, she’s suddenly scaling castle walls, dodging angry kittens, and seeing the world in whole new ways. Plus, she has an idea that could be bigger than anything she’s imagined before. But can she right some wrongs first . . . or is it too late? Lo & Behold is an unforgettable graphic novel about connection, friendship, and the wonder all around us.
Mr. Jay (Miletsky) is a reformed marketing entrepreneur who has shifted his focus to the far more challenging and exciting world of children’s book writing. He is the best-selling author of Ricky, the Rock that Couldn’t Roll, The Bear and the Fern, Patrick Picklebottom, and many others. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Amanda, daughter Bria, and son Oakland (yes, named after the town in New Jersey, where he grew up!), who are the inspirations behind his books.
Ricky, the Rock that Couldn’t Roll is a modern-day classic that follows 14 lovable rocks (and one wise little ladybug) on a heartwarming and hilarious journey. The book is universally loved by children, parents, and teachers alike.
From zippy little pebbles to big strong boulders, the rock friends get together to play and roll around their favorite hill, only to find that one of their friends, Ricky, can’t roll with them. Unlike all of the other rocks, who are all round, Ricky can’t roll because he’s flat on one side. Determined not to leave their friend behind, the rocks set out to help Ricky roll — one way or another.
Gregory Mone is the author of several best-selling works of fiction and nonfiction for both adults and children, including the New York Times bestsellers Bill Nye’s Great Big World of Science, the Jack and the Geniuses series (with Bill Nye), and Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry (with Neil DeGrasse Tyson), along with Atlantis: The Accidental Invasion and Atlantis: The Brink of War. He is a contributing editor at Popular Science and an award-winning science writer. A graduate of Harvard College, he lives with his family on Martha’s Vineyard.
In Sea of Gold, twelve-year-old Fish—nicknamed for his skill as a swimmer—never intended to become a pirate. For starters, he’s just a kid from a poor farming family, and second, he absolutely hates to fight. But after his parents send him to work as a courier, one of his deliveries is stolen, and as Fish hurries to get it back, he’s captured by a ship of scalawags. And the mysterious package? It’s the key to locating the Chain of Chuacar, a legendary treasure.
Swabbing the deck of the Scurvy Mistress, Fish will have to earn the trust of the fortune-obsessed captain and learn the ropes from the rest of the crew, including a boy encyclopedia on all things piracy, a tough-as-nails young thief, and a fearless girl with knives up her sleeves. Yet with mutiny on the horizon and a ruthless first mate testing him at every turn, Fish isn’t sure he’ll survive, let alone find the Chain. Armed only with wit, courage, and determination, Fish leads his new friends in the fight of their young lives and a hunt for the hidden gold.
Barbara Nass grew up in Brooklyn, New York, married, and raised her son in New Jersey. There, the family enjoyed hiking New Jersey’s scenic park trails, a woodland habitat she used as the setting for Fix and Stitch, her debut picture book. A tech executive, whose career roots began in early childhood education, Barbara will forever treasure those moments when her students first learned to read. Barbara now lives with her partner in Manalapan, New Jersey.
The birds are heading south, the last of the leaves are on the ground, and winter is coming. Squirrel, the tailor, must prepare his winter home before it’s too late. Instead, he’s tending to the needs of his woodland neighbors, each with their own amusing dilemma. One good deed leads to another and another as he simply can’t say no. What will happen to Squirrel as he keeps putting himself last? Fix and Stitch is a humorous and heartwarming tale. While young readers will delight in this story of a clever tailor and his ingenious designs, this story offers life lessons in balancing empathy and kindness with attending to one’s own needs. An author’s note opens the door for adults to have this discussion.
Sarah Maslin Nir is a Pulitzer Prize–nominated New York Times reporter and the author of Horse Crazy: The Story of a Woman and a World in Love with an Animal. Flying Horse is her first book with Cameron Kids. She lives and works in New York City.
Trendsetter is a horse destined to fly—in more ways than one. Sarah is a horse-loving seventh grader who has a secret and a fear of losing the thing she loves most in the world.
Separated by an ocean, a horse and a girl’s parallel struggles to be their best include lots of luck and grit, some stubbornness, and a few failures. It is only when they find each other that the two kindred spirits find themselves. Together they learn that what’s important in life isn’t greatness—it’s being great at being you.
Inspired by a real horse and a real girl, The Flying Horse, first in the Once Upon a Horse series, will make horse-lovers’ hearts soar.
Lee Paige O’Brien (he/they) is an author and literary agent from New York, where he writes queer fantasy books about strange magic and monsters of all kinds.
In this YA fantasy debut, Rat Evans, nonbinary heir to one of the oldest magical bloodlines in New York, doesn’t cast spells anymore. For as long as Rat can remember, they’ve been surrounded by doorways no one else sees and corridors that aren’t on any map. Then one day, they opened a passage and found a broken tower in a field of weeds—and something followed them back. When Rat is accepted into Bellamy Arts, all they want is a place to hide and to make sure they never open another passageway again. But when the only other person who knows what really happened last year—Harker Blakely, the dangerously gifted trans boy who used to be Rat’s closest friend—turns up on campus, Rat begins to realize that Bellamy Arts might not be as safe as they’d thought. And the tower might not be through with them yet. Soon, Rat finds themself caught in a web of secrets and long-buried magic, with their friend-turned-enemy at their throat. But the closer they come to uncovering the truth about the tower, the further they’re drawn toward the unsettling powers that threaten to swallow them whole.
George O’Connor is the New York Times bestselling author of Olympians, the series of graphic novels featuring the tragic, dramatic, and epic lives of the Greek Gods. His first graphic novel, Journey into Mohawk Country, pushed the boundaries of the genre, using as its sole text the actual historical journal of the seventeenth-century Dutch trader Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert. He also illustrated acclaimed playwright Adam Rapp’s Ball Peen Hammer. He teamed up with writer Daniel G. Newman on Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy, the first volume in the World Citizen Comics series. George is also the creator of popular picture books such as the New York Times bestselling Kapow! and If I Had a Triceratops. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
In Olympians Dionysos, the final volume of the Olympians graphic novel series, O’Connor focuses on Dionysos, the god of wine and madness. Dionysos is the last Olympian, and maybe, just maybe, the first of a new type of God. His story is told by the first Olympian herself, Hestia, Goddess of the hearth and home. From her seat in the center of Mt. Olympus, Hestia relates the rise of Dionysos, from his birth to a mortal mother, to his discovery of wine, his battles with madness and his conquering of death itself, culminating, finally, in his ascent to Olympus and Godhood.
Adriana Erin Rivera is a New Jersey-raised author of Puerto Rican descent. Her writing has been published in Barzakh Magazine, Metro New York, Latina Magazine, and Footwear News. She is also a singer and songwriter and has written theatrical pieces that have been performed on New York City stages. A magna cum laude graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, she holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising and marketing communications. Currently based in Westchester County, New York, she is a marketing manager at a higher-education institution in New York.
Paloma’s Song for Puerto Rico: A Diary from 1898 is created in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Latino. It is 1898, and 12-year-old Paloma lives in Puerto Rico with her Papi, Mama, and little brother, Jorge. They are coffee farmers, and Paloma loves the goats, chickens, and fruit trees that she helps to care for. She also loves music—the song of the coqui frogs who sing her to sleep, and the melodies from Papi’s tiple guitar. But Paloma’s world begins to change when United States soldiers invade Puerto Rico, long controlled by Spain. What will happen to their farm, their culture, the island? As Paloma and her family navigate changes they can’t control, they hold tightly to each other and hope for a better future. In diary format, the Nuestras Voces series profiles inspiring characters and honors the joys, challenges, and outcomes of Latino experiences.
Julia Sarcone-Roach won a 2016 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor Award for her breakout hit, The Bear Ate Your Sandwich. She also wrote and illustrated There Are No Bears in This Bakery and Subway Story and illustrated Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty. Julia grew up in Arlington, Virginia, studied film and animation at the Rhode Island School of Design, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she paints pictures, tames squirrels, and keeps her eyes peeled for bears.
In The Ice Cream Vanishes, Squirrel is an expert at making acorns disappear. But making some ice cream vanish?! “I put it right there! On that hot rock in the sun!” When Squirrel returns with Bear and finds the ice cream gone, they know there is only one explanation—Squirrel is a magician! Determined to replicate this feat, Squirrel and Bear follow the ice cream truck … and put on a show every forest animal will remember forever. With a text that begs to be read aloud and lush paintings filled with humor, Sarcone-Roach creates magical mayhem and a story so delicious, kids will be begging for second helpings.
Rachel Vail is the multiple-award-winning author of more than 40 books for young people. Her most recent novels are Bad Best Friend and Well, That Was Awkward for teens, and the A Is For Elizabeth series for kids. Her picture books include Piggy Bunny and Sometimes I’m Bombaloo, along with its brand-new sequels Sometimes I Grumblesquinch and Sometimes I Kaploom. Rachel lives in NYC with her husband, their two sons, and a tortoise named Lightning.
Katie Honors is a really brave kid. She can go to bed with just one small night light. She can hold her tears in when it’s time to say goodbye to her mom at school. But sometimes Katie isn’t ready to say goodbye and doesn’t feel brave at all. When this happens, she Kaplooms! She refuses to let go of her mom, and everything is flurried as she begins to cry. Her emotions feel frightening. It’s not the Katie Honors she wants to be. But her mother assures Katie that she can be both brave and sad, brave and crying, brave and scared.
Sometimes I Kaploom masterfully explores how hard it can be for children when they’re nervous or scared and have to transition to new places and faces when they just don’t feel quite ready. In another poignant, honest, and insightful story, readers learn along with Katie that bravery and fear are not mutually exclusive.
Rachel will read onstage from 11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Colleen AF Venable is the author of indie bestseller Katie the Catsitter graphic novel series with Stephanie Yue, as well as the National Book Award Longlisted Kiss Number 8, a graphic novel co-created with Ellen T. Crenshaw. Her other books include Mervin the Sloth Is About to Do the Best Thing in The World with Ruth Chan, The Oboe Goes Boom Boom Boom with Lian Cho, and the Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye series, also with Stephanie Yue.
What’s better than BFFs? Super sidekick BFFs! Katie can’t wait to have Beth join her for sidekick training! Until … it turns out Beth might be a way better sidekick than Katie! And now Beth and Marie are hanging out all the time, Jess is acting super weird, and Katie still needs to tell her mom about being a sidekick. Oh yeah, and giant robots are attacking the city. So, that’s not great. Can Katie and 217 super-unusual cats work together to save the city (and seventh grade)? Or is Katie about to be in super trouble? Bonus: Katie the Catsitter includes instructions to make your own friendship bracelet!
Colleen will read onstage from 11:00 am – 11:30 am
Jessica Vitalis, a Columbia MBA-wielding writer, authored The Wolf’s Curse and a standalone companion novel, The Rabbit’s Gift (which received a School Library Journal starred review). Her next book, Coyote Queen, arrives on October 10, 2023 and an unnamed standalone novel in verse comes out in 2024. Her work has been translated into three languages, and she was named a 2021 Canada Council of the Arts Grant Recipient and featured on CBC’s Here and Now and CTV’s Your Morning. Jessica spent part of her childhood in Wyoming, where a giant, rusted-out boat sat in her backyard and howling coyotes kept her awake at night. She now lives in Canada with her husband and two daughters.
After putting her own spin on traditional Grim Reaper mythology in The Wolf’s Curse, Vitalis set her sights on creating a stand-alone companion novel exploring the exact opposite of death. Inspired by the world’s first female filmmaker, Alice Guy-Blanché, and her 1900 black and white silent film, La Fée Aux Choux, (created after the 1896 original, arguably the world’s first narrative film, was lost or ruined), Vitalis created a unique fantasy world in which babies are grown, harvested, and delivered by rabbits.
Told in dual points of view, The Rabbit’s Gift is set in a country governed by the belief that science upsets the natural order. The story features a rabbit and a twelve-year-old aspiring botanist in a feud that puts the entire country in peril. A blend of STEM and magic, the narrative shines light on the delicate balance between man and nature. Continuing the theme of friendship established in The Wolf’s Curse, The Rabbit’s Gift also shines light on familial expectations, working together for the common good, and the power of perspective in storytelling.
Kathleen Wilford is the author of the middle-grade historical novel Cabby Potts, Duchess of Dirt, called a “rousing read” by Kirkus Reviews. She’s a former high school and middle-school English teacher and currently teaches writing at Rutgers University. Lately, she’s had a blast leading “So You Want to be an Author” workshops for kids at schools and libraries. Kathleen loves reading, writing, mowing the lawn, and anything chocolate chip.
Kansas, 1875. Twelve-year-old homesteader Cabby Potts is an outdoor kind of girl with an “intemperate tongue,” as her Ma puts it. When she’s forced to work as a housemaid at a grand English manor down the railroad line from her sod house, she’s desperate to escape but equally desperate to save her family’s struggling homestead. So, she plays matchmaker between her older sister and the rich young lord of the manor. When her impulsive scheme backfires, Cabby must solve a mystery and use her voice to stand up for her family, a Native American friend, and an entire community threatened by land-grabbers. Cabby Potts, Duchess of Dirt is a tale of the prairie with humor and heart and a touch of romance.
Alysa Wishingrad writes fantastical stories for young readers, tales that ask: Is the truth really true? Her favorite stories are those that meld the historical with the fantastic, and that find ways to shine a light on both the things that divide and unite us all.
She is the author of Between Monsters and Marvels and The Verdigris Pawn, which was a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.
Alysa lives in the Hudson Valley with her family and two demanding rescue dogs and a cat-shaped dog, who are either monsters or marvels, depending on the day.
Dare Coates is sure of it. No drifter or ruffian could have killed her father, the Captain of the Guard, while he was on patrol. But everyone insists that monsters have been gone for years now: Dare’s mother. Her classmates. Even the governor, who swiftly marries her mother just months after her father’s death. Dare’s suspicions grow even stronger when the governor suddenly ships her off to the mainland, away from any hope of uncovering the truth about her father’s death.
Or so she thinks.
But when Dare finds solid proof that monsters still exist she starts to question everything she’s always known. Was her father who she thought he was? Who can she trust? Where is the line between good and evil?
The truth hides behind danger and deception.
But with the help of an unlikely crew of cohorts and a stray beastie, nothing will stop Dare from finding out what happened to her father and exposing who the real monsters are.
Hyewon Yum is an author and illustrator of many picture books, including Lion Needs A Haircut and Grandpa Across the Ocean. Her book Saturday Is Swimming Day is named as a Charlotte Zolotow award honor, and Mom, It’s my First Day of Kindergarten! received the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator award. She also illustrated Not Little, Luli and the Language of Tea and many more. She was born and grew up in Seoul, Korea, and now she lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family.
Sometimes the small disappointments and inconveniences in kids’ days can feel much bigger than they are. And when they start multiplying … oh, what a bad day it can become! Told in a series of dramatic odes to a day’s annoyances, Ode to a Bad Day lets children and caregivers alike find the humor and compassion in the days that could have gone better—and encourages readers to look forward to a better day … tomorrow.
Wendy Supron, Chair
Caroline Kincaid Godfrey
Pat Kennedy Grant
Diane Naughton Washburne
Linda Hellstrom, Founder
Wendy Supron, Chair