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Sunday, October 20 • 3:00pm - 4:00pm
YA/Speculative Fiction Keynote: Akwaeke Emezi

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The people of the town of Lucille live blessed lives; years ago, heroes known as angels chased away all of the monsters, and kids like Jam and her best friend Redemption have grown up without the kinds of threats that kept their parents and grandparents in fear. Jam’s mother Bitter tells her that “monsters” and "angels” aren’t like the ones she might have seen in old books; “It’s all just people, doing hard things or doing bad things.” But Jam starts to wonder about that when a frightening creature in her mother’s latest painting comes to life. The creature asks Jam to call it Pet, and says that it’s on a mission—to hunt and kill the monster that, Pet claims, is lurking unseen in Redemption’s otherwise love- and happiness-filled home. That’s the evocative premise of Pet, award-winning author Akwaeke Emezi’s debut novel for young readers, which has already been longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and received a host of starred reviews, including one from Kirkus Reviews, which writes, “This soaring novel shoots for the stars and explodes the sky with its bold brilliance.” Like the best speculative fiction, Pet is rich in metaphor and surreal imagery, but Emezi’s slim novel also engages with real-world issues--from gender to domestic abuse to civic and personal responsibility--in concrete ways that will feel both relevant and urgent for readers of all ages. Emezi will be interviewed by children’s literature critic and educator Nicholl Montgomery—you won’t want to miss their enthralling conversation.

avatar for Nicholl Montgomery

Nicholl Montgomery

Nicholl Montgomery is currently a PhD candidate and teaching fellow in the curriculum and instruction department at Boston College. She teaches undergraduate and graduate literacy courses. Before attending Boston College, Montgomery taught middle school and high school English for... Read More →

avatar for Akwaeke Emezi

Akwaeke Emezi

Akwaeke Emezi is a fiction writer, memoirist, and visual artist whose debut novel, Freshwater, is currently in early development for a television series on FX. A 2018 National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree, Emezi has had work appear in The Cut, Buzzfeed, and Vogue.com... Read More →

Sunday October 20, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
Dewitt Center Gym 122 Dewitt Dr, Boston, MA, 02120