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Young Adult [clear filter]
Saturday, October 19

11:00am EDT

YA Keynote: Marie Lu
Fans have long hoped for another book in the Legend series and Marie Lu, as usual, has not disappointed. With her latest release, Rebel, we get even more out of familiar characters and have new light shed on others. We’re beyond ecstatic to host Marie Lu as our YA Keynote! In its review of Rebel, Publishers Weekly says that "this tale of intrigue, alliances, and love will draw Legend fans and new readers into a fascinating world whose combined layers of privilege and surveillance draw comparisons to many present-day social ills." While the Legend series followed the romantic relationship between Day and June, Rebel focuses more on the brother relationship between Day and Eden, which adds a new dimension to already familiar relationships. Day is focused on keeping Eden safe, even at the cost of Day’s relationship with June. This story of interwoven relationships, politics, and change is sure to tug at the heartstrings and keep eager readers on the edge of their seats. Between Lu’s unmatched ability to craft suspense and her signature cinematic storytelling, Rebel is sure to satisfy Lu’s many eager and patient fans! Bring those burning questions you’ve been dying to ask the legendary writer herself and join moderator Siân Gaetano, children’s and YA editor at Shelf Awareness, in conversation with Marie Lu. Sponsored by Simmons University.

avatar for Siân Gaetano

Siân Gaetano

Siân Gaetano is the children’s and YA editor at Shelf Awareness, which publishes newsletters for general readers as well as book professionals. She started the Horn Book Podcast and has worked as a book reviewer, publicity assistant, and reader of manuscripts for Arthur A. Levine... Read More →

avatar for Marie Lu

Marie Lu

Marie Lu is the young adult author of the Legend Series, which the New York Times describes as a series that “doesn’t merely survive the hype, it deserves it.” Her works also include the Young Elites trilogy; the Warcross series; the seventh book of the Spirit Animals series... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
Old South Sanctuary 645 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

11:45am EDT

YA: Historical Fiction
In their recent novels, these three authors combine historical research with their storytelling skills to shed new light on some of the defining moments of the twentieth century. Julie Berry elevates Lovely War to the realm of myth, as Greek gods Apollo, Aphrodite, and Ares grapple over the fates of four mortals enmeshed in the First World War. Among the many starred reviews received by the novel is one from Kirkus Reviews, which calls the novel “An unforgettable romance so Olympian in scope, human at its core, and lyrical in its prose that it must be divinely inspired.” World War II is the focus of Kip Wilson’s debut novel White Rose, which uses free verse narrative to capture the inner struggles and courage of young members of a Nazi resistance movement. In a starred review, Kirkus called White Rose an “intense, bone-chilling reading experience.” Finally, Susan Kaplan Carlton’s In the Neighborhood of True takes readers to 1950s-era Atlanta, where a Northern transplant must navigate anti-Semitic sentiments while also making sense of her own romantic desires while, according to Publishers Weekly’s starred review, “the humidity and tension ris[e] with each chapter.” Helping us travel back in time is moderator James Kennedy, founder of the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival and author of the novel The Order of Odd-Fish.

avatar for James Kennedy

James Kennedy

James Kennedy is the founder and curator of the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival, annually screened in cities across the United States, where kid filmmakers create movies that tell the entire story of a Newbery Medal–winning book in 90 seconds of less. The award-winning The Order... Read More →

avatar for Julie Berry

Julie Berry

Julie Berry is the award-winning author of children’s, middle-grade, and young adult books such as The Emperor’s Ostrich, The Passion of Dolssa, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, All the Truth That’s in Me, and many others. Her latest, The Lovely War, was praised... Read More →
avatar for Kip Wilson

Kip Wilson

Kip Wilson is a Massachusetts-based young adult writer and editor. Her work has won her honors like the PEN New England Discovery Award and been included on the Kids’ Indie Next List. Her latest book, White Rose, a historical novel-in-verse about anti-Nazi political activist Sophie... Read More →
avatar for Susan Kaplan Carlton

Susan Kaplan Carlton

Susan Kaplan Carlton is a long-time magazine writer published in Elle, Mademoiselle, Seventeen, Self, Parents, and other publications. She also writes historical young adult novels such as Love & Haight, a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, and her latest, In the Neighborhood of True... Read More →

Saturday October 19, 2019 11:45am - 12:45pm EDT
BPL Teen Central 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

1:30pm EDT

YA: Love and Relationships
Being a teenager means navigating new, exciting, and sometimes confusing relationships wherever you go—whether that’s in an amusement park or on a road trip. The talented novelists in this session take readers on eventful journeys into first love and other relationships. In The Revolution of Birdie Randolph, Stonewall Award winner Brandy Colbert writes about a girl who strives to be perfect in her parents’ eyes—until she starts falling for a boy who’s anything but. Jennifer Dugan’s Hot Dog Girl is a funny and charming queer romance set at the failing Magic Castle Playland amusement park. In Kristina Forest’s I Wanna Be Where You Are, a ballet dancer is determined to get to an audition, so she embarks on a road trip with her annoying (but undeniably cute) neighbor. Rachel Gold’s In the Silences finds gender-seeking teen Kaz tentatively embracing first love while also confronting racism in their small town. And in poet Morgan Parker’s debut YA novel Who Put This Song On?, the relationship her protagonist (also named Morgan) struggles to define is the one with herself, contending with anxiety and depression while learning to embrace her identity as a quirky black girl in a predominantly white town. Our host for this session of must-read new novels is Amy Pattee of Simmons University.

avatar for Amy Pattee

Amy Pattee

Amy Pattee is an associate professor at Simmons University, where she teaches children's and young adult literature. After completing her master's in library science at Rutgers University, Pattee worked as a children's librarian. She received her doctorate in library and information... Read More →

avatar for Morgan Parker

Morgan Parker

Morgan Parker is a Pushcart Prize–winning poet, novelist, and nonfiction writer. Her publications include There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, and most recently, the poetry collection Magical Negro and the YA novel Who Put This Song On?
avatar for Kristina Forest

Kristina Forest

Kristina Forest is a writer who currently works in children’s book publishing. She earned her MFA in creative writing with a concentration in writing for children at The New School. Her first novel, I Wanna Be Where You Are, published in June 2019. It’s a heartwarming young adult... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer Dugan

Jennifer Dugan

Jennifer Dugan is a young adult and comic writer based in upstate New York. Publishers Weekly called her debut young adult novel, Hot Dog Girl, “relatable and funny.”
avatar for Rachel Gold

Rachel Gold

Rachel Gold is the award-winning author of Just Girls and Being Emily, the first young adult novel to tell the story of a trans girl from her perspective. Penny Mickelbury says that “young teens gravitate to Rachel Gold’s novels with good reason: she gets them.” Her latest work... Read More →
avatar for Brandy Colbert

Brandy Colbert

Brandy Colbert is the award-winning author of young adult novels Little & Lion, Finding Yvonne, and Pointe. Her short fiction and essays can be found in several critically acclaimed anthologies for young people. She is a faculty member at Hamline University’s MFA writing for children... Read More →

Saturday October 19, 2019 1:30pm - 2:45pm EDT
BPL Teen Central 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

3:15pm EDT

YA: Warrior Girls
If you’re in search of drama and adventure, you won’t want to miss this! The authors whose books we explore in this session all feature kickass heroines conquering the biggest challenges the world can throw at them. Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy dream up a futuristic queer reincarnation of the Arthurian legend, and (spoiler alert) this time the Once and Future King is a girl named Ari. Fans of Westworld won’t want to miss Charlotte Nicole Davis’s bold debut, The Good Luck Girls, which finds a group of socially marginalized young women teaming up as outlaws in a reimagined Old West. In Rory Power’s debut Wilder Girls, when the planet has gone haywire and turned (literally) monstrous, female strength and solidarity is the only thing that can save the day . . . maybe. And in Brittney Morris’s debut Slay, the demon to slay is a troll--in this case an online troll, intent on taking down the hard work of a talented black girl video game developer. Educator Monique Harris will be our host for this hour celebrating powerful and resilient heroines.

avatar for Monique Harris

Monique Harris

A transplant from San Francisco, Monique Harris graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature in 1997. She earned her teaching credential in Moderate Disabilities from the University of San Francisco in 2003. A special education... Read More →

avatar for Amy Rose Capetta

Amy Rose Capetta

Amy Rose Capetta is a science fiction, fantasy, and mystery writer. Her books include Entangled and Unmade, two novels comprising a space opera; The Brilliant Death and its sequel, The Storm of Life; and Echo After Echo, a murder mystery. Her book Once & Future, a collaboration with... Read More →
avatar for Charlotte Nicole Davis

Charlotte Nicole Davis

Charlotte Nicole Davis is the debut author of the young adult novel The Good Luck Girlsl. Described as Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale, the book is hailed by New York Times–bestselling author Dhonielle Clayton as “a dust-filled, bloody fairytale.” Davis is a graduate of... Read More →
avatar for Cori McCarthy

Cori McCarthy

Cori McCarthy is a young adult novelist, editor, picture book writer, and author of You Were Here, Now a Major Motion Picture, and Breaking Sky, which is soon to be developed by Sony Pictures. Their most recent release, Once & Future, is a collaboration with author Amy Rose Capetta... Read More →
avatar for Rory Power

Rory Power

Rory Power’s debut novel is the critically acclaimed Wilder Girls, a feminist Lord of the Flies meets Annihilation retelling. She grew up in New England, but received a Masters in Prose Fiction from the University of East Anglia across the pond. Power moved back home and currently... Read More →
avatar for Brittney Morris

Brittney Morris

Brittney Morris is the author of Slay, a young adult novel that follows a teenage video game developer as she takes on a real-life troll which Entertainment Weekly deemed the “YA debut we’re most excited for this year.” Her work has appeared in The Boston University Chimaerid... Read More →

Saturday October 19, 2019 3:15pm - 4:15pm EDT
BPL Teen Central 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116
Sunday, October 20

12:00pm EDT

A Whole New World: Creating a Sense of Place in Fiction
In this interactive, hands-on workshop with award-winning author Mitali Perkins, participants will learn how to weave together the three strands of plot/emotion, place, and character into a single, gripping scene. They will be equipped to engage the five senses in creating a sense of place to transport readers directly into the scene. Participants will write in class and get feedback on the spot from the instructor in a guided, positive discussion.

avatar for Mitali Perkins

Mitali Perkins

Mitali Perkins is the children’s author of Bamboo People, Rickshaw Girl, and You Bring the Distant Near, which was longlisted for the National Book Award. In 2019, Perkins has two new publications. Forward Me Back to You is a young adult novel about trauma, healing, and social justice... Read More →

Sunday October 20, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT
Dewitt Center Arts & Crafts Room 122 Dewitt Dr, Boston, MA, 02120

2:00pm EDT

YA: The Best-Laid Plans
Part of growing up is figuring out what to do when life throws you a curveball--or even a wild pitch. Do you duck? Try to catch it? Or just let it go and see what happens next? In this session, four YA authors present stories about situations that don’t quite follow the playbook. Even non–sports fans will find something to enjoy in Eric Kester’s YA debut, Gut Check; Wyatt knows he’s not going to be able to follow the path forged by super-athletic older brother. Instead, Wyatt needs to figure out what role he’s meant to play in his economically challenged, football-obsessed hometown. In Nandini Bajpai’s lighthearted US debut, A Match Made in Mehendi, called “a sweet and quirky romance” by Kirkus Reviews, a Punjabi American girl decides to capitalize on her family’s matchmaking credentials by creating a new dating app for teens--but things start to backfire when a mean girl gets an unwanted match. BBF favorite Tami Charles is back with a companion to last year’s Like Vanessa; in Becoming Beatriz, a teenage Puerto Rican gang leader in Newark starts to imagine her life as a dancer after tragedy strikes and she becomes disillusioned with gang life. Finally, in National Book Award winner Thanhha Lai’s YA debut, Butterfly Yellow, a young Vietnamese refugee in search of her brother crosses paths with an aspiring Texas cowboy, and the odd couple team up on a surprising journey. Did writing these four exciting new novels go exactly according to plan, we wonder? Come hear from the authors themselves in a conversation and Q&A led by Akunna Eneh, BPL Dudley Branch programs and community outreach librarian.

avatar for Akunna Eneh

Akunna Eneh

Akunna Eneh began her librarian career with the Boston Public Library almost ten years ago as a teen librarian for the Dudley Branch. Currently, she is the programs and community outreach librarian for the Dudley Branch. Eneh has also been a part of an outreach program to teens in... Read More →

avatar for Nandini Bajpai

Nandini Bajpai

Nandini Bajpai grew up in New Delhi, India in a big family full of readers. She is the author of Red Turban White Horse, Starcursed, and Rishi and the Karmic Cat. Her American debut, the young adult contemporary, A Match Made in Mehendi, is a “winning romance” (Publishers Weekly... Read More →
avatar for Tami Charles

Tami Charles

Tami Charles is a writer of picture books, nonfiction, young adult and middle grade books including the lauded Fearless Mary and the Definitely Daphne series. Her debut middle grade novel, Like Vanessa, earned Top 10 spots on the Indies Introduce and Spring Kids' Next lists, three... Read More →
avatar for Eric Kester

Eric Kester

Eric Kester is the bestselling author of That Book About Harvard, a comedic memoir about Kester’s years as an undergraduate. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Huffington Post, the Boston Globe, and the Harvard Crimson, where as a student he wrote a column. Kester’s... Read More →
avatar for Thanhha Lai

Thanhha Lai

Thanhha Lai is a National Book Award–winning children’s author. With an MFA from New York University, she began her writing career as a reporter for the Orange County Register before shifting to fiction, publishing short stories in magazines and literary journals. In 2005, she... Read More →

Sunday October 20, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
Dewitt Center Classroom 122 Dewitt Dr, Boston, MA, 02120

3:00pm EDT

YA/Speculative Fiction Keynote: Akwaeke Emezi
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