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Great News about THE BRIDGE HOME!

Thank you to Padma Venkatraman for sharing exciting news about THE BRIDGE HOME! It is a global read-aloud contender. 

And, THE BRIDGE HOME just received a starred review from Kirkus. Kirkus Reviews, in a Starred Review, calls THE BRIDGE HOME “a blisteringly beautiful book.” 

Four determined homeless children make a life for themselves in Padma Venkatraman’s stirring middle-grade debut.

Life is harsh in Chennai’s teeming streets, so when runaway sisters Viji and Rukku arrive, their prospects look grim. Very quickly, eleven-year-old Viji discovers how vulnerable they are in this uncaring, dangerous world. Fortunately, the girls find shelter–and friendship–on an abandoned bridge. With two homeless boys, Muthi and Arul, the group forms a family of sorts. And while making a living scavenging the city’s trash heaps is the pits, the kids find plenty to laugh about and take pride in too. After all, they are now the bosses of themselves and no longer dependent on untrustworthy adults. But when illness strikes, Viji must decide whether to risk seeking help from strangers or to keep holding on to their fragile, hard-fought freedom.

“Readers will be captivated by this beautifully written novel about young people who must use their instincts and grit to survive. Padma shares with us an unflinching peek into the reality millions of homeless children live every day but also infuses her story with hope and bravery that will inspire readers and stay with them long after turning the final page.”–Aisha Saeed, author of the New York Times Bestselling Amal Unbound

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The Illustrated Middle Grade #KidLitCon2019 Panel

The Illustrated  Middle Grade #KidLitCon2019 Panel
The Illustrated Middle Grade

Pictures aren’t just for little kids!  Illustrations can be an important part of books for older readers too.  This session talks about how the illustration process works, how illustrations add value to even text heavy books, how illustrations impact a book’s kid appeal, and how reviewers can think critically and usefully about the illustrations and their interplay with the text. 

Christopher Denise

he/him

Christopher Denise is an award-winning children’s book illustrator and visual development artist. His first book, a retelling of the Russian folktale The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, was pronounced “a stunning debut” by Publishers Weekly. Since then, Chris has illustrated more than twenty-five books for children, including Firefly Hollow by Alison McGhee; Following Grandfather by Rosemary Wells; Oliver Finds His Way by Phyllis Root; Baking Day at Grandma’s by his wife, Anika Denise; and some in Brian Jacques’ acclaimed Redwall series. His books have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list and have been recognized by Bank Street College of Education, Parents’ Choice Foundation, and the Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition. Christopher Denise lives in Rhode Island with his family. His website is http://christopherdenise.virb.com/

Christopher Denise

Chris Tebbetts

he/him

Chris Tebbetts is the author and co-author of many books for young readers.  Titles include the #1 New York Times bestselling MIDDLE SCHOOL series with James Patterson and illustrator Laura Park; the New York Times bestselling STRANDED series with Jeff Probst; and the forthcoming YA novel, ME, MYSELF, AND HIM (Delacorte, July 2019). His work has received children’s choice awards in Oregon and Hawaii, as well a Sunshine State Young Readers Award nomination, and a nod on the New York Public Library’s annual list of Books For the Teen Age. He is a native of Yellow Springs, Ohio, and currently lives in Hinesburg, Vermont.  His website is http://christebbetts.com/

Chris Tebbetts

Kelly Murphy

she/her

Kelly Murphy grew up in the swamps of southern New England, so it’s no mystery why mystical and dark things still have a strong hold on her. Working predominantly with traditional and mixed media, Kelly places great emphasis on value and color to create a connection with her audience. With over forty books under her belt, she currently serves as a senior faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design.  Her website is https://www.kelmurphy.com/

Kelly Murphy

Moderator

Anamaría Anderson

she/her

Anamaría Anderson (moderator) is a writer, translator, and reviewer of children’s books. Currently a member of the USBBY Outstanding International Books award committee (2018-2020), she has also served on the 2014-2016 Quicklists Consulting Committee and the 2014 Batchelder Award Committee.  She has a special interest in diverse, international, and translated books for kids as well as books about art, museums, and…magic. In her other life, Anamaría is a museum educator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Sometimes, happily, the two intersect.

Anamaría Anderson

Join us March 22-23 for KidLitCon 2019!

The Illustrated  Middle Grade #KidLitCon2019 Panel

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Teaching, Evaluating and Promoting Books about Social Justice #KidLitCon2019 Panel

Teaching, Evaluating and Promoting Books about Social Justice #KidLitCon2019 Panel

Teaching, Evaluating and Promoting Books about Social Justice #KidLitCon2019 Panel

Powerful stories that deal with social justice issues allow kids to empathize with characters and act as tools to help them better understand complex situations. Three authors share tips about how to evaluate books with social justice themes in terms of accuracy and appeal to young readers, how to use them to educate readers, and how to promote the good ones to as wide an audience as possible, as well as talking about how to write and translate them!

Lyn Miller-Lachmann

she/her

Lyn Miller-Lachmann is the author of three novels for teens—Gringolandia, Surviving Santiago, and Rogue—and the translator, from Portuguese to English, of The World in a Second, Lines Squiggles, Letters, Words, The Queen of the Frogs, Olive the Sheep Can’t Sleep, and Three Balls of Wool (Can Change the World). Gringolandia—the story of a refugee teenager from Chile under the Pinochet dictatorship and his relationship with his father, a just-released political prisoner—was an Américas Award Honor Book and selected for the ALA/YALSA Best Books for Young Adults list in 2010. She reviews for The Pirate Tree and blogs on travel, politics, and writing at www.lynmillerlachmann.com.

Lyn Miller-Lachmann

Kip Wilson

she/her

Kip Wilson is the author of White Rose, a YA novel-in-verse about anti-Nazi political activist Sophie Scholl coming April 2, 2019 with HMH’s Versify imprint. White Rose is a 2017 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award winner and a 2019 Winter/Spring Indies Introduce title. Kip holds a Ph.D. in German Literature and is the poetry editor at YARN (Young Adult Review Network).

Kip Wilson

Padma Venkatraman

she/her

Padma Venkatraman was chief scientist on oceanographic vessels and spent time under the sea and in five countries before becoming an American author. Her novels,  A TIME TO DANCE, CLIMBING THE STAIRS and ISLAND’S END, were all released to multiple starred reviews and won several honors and awards. Her latest novel, THE BRIDGE HOME, is available for pre-order and will hit the shelves in February 2019. Visit her at www.padmavenkatraman.com or on twitter @padmatv.

Padma Venkatraman

Moderator

Laura M. Jiménez

she/her

Laura M. Jiménez (moderator) is a lecturer at Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. Her work spans both literature and literacy, with a special interest in graphic novel reading comprehension and issues of representation in young adult literature. Her scholarship appears in The Reading Teacher, Journal of Lesbian Studies, Teaching and Teacher Education, and the Journal of Literacy Research. Her graphic novel reviews, and calls for social justice in children’s literature can be found on her blog, https://booktoss.blog/ and on her frequent Tweets @booktoss.

Laura M. Jiménez

Join us March 22-23 for KidLitCon 2019!

Teaching, Evaluating and Promoting Books about Social Justice #KidLitCon2019 Panel

 

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The Frightful Fantastic in Middle Grade #KidLitCon2019 Panel

Fantastic Darkness in Middle Grade #KidLitCon2019 Panel

The Frightful Fantastic

Fantasy fiction often gets to go to the kind of perilous places that realistic fiction for middle grade readers can’t even approach. Dead and undead characters, evil antagonists and twisted magic are enjoyed by many young readers. What does frightening content give kids and teens, and how can fantasy put peril to work in telling stories? How much scariness is “age appropriate”, and how can gatekeepers (librarians, teachers, booksellers) know when it becomes too much for readers?

 

David Nielsen

he/him

David Nielsen is the author of two Middle Grade horror/comic/fantasies published by Crown Books for Young Readers: Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom (2016) and Beyond the Doors (2017). A classically trained actor, David works as a professional storyteller based in Sleepy Hollow, NY and spends much of October spooking the bejeebers out of people or performing one of his one-man shows inspired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft. He lives with his wife, son, daughter, and two very domineering cats. Learn more about David on his website

David Nielsen

Antoine Revoy

he/him

Antoine Revoy is a French writer, illustrator and graphic novelist. Born in Paris, France, Revoy was raised in Tokyo, Japan and Mexico City, Mexico. He is the author of the horror story/detective fiction graphic novel ANIMUS, published by First Second Books in May 2018, and has created illustrations for international clients such as The New York Times, Scholastic and Der Spiegel. Revoy also teaches art and storytelling classes at his alma mater, the Rhode Island School of Design, and is a thesis advisor for the School of Visual Arts in New York. He lives in Providence, RI, with his talented wife, award-winning author-illustrator Kelly Murphy, and their many beloved animal companions.  Learn more at his website

Antoine Revoy

S.R. Toliver

she/her

S.R. Toliver is pursuing a Ph.D. in Language and Literacy Education at The University of Georgia with an emphasis in reading education, literature, and language arts (6-12). Her current research is based in the critical tradition, analyzing young adult speculative fiction in an effort to promote social justice and equity in the English classroom. Within this research area, she focuses on representations of and responses to people of color in speculative fiction texts to discuss the implications of erasing youth of color from futuristic and imaginative contexts. Toliver’s research interests include speculative fiction, narrative analysis, Afrofuturism, and Black girl literacies.

S.R. Toliver

Tui T. Sutherland

she/her

Tui T. Sutherland is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Wings of Fire series, the Menagerie trilogy, and the Pet Trouble series, as well as a contributing author to the bestselling Spirit Animals and Seekers series.  She was named after a New Zealand bird, and in 2009, she was a two-day champion on Jeopardy!  She lives in Massachusetts with her family and two dogs.  Visit her online.

Tui T. Sutherland

Moderator

Paula Willey

she/her

Paula Willey (moderator) is a librarian and critic in Baltimore. A member of the 2019 Printz Award Committee, she reads picture books, graphic novels, prose novels, nonfiction, or her yogurt container if none of the above is available. Find her online at unadulterated.us or somethingwickedcomesofage.tumblr.com.

Paula Willey

Join us March 22-23 for KidLitCon 2019!

Fantastic Darkness in Middle Grade #KidLitCon2019 Panel

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Solving Great Mysteries #KidLitCon2019 Panel

Solving Great Mysteries #KidLitCon2019 Panel

Solving Great Mysteries

This panel will give you all the clues you need to unlock great mysteries for young readers!  How does the mystery format differ from other sub-genres, and how does this affect which young readers will find mysteries most appealing, and how mysteries can be effectively used in classrooms?  How much violence is acceptable in a mystery for kids–and how, for instance, are guns portrayed?  How much realism do kids want/need in a mystery story, and how can/should adult gatekeepers suspend their own disbelief when realism goes flying? And finally, what’s the state of mysteries for kids today with regards to real world issue, like gender and diversity? 

Sheela Chari is the author of FINDING MIGHTY, a Junior Library Guild Selection and Amazon Best Book of the Month selection; and VANISHED, an APALA Children’s Literature Honor Book, Edgar finalist for best juvenile mystery, and Al’s Book Club Pick on the Today Show. She teaches creative writing at Mercy College and lives with her family in New York.  Visit her online at www.sheelachari.com

Sheela Chari KidLitCon2019

Erin Dionne’s latest novel for tweens is Lights, Camera, Disaster (Scholastic 2018). She’s written 5 other books for young readers. Her first picture book, Captain’s Log: Snowbound (Charlesbridge), released in November 2018. She teaches at Montserrat College of Art and lives outside of Boston with her husband, two children, and a very indignant dog.  

Erin Dionne KidLitCon2019 Mystery Panel

David A. Kelly is the author of the Ballpark Mysteries series from Random House, in which cousins Kate and Mike solve mysteries at different major league ballparks, and the Most Valuable Players (MVP) series from Random House, in which a group of elementary school kids have adventures playing different sports. Mr. Kelly is also the author of Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse and the picture book Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and Secret Mud that Changed Baseball. In addition, he has written about travel and technology for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Sun Times, and many other publications. For more information or a free Skype session, visit www.davidakellybooks.com.

David A. Kelly KidLitCon2019

Diana Renn (moderator) is the author of three YA mysteries: Tokyo Heist, Latitude Zero, and Blue Voyage (all published by Viking / Penguin) as well as co-author of an adult thriller, False Idols (Serial Box / Adaptive Books). She works at Author Accelerator, managing a team of thirty book coaches who work with writers to develop their stories from concept to completion. She also teaches writing workshops at Grub Street, most recently a workshop on crafting the middle grade / young adult detective. You can learn more at www.dianarennbooks.com and at www.authoraccelerator.com

Diana Renn KidLitCon 2019 Mystery Panel

Join us March 22-23 for KidLitCon 2019!

Solving Great Mysteries #KidLitCon2019 Panel

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“You can’t say that in MG” panel #KidLitCon2019 Panel

"You can't say that in MG" panel #KidLitCon2019 Panel

“You can’t say that in MG” panel 

Middle grade fiction covers a wide variety of complex and weighty topics, that in previous years might have pushed books up onto the Young Adult shelves.  How do authors cover such topics while keeping their books “middle grade?”  What are examples of books where this is done well, and how can gatekeepers (librarians, teachers, booksellers, publishers, parents) both identify these books and justify curating them?  The importance of addressing tough issues, and what issues and topics might still be considered “taboo”, will also be discussed.

Paula Chase

she/her

Paula Chase, MG/YA author and Inclusion Jedi, is the co-founder of The Brown Bookshelf, a website dedicated to showcasing under-the-radar authors of color. Since her 2007 debut, Chase’s mission has been to ensure books by and featuring people of color are consistently curated and promoted, as well as give readers a peek into the many facets of Black culture. Her Del Rio Bay Clique series was part of Kensington Book’s inaugural young adult line. Chase’s middle grade debut, So Done, ushers in an era of MG fiction that focuses on topics formerly considered taboo for younger readers.

Paula Chase

Jo Knowles

she/her

Jo Knowles is the author of Still a Work In Progress, Read Between The Lines, Living With Jackie Chan, See You At Harry’s, Pearl, Jumping Off Swings, and Lessons from a Dead Girl. Her newest middle-grade novel, Where The Heart Is, will be published in April. Jo’s awards include a New York Times Editor’s Choice and Notable Book, the PEN New England Children’s Book Discovery Award, an American Library Association Notable, Bank Street College’s Best Books for Children (Outstanding Merit), and YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults. Jo’s books have also appeared on numerous state award lists. Jo lives in Vermont with her husband and son.

Jo Knowles

Ann Braden

she/her

Ann Braden writes books about kids struggling to find their voice amidst the realities of life. Ann’s debut middle grade novel The Benefits of Being an Octopus received a starred review from School Library Journal and was described by Newbery award-winner Karen Hesse as “a compassionate look at poverty, hard choices, and defending one’s right to be treated humanely.” Ann founded both GunSenseVT, a grassroots group focused on championing the common ground on the issue of guns in Vermont, and the Local Love Brigade, which now has chapters all over the country sending love postcards to those who are facing hate. Ann is a former middle school teacher, the co-host of the children’s book podcast, “Lifelines: Books that Bridge the Divide,” along with Pakistani American author Saadia Faruqi, and one of the co-organizers of #KidsNeedMentors. Ann lives in southern Vermont with her husband, two children, and two insatiable cats named Boomer and Justice.

Ann Braden

Barbara Dee

she/her

Barbara Dee is the author of nine middle grade novels, all published by Aladdin/S&S. Everything I Know About You has been called “poignant and often hilarious” by Kirkus Reviews, “a strong  addition to library collections” by School Library Journal, “honest and engaging,” by PW, and is a Junior Library Guild selection. Barbara’s two 2017 releases have received much attention. Halfway Normal, which earned starred reviews from Kirkus and SLJ,  is a 2018 ILA Young Adult Choice Reading List pick, a 2018 CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, a Dorothy Canfield Fisher Vermont State list pick, a 2018-19 Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading Award finalist, an ALA Booklist pick (“Surviving Middle School”), and a Junior Library Guild selection. Star-Crossed is a 2018  ALA Rainbow List Top Ten, a 2018 CCBC Choice for Fiction, a 2018 CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People,  a 2018 Goodreads Choice finalist, and listed on several Best of 2017 lists, including those by the Chicago Public Library, King County (Washington State) Library and Cleveland Heights (Ohio) Library. Maybe He Just Likes You, a “middle school MeToo,” will be published by Aladdin/S&S Fall 2019.  Barbara is one of the founders of the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival. She lives in Westchester County, New York.

Barbara Dee

Varian Johnson

he/him

Varian Johnson is the author of nine novels, including The Parker Inheritance, which received four starred reviews and was named a 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book, a Junior Library Guild selection and a Spring 2018 Kids’ Indie Next List pick among other accolades. His middle grade caper novel, The Great Greene Heist, has been named to over twenty-five state reading and best-of lists. In addition, Varian has written numerous novels and short stories for YA audiences. He was born in Florence, South Carolina, and attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received a BS in Civil Engineering. He later received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he now serves as a member of the faculty. Varian lives outside of Austin, TX with his family. To learn more, visit his website.

Varian Johnson

Katy Kramp (moderator)

she/her

Katy Kramp has been a public librarian since 2002, currently at the Plymouth District Library in Michigan, and a book blogger since 2004.  She has been a Round 1 panelist for the Cybils Awards five times, serves on the board of the Plymouth-Canton Community Literacy Council and is a proud Girl Scout leader. She has presented on Diversity in Youth Literature with friend and colleague Nakenya Lewis-Yarbrough at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit and the Michigan Library Association’s Spring Institute.  She holds an MSI from the University of Michigan and lives in Ypsilanti with her love and their two children. You can find her book reviews on line at http://alibrarymama.com.

Katy Kramp

Join us March 22-23 for KidLitCon 2019!

"You can't say that in MG" panel #KidLitCon2019 Panel

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Diverse Fantasy in the Real World #KidLitCon2019 Panel

Diverse Fantasy in the Real World #KidLitCon2019 Panel

Diverse Fantasy in the Real World

Middle grade fantasy set in the real world can be a great escape for young readers, but just as importantly, it can offer new ways of seeing what is “real,” bringing attention to critical issues and making visible histories that maybe aren’t part of the standard curriculum.   And of course it’s important that we have books with diverse protagonists to reflect the diversity of the real world; every kid should have the chance at magic!  As well as addressing diversity gaps in fantasy, and how to fill them, this panel considers what makes good real world fantasy—how much magic do kids want? What stories resonate, and with whom? And how do gatekeepers know when the fantastical elements in a story warrant putting the little unicorn sticker on the spine, or when the magical realism of a particular culture falls on the side of realistic fiction?

Zetta Elliott (Dragons in a Bag, 2018)

she/her

Born in Canada, Zetta Elliott moved to the US in 1994 to pursue her PhD in American Studies at NYU. Her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. She is the author of thirty books for young readers, including the award-winning picture books Bird and Melena’s Jubilee. Her own imprint, Rosetta Press, generates culturally relevant stories that center children who have been marginalized, misrepresented, and/or rendered invisible in traditional children’s literature. Elliott is an advocate for greater diversity and equity in publishing.

Zetta Elliott

Anna Meriano (the Love Sugar Magic series—A Dash of Trouble, 2018 and A Sprinkle of Spirits, 2019)

she/her

Anna Meriano grew up in Houston with an older brother, a younger brother, and a large network of aunts, uncles, and cousins spreading across the state of Texas. She graduated from Rice University with a degree in English, and earned her MFA in creative writing from the New School in New York. Anna has taught creative writing and high school English and currently works as a tutor for students of all ages across Houston. In her free time she loves knitting, playing full-contact quidditch, and singing along to songs in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language.

Anna Meriano 

Rajani LaRocca (Midsummer’s Mayhem, 2019)

she/her

Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives eastern Massachusetts with her wonderful husband, two brilliant kids, and an impossibly cute dog. After receiving both a BA and an MD from Harvard, she now practices medicine and writes middle grade novels and picture books. Her debut middle grade, MIDSUMMER’S MAYHEM, is a foodie Indian-American story inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the hours she’s spent watching TV baking competitions.

Rajani LaRocca

S.R. Toliver (moderator)

she/her

S.R. Toliver is pursuing a Ph.D. in Language and Literacy Education at The University of Georgia with an emphasis in reading education, literature, and language arts (6-12). Her current research is based in the critical tradition, analyzing young adult speculative fiction in an effort to promote social justice and equity in the English classroom. Within this research area, she focuses on representations of and responses to people of color in speculative fiction texts to discuss the implications of erasing youth of color from futuristic and imaginative contexts. Toliver’s research interests include speculative fiction, narrative analysis, Afrofuturism, and Black girl literacies.

S.R. Toliver

Join us March 22-23 for KidLitCon 2019!

Diverse Fantasy in the Real World #KidLitCon2019 Panel

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Reaching Readers: Part 2 Getting Your Book Into the Hands of Kids #KidLitCon2019 Panel

Reaching Readers: Part 2 Getting Your Book Into the Hands of Kids (gatekeepers perspectives)

Reaching Readers: Part 2 Getting Your Book Into the Hands of Kids (gatekeepers perspectives)

This panel continues the discussion on how to reach readers from the perspectives of librarians, teachers, and booksellers.  How do you get the right book to the right kid? What strategies help you figure out what makes a book “right”? Gender, diversity, politics and economics all come into play, making these simple questions a lot more complicated than they might seem at first!

 Melissa Fox

she/her

Melissa Fox is the Children’s Event Coordinator at Watermark Books & Cafe, an independent bookstore in Wichita, KS. She is an avid, omnivorous reader and has been blogging at Book Nut for 14 years. 

Melissa Fox

Cindy Rodriguez

she/her

Hi! I’m Cindy L. Rodriguez, the author of the young adult novel When Reason Breaks, (Bloomsbury 2015). I also have an essay in the anthology Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles (Simon Pulse 2018). Before becoming a teacher, I worked as a reporter for The Hartford Courant and as a researcher for The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team. I have degrees from the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University, and two teaching certifications. I am also a founder of and blogger at Latinxs in Kid Lit. I live in Connecticut with my family, and I’m a big fan of the three Cs: coffee, chocolate, and coconut. You can find me atcindylrodriguez.com.

Cindy Rodriguez

Sam Musher

she/her

Sam Musher has been a middle school librarian for fourteen years, first at the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, MA, and now in the Cambridge Public Schools. Her home is in Somerville, MA (or Boston, if you’re from outside the area). She’s committed to sharing diverse and deeply compassionate books with all kids. Follow her reviews and read-alike suggestions on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ParentheticalSam

sam mushner

Carla Molina

she/her

Carla Molina is a high school librarian in Rhode Island where she marries her love of reading and building community. When not in the stacks, she’s a single mom of two dynamic daughters and has a low key super power for connecting people. Carla has had a lifelong obsession with storytelling that’s led her to blog for the Huffington Post and Latina magazine, take the stage with Listen To Your Mother twice, and support other single parents through a new project she’s joined called Avail. She’s currently gone down the Craigslist rabbit hole to decorate her new home and is working on a children’s book about the Pedro Pan airlift as a way to honor her Cuban roots.

Carla Molina

Karen Yingling

she/her

Karen Yingling (moderator) is a middle-aged, middle school librarian in the Midwest with a blog that concentrates on middle grade literature, http://msyinglingreads.blogspot.com 

karen yingling

Join us March 22-23 for KidLitCon 2019!

Reaching Readers: Part 2 Getting Your Book Into the Hands of Kids (gatekeepers perspectives)

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Person, Pacing, and Presentation: What makes a good comic/graphic novel? #KidLitCon2019 Panel

Person, Pacing, and Presentation: What makes a good comic/graphic novel? #KidLitCon2019 Panel

Person, Pacing, and Presentation: What makes a good comic/graphic novel

Comics promote visual literacy as well as reading enjoyment and problem-solving skills. They stand apart because of the interplay between text and image, working together to create the larger narrative. This session unpacks the anatomy and design of graphic novels, and how illustrations enhance the text and vice versa. You’ll never look at comics the same way again!

Mel Schuit

she/her

Mel Schuit is a picture book enthusiast with an MA in Children’s Literature, an MFA in Writing for Children, and a BA in Studio Art. In addition to Let’s Talk Picture Books, Mel is active on Instagram at @ltpbexchange  where she hosts a quarterly series of one-on-one picture book swaps and @kidlitpickswhere she co-hosts a monthly themed picture book club. Mel is also a member of the Children’s Book Council’s Graphic Novel Committee and a contributing reviewer for The Comics Journal.

Mel Schuit

Alex Graudins

she/her

Alex Graudins is the cartoonist behind The Brain book of First Second’s middle grade Science Comics series. Currently hiding out in li’l Rhode Island, she holds a BFA in Cartooning from the School of Visual Arts and has done work for sites like The Nib and CollegeHumor. She has a penchant for memoirs and narratives that tackle the topics of anxiety and friendship.”  Visit her at  http://toonyart.com/

Alex Graudins

LeUyen Pham

she/her

LeUyen Pham is the creator of over one hundred books for kids, including The Princess in Black series by Shannon and Dean Hale, Grace for President, by Kelly DiPucchio, Freckleface Strawberry by actress Julianne Moore, and Vampirina Ballerina by Anne Marie Pace, now a Disney Channel series. Her own books include Big Sister, Little Sister, A Piece of Cake, and The Bear Who Wasn’t There.  She recently collaborated with Mo Willems on his Elephant and Piggy Present series with her title The Itchy Book.  She has also illustrated several graphic novels, including Real Friends by Shannon Hale.  LeUyen lives in California with her lovely husband (who is also an artist), her two adorable boys, and a cat named Sardine. More information can be found on her website.

LeUyen Pham

Laura M. Jiménez

she/her

Laura M. Jiménez  is a lecturer at Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. Her work spans both literature and literacy, with a special interest in graphic novel reading comprehension and issues of representation in young adult literature. Her scholarship appears in The Reading Teacher, Journal of Lesbian Studies, Teaching and Teacher Education, and the Journal of Literacy Research. Her graphic novel reviews, and calls for social justice in children’s literature can be found on her blog, https://booktoss.blog/ and on her frequent Tweets @booktoss.

Laura M. Jiménez

Join us March 22-23 for KidLitCon 2019!

Person, Pacing, and Presentation: What makes a good comic/graphic novel? #KidLitCon2019 Panel