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 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.
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.
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.
Tui T. Sutherland
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.
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.
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