As anyone who’s spent any time with a young child knows, kids are pros at asking questions—so we’ll offer a Sneak Peek quiz about this year’s stellar lineup of authors for young people!
Our first picture book author’s voice might be most familiar to R&B fans, especially if you remember her single “1 Thing” that was featured in the Will Smith film Hitch. She’s a true triple (sextuple?!) threat: singer, songwriter, record producer, actress, dancer, and author Amerie! She’ll present her empowering picture book You Will Do Great Things. As if she weren’t busy enough, Amerie has somehow found time to launch her own book club!
She might have a familiar last name (and a trailblazing aunt), but this author and entrepreneur (and fellow book club founder) is making a name for herself, with the #1 NYT bestseller Ambitious Girl and her own media company, Phenomenal: it’s Meena Harris, whose new picture book A Is for Ambitious reclaims words often used to undermine girls and women from A to Z and gives young readers the vocabulary they’ll need to take on the world!
Graphic novels for kids are as hot as it gets, and we’ve got two virtuosos of the craft joining us this May, this time giving glimpses into their own teenage years in graphic memoirs. One won the Caldecott Medal for The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend and is well-known for collaborating with folks from Minh Lê to Mo Willems to Ahmet Zappa. It’s the amazing Dan Santat, of course, whose A First Time for Everything tells a true story about a middle school class trip to Europe that transformed his life.
Younger kids might know this next graphic novelist from his phenomenally successful Lunch Lady and Jedi Academy series—and their older siblings might recognize his first graphic memoir for teens, Hey, Kiddo, which racked up a slew of awards and nominations. It’s the multi-talented Jarrett J. Krosoczka, whose new memoir Sunshine about a life-changing summer as a camp counselor just might give Hey, Kiddo a run for its money in the awards department!
If you’re a fan of this author (or of the K-pop and K-drama that inspires her romantic comedies), you might already be holding your breath awaiting the adaptations of I Believe in a Thing Called Love and Somewhere Only We Know, coming soon to Netflix. Who is this rising star? Maurene Goo, whose new novel Throwback is being described as “Back to the Future meets The Joy Luck Club,” as a Gen Z Korean American girl goes back in time to the 1990s to help her mom win homecoming queen.
This author is no stranger to book festivals—after all, she is a co-director of YALLFEST and the co-founder of YALLWEST, the largest festivals devoted to young adult literature. And she’s recently started her own imprint at Disney Publishing, too! We have no idea where she finds the time to write, but we’re glad she does—it’s Melissa de la Cruz, whose new novel, The Headmaster’s List, is a twisty thriller.
Our YA program has thrills galore, thanks to authors like this one, who first worked in the video game industry before turning to writing full time. Who is this author of smash hit series like Legend, The Young Elites, and Warcross? It’s Marie Lu, whose fun new romantic spy thriller, Stars and Smoke, is set in the glamorous world of pop music superstardom.
This author didn’t waste any time—her debut novel, Firekeeper’s Daughter, won the 2022 Printz Award (YA’s highest honor!) and was a selection of Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club. Now she’s back with its companion, Warrior Girl Unearthed. We’re thrilled to have Angeline Boulley join our lineup to share more about what’s got to be one of the most anticipated books of this spring.
We mentioned thrills, but how about chills? We’ll have those, too! This author’s debut collection of horror stories grounded in Cherokee legends received a staggering six starred reviews and recently won the prestigious Walter Award. Who is it? Andrea L. Rogers, whose Man Made Monsters will certainly keep you up at night.
Elsewhere at the fest, our stupendous youth program will feature hands-on STEM experiments, art activities, and all-ages sessions on food, travel, magic, imagination, and so much more!