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Middle Grade: Solving Big Problems

Small, but mighty! This session will feature young protagonists tackling big problems with the spirit and determination of a butterfly flying against the wind. In Cathy Camper’s Lowriders to the Rescue, Lupe, Flapjack, and Elirio must join…
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Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle

The little girl at the center of Nina LaCour’s picture book debut loves nothing more than to have her Mama on one side and her Mommy on the other. When Mommy goes away on a work trip, everything feels off-kilter, until she finds a creative…
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Alphabet Rockers: You Are Not Alone

Oakland's Alphabet Rockers, two-time Grammy nominees for Best Children's album, will bring the community together in true Rockers fashion at the Festival’s official kick-off event on Saturday. Centered on togetherness, the group will present…
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I Am the Dream: Voices of a New Generation

Now in its second year, Write Your Story is an exciting year-long program that brought creative writing masterclasses and artistic mentorship to young women of color, ages 12 to 18, a fantastic collaboration of the festival with Cinnamongirl,…
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Natasha Miller: Relentless

From a homeless shelter for youth to the Inc. 5,000 list of fastest growing companies in America, Natasha Miller’s Relentless is a raw and powerful memoir about one woman’s tenacity in breaking free from an abusive childhood, the irreversible…
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(Big) Cats and Dogs

We might not answer the age-old debate of cats vs dogs in this session—but why would we want to, when both are so incredible? With naturalist and educator Tyus D. Williams, we’ll find out what some magnificent big cats—from mountain lions…
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Werewolves and Monster Slayers: Transforming Horror in YA

If you’re dying to read about a rag-tag team of powerful young women with a side of killer fun, you’re in the right place. In Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s graphic novel debut Squad, Becca longs to be popular at her new school, and winds up finding…
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Write the Future with 826 Valencia

In this session, you will hear writing from 826 Valencia’s Black Literary Achievement Club (BLAC) about who they are, where they come from, and the issues they care about. BLAC strives to cultivate an intentional space for Black students to…
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YA: Rumors and Lies

You may have heard the rumors . . . and they’re all true. YA authors Dhonielle Clayton and E. Lockhart will be spilling the beans about how words can be more deadly than they seem. Set in a lavish preparatory school, Dhonielle Clayton’s…
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Black Panthers: Inherit the Revolution

When Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale first met at Oakland’s Merritt College in 1966, history was made. They formed the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, and ended up rocking the world with a revolutionary vision whose legacy still burns…