At our in-person festival, our youth programming is an outdoor playground-for-the-senses where imaginations run wild, kids fall in love with reading, and middle-graders and teens take the stage to interview their favorite authors and present their own creative work.

In these socially distanced times, our youth programming may look a little different. But no matter how we get there, the destination is the same: immersion in a world of creativity and learning.

  • #UNBOUND Youth puts kids in the spotlight and gives them the confidence and tools to shine bright. Among our many programs are youth writing contests and creative-writing workshops, including our newest mentorship program for girls of color, Write Your Story, in collaboration with Cinnamongirl Inc. Supporting us is an investment in our kids’ futures and leadership. Donate to support this work today!

Discover the #UNBOUND magic!

For the little ones

Our StoryTime Circle weaves a joyful spell for the youngest readers, in a bite-sized, visually captivating format that’s perfect for little attention spans. It’s so much more than sitting and listening. In our StoryTime Circles, authors and illustrators join up to give little fans a front-row seat to how their picture books are made.

Bonus: every program includes a fun activity!

Paint a snail with awesome illustrator Cindy Derby. Make music and tap dance with Shawn Harris and draw a frog with Colin Meloy. Do the “draw a really, truly, extra special difficult word” with Jim Averbeck and Yasmeen Ismail! Or dive into the Here Comes Ocean activity kit, in English and in Spanish, with Meg Fleming and Paola Zakimi. And so much more.

For teen and middle-grade bookworms

Our virtual Young Readers Stage empowers teen interviewers to moderate conversations with famous, bestselling authors like Lois Lowry and Jan Terlouw. Watch these young people hold their own (and then some) with some of the most exciting authors publishing today.

Teens talk about how hope triumphs over violence with Randy Ribay and Romina Garber. Brave womxn like Ellen Hopkins and Anna Marie McLemore open up about their personal stories. Girls Garage’s Emily Pilloton and Caroline Paul show young women  everything about girls, guts and gadgets. Voting rights? Yes! Voting rights. Hear all about them from Dr. Carol Anderson, Elisabeth Rusch, and Jeff Fleischer.

Award-winning author Ernesto Cisneros and Kate O’Shaugnessy talk about courage and heart in adversity, and Nikki Shannon Smith and Innosanto Nagara discuss what it takes to have justice for all. Do you want to start your own business? Learn what it takes from Brian Weisfeld.

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“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”  –Dr. Seuss