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Events for Children and Young Adults

Fostering the importance of literacy and encouraging the joy of literature in a young person's life is an important part of the Southern Festival of Books. 

The children's and young adult programs at the Festival are great opportunities for librarians, educators, and parents to seek and find the newest releases in all genres, old favorites, and hot discussion topics. All ages will find something they love at the Southern Festival of Books. 

Children's and young adult authors from the 2014 program:

  • Tracy Barrett is the author of twenty books for young readers and one book for adults. She holds a bachelor's degree with honors in medieval Italian literature from the University of California, Berkeley. A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study medieval women writers led to the writing of her young adult novel Anna of Byzantium, which received numerous awards and honors, including being named a Booklist Editors' Choice book, a Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Book and an ALA Quick Pick. Follow her on Twitter: @WritingTracy or online. The Stepsister's Tale
  • Cory Basil is an American author, painter and filmmaker. Blending gothic romanticism with modern poetic rhythm, Basil's poems trust emotional honesty over the dubious truths to be gleaned from appearances. This philosophy also reigns in his paintings, where he conjures with a renaissance artist's reverence for colour and light, revealing the soul of a baroque spectacle. The Perils of Fishboy
  • Betsy Bird is the youth materials collections specialist for the New York Public Library and the author of Giant Dance Party, illustrated by Brandon Dorman. In addition to writing for The Horn Book magazine, she is the creator of the blog A Fuse #8 Production. Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature
  • Ashley Bramlett was born and raised in Prattville, Alabama. She is a 1995 graduate of Montgomery Academy, a 2001 graduate of the University of Mississippi, a 2006 graduate of Nashville School of Law and now makes her home in the Music City with her husband and their three children.Writing has been a constant in her life since long before her elementary school days, and she credits much of her love for the written word to her time spent reading and weaving yarns amongst the wild ferns and winding trails of her very own rural Alabama countryside. Otis Goes To School
  • Box Brown is an Ignatz Award-winning American cartoonist best known for the comic Bellen! and the winner of a Xeric Grant for the comic Love Is a Peculiar Type of Thing. A passionate proponent of the serial comics format, Brown runs the micropress Retrofit, dedicated to supporting independent serial comics work. His most recent book is Andre the Giant, Life and Legend. He is also a life-long professional wrestling fan. Andre the Giant: Life and Legend
  • Shannon L. Brown loved reading mysteries as a kid. She still does, but now she's excited that she gets to write them too. When she isn't in the middle of a mystery, she likes to hike, shop, and bake. Originally from Alaska, she now lives in Tennessee with her professor husband. She enjoys writing at her desk with her calico cat Evie on her lap. The Feather Chase
  • Julie Danielson is a regular contributor to Kirkus Reviews, and in her blog, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, she has featured and/or interviewed hundreds of top names in picture books. Julie Danielson lives in Tennessee. Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature
  • James Dean and Kimberly Dean sat down at their kitchen table to work on a children's book together. Their dream has finally become a reality with the release of the new Pete the Cat book, Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses. Both left corporate jobs in the late nineties (James was an electrical engineer; Kimberly worked in the press office of the governor of Georgia) to pursue their passion for art, and they have experienced a life made up of strange and wonderful coincidences ever since. Pete the Cat has brought magic into their lives. They work in side-by-side studios in Savannah, sharing their home with five cats and Emma the pug. Pete the Cat and the New Guy
  • Elizabeth O. Dulemba is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator with two dozen titles to her credit. She gives back to the community that supports her, serving as Illustrator Coordinator for the SCBWI Southern region, as a board member for the Georgia Center for the Book, and as Visiting Associate Professor at Hollins University in the MFA Children's Book Writing and Illustrating program. She also teaches writing and illustration at other venues and speaks regularly at schools, festivals, and events. A Bird on Water Street
  • Helene Dunbar usually writes features about fiddles and accordions when she's not writing fiction. She's lived in two countries and six states, and is currenlty holed up in Nashville with her husband, daughter, two cats and the world's friendliest golden retriever. These Gentle Wounds
  • Susan Eaddy has illustrated over 80 educational books and covers in many different media, has won awards for her paper sculpture and received a Grammy Award Nomination for the art direction of the Los Super Seven CD package when she was Art Director for RCA Records Nashville. Susan then opened ClayThings Illustration where she works entirely in polymer and modeling clay. Her art has appeared in magazines, books, catalogs, advertising, and more. She is the Illustrator Coordinator for Midsouth SCBWI and lives in Nashville. My Love For You is the Sun
  • L.M. Elliott is best known as the author of Under a War-torn Sky which was named a Notable Book in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC), a Jefferson Cup Honor Book for historical fiction, a Bank Street College Best Book, and winner of Borders' Original Voices Award. Elliott's other novels include Annie, Between the StatesGive Me Liberty; and Flying South, winner of the Joan G. Sugarman Children's Literature Award. With New York Times best-selling illustrator, Lynn Munsinger, Elliott has created five award-winning picture books. Twice a National Magazine Award finalist, Elliott wrote often on children and family issues when a writer for the Washingtonian Magazine and authored two adult non-fiction books. She lives in Virginia with her family. Across A War-Tossed Sea
  • Jasper Fforde is the internationally best-selling author of the Chronicles of Kazam, the Thursday Next mysteries, and the Nursery Crime books. He lives in Wales. The Eye of Zoltar
  • Claudia Gray, the pseudonym of New Orleans-based writer Amy Vincent, is the author of the New York Timesbestselling Evernight series. She has worked as a lawyer, a journalist, a disc jockey, and an extremely poor waitress. Steadfast: A Spellcaster Novel
  • S.E. Green calls North Florida home. Killer Instinct is her debut young adult thriller. Killer Instinct
  • Julie Hedlund is the author of A Troop is Group of Monkeys, A Shiver of Sharks and the new bedtime story My Love for You is the Sun. Her website is an incredible resource for writers and her blog posts and resources have helped many an aspiring kidlit writer reach their goals. Julie is the founder of 12 x 12, a forum for authors to kick-start their manuscript writing over the course of 12 months. My Love For You is the Sun
  • Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of CrankBurnedImpulseGlassIdenticalTricks,Fallout, and Perfect, as well as the adult novels Triangles and Collateral. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada, where she has founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative. Rumble
  • Lex Hrabe is the pen name used by the screenwriting team of Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies. Their first book, Quarantine Book One: The Loners, was a Booklist 2012 Editors' Choice. Lex Hrabe was a Drama Geek in high school as well as student body president. Lex received a BA in Drama and English from the University of Virginia and has worn hats as an actor, director, and writer. In addition to working as a screenwriter, he heads development at Cinespire Entertainment, a boutique production company. Lex Hrabe lives in Virginia. Quarantine Book 3: The Burnouts
  • Varian Johnson is the author of three novels for young adults, including My Life as a Rhombus and Saving Maddie. He lives with his wife and daughter near Austin, Texas, where he designs bridges as a civil engineer. The Great Greene Heist
  • Mitchell Karnes was born in Kansas and spent his childhood in Illinois. He lives in Brentwood, TN with his wife, Natalie, and five of their seven children. He serves as the Pastor of Walker Baptist Church and holds a Bachelor's degree and three Master's degrees. He hopes to entertain, challenge, move, and teach through each story, using them as catalysts for discussions on critical topics such as bullying, making the right choices, and discovering your gifts and talents. The Pact
  • Kristen Lippert-Martin has an MFA from Columbia University. She's worked at Time, the world-renowned Brookings Institute, and even had a stint as a stand-up comic before turning to writing full-time. She was awarded the SCBWI's Work-in-Progress grant in 2010. She lives in Arlington, VA, with her husband and four children. Tabula Rasa is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter: @KLipMart. Tabula Rasa
  • Eric Litwin, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the first four Pete the Cat books (Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, Pete the Cat: Rocking In My School Shoes, Pete the Cat: Groovy Buttons, and Pete the Cat Saves Christmas) will promote his brand new musical series, The NutsThe Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House
  • Natalie Lloyd lives in Chattanooga where she collects old books, listens to bluegrass music, and loves exploring quirky mountain towns with her dog, Biscuit. Her favorite words are starlight, firefly, violet, and love. A Snicker of Magic is her first novel. A Snicker of Magic
  • D.J. MacHale is the author of the bestselling book series Pendragon: Journal of an Adventure through Time and Space, the spooky Morpheus Road trilogy, and the whimsical picture book The Monster Princess. He has written, directed, and produced numerous award-winning television series and movies for young people including Are You Afraid of the Dark?Flight 29 Down, and Tower of Terror. D.J. lives with his family in Southern California. Strike: The SYLO Chronicles
  • Megan McCafferty is the New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, Bumped, and Thumped. Her work has received honors from the American Library Association and the New York Public Library. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with her husband and son. Jessica Darling's It List 2
  • Lauren Miller is an entertainment lawyer and television writer. Her TV pilot, Teach, co-written with Abigail Spencer is a fun, soapy drama about three young teachers in New Orleans, which was bought earlier this year by ABC Family. Lauren graduated cum laude from Yale in 2002 and received her law degree from UC-Berkley in 2005. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two kids. Free to Fall
  • G. Neri is the author of Ghetto Cowboy, winner of a Horace Mann Upstanders Book Award. He also wroteYummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty, which received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, and Chess Rumble, awarded a Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. G. Neri lives in Florida. Hello, I'm Johnny Cash
  • Lauren Oliver is the author of the YA novel Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy: DeliriumPandemonium, andRequiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages and are New York Times and international bestselling novels. She is also the author of two novels for middle-grade readers, The Spindlers and Liesl & Po, which was a 2012 E. B. White Read-Aloud Award nominee. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, Lauren Oliver lives in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Andrew Peterson is the author of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness and North! Or Be Eaten (winner of the 2010 Christy Award for Young Adult Fiction). He's also the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter of more than ten albums, including Counting Stars. Andrew lives in Nashville with his wife and three children in a house called the Warren, which happens to nestle beside a green hollow, where he hears creepy noises in the woods. The Warden and the Wolf King
  • C.J. Redwine lives in Nashville with her four beautiful kids, an amazing husband, two fairly crazy cats, and a dog. She has books in every corner of her house, an impressive Harry Potter memorabilia collection, and a bunch of really cool friends she doesn't get to see nearly as much as she'd like to. She is also the author of Defiance and Deception. Deliverance
  • John Rocco studied illustration at Rhode Island School of Design and The School of Visual Arts. In addition to writing and illustrating his own picture books, including the New York Times best-selling and Caldecott Honor-winning Blackout, he has created all of the cover art for Rick Riordan's best-selling Percy Jackson,Kane Chronicles, and Heroes of Olympus series. He also illustrated Percy Jackson's Greek Gods. Before becoming a full-time children's book creator, he worked as an art director on "Shrek" for Dreamworks, and for Disney Imagineering. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. Blizzard
  • Nancy Rue is the bestselling author of more than 100 books for teens, tweens, and adults, two of which have won Christy Awards. Nancy is also a popular speaker and radio guest due to her expertise in tween and teen issues. She and her husband, Jim, have raised a daughter of their own and now share their Tennessee lake home with two yellow labs. So Not Okay
  • Vicky Alvear Shecter is the author of Cleopatra's Moon, the winner of the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and three nonfiction books for young readers, most recently Anubis Speaks! A Guide to the Afterlife by the Egyptian God of the Dead. A docent in the Ancient History department of the Carlos Museum of Art, she lives near Atlanta, Georgia. Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii
  • Courtney C. Stevens grew up in Kentucky and lives in Nashville. She is an adjunct professor and a former youth minister. Faking Normal
  • Tui T. Sutherland is the author of several books for young readers, including the Menagerie trilogy, the Pet Troubleseries, and three books in the bestselling Seekers series (as part of the Erin Hunter team). In 2009, she was a two-day champion on Jeopardy! She lives in Massachusetts with her wonderful husband, two adorable sons, and one very patient dog. Wings of Fire Book Five: The Brightest Night
  • Kimberly Cross Teter Isabella's Libretto
  • Kristi Valiant loves dance, which led her to jump and jive in a Latin and swing-dance grouped called the Fourth Street Alley Cats. Unfortunately, there were no penguins in the group. Kristi illustrates the Little Wings chapter book series and has illustrated a number of picture books, including The Goodbye Cancer Garden by Janna Matthies. This is her first picture book as both author and illustrator. Kristi now lives in Indiana with her husband, their daughters, and a roomful of monkeys and hippos (and some sneaky penguins). Penguin Cha-Cha
  • Jessica Verday is the New York Times best-selling author of the Hollow series published by Simon & Schuster, and the recently released eShort, Flesh Which is Not Flesh. She lives in Tennessee where she dreams of moving into her own library. Until then she's working on the next installment of Annabel, Allan, and Edgar's dark and twisty story, which will feature strands of Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Of Monsters and Madness
  • Alecia Whitaker grew up on a small tobacco and cattle farm in Cynthiana, Kentucky. She is an actress and writer. She currently lives in Queens, New York with her husband and two sons. She has been caught at her desk laughing several times at the voices in her head while she works. Wildflower
  • Deborah Wiles is the author of the picture book Freedom Summer and three novels: LoveRuby LavenderThe Aurora County All-Stars; and Each Little Bird That Sings, a National Book Award finalist. She has vivid memories of ducking and covering under her school desk during air raid drills at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. She also sang in the Glee Club, was a champion speller, and hated Field Day. Deborah lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Revolution
  • Jacqueline Woodson is the winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, the recipient of three Newbery Honors for After Tupac and D FosterFeathers and ShowWay, and a two-time finalist for the National Book Award for Locomotion and Hush. Other awards include the Coretta Scott King Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Miracle's Boys. Her most recent books are her novel Beneath a Meth Moon and her picture books Each Kindness and This Is the Rope. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. Brown Girl Dreaming
  • Eugene Yelchin is the author and illustrator of the Newbery Honor book Breaking Stalin's Nose. Born and educated in Russia, he left the former Soviet Union when he was twenty-seven years old. Mr. Yelchin has also illustrated several books for children, including Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? and Won Ton. He lives in California with his wife and children. Arcady's Goal
  • Kat Zhang is an avid traveler, and after a childhood spent living in one book after another, she now builds stories for other people to visit. She spends her free time performing Spoken Word poetry, raiding local bookstores, and plotting where to travel next. She is represented by Emmanuelle Morgen of Stonesong. You can read about her travels, literary and otherwise, on her website or check her out on Twitter. Echoes of Us