Last month, Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander wrapped up a national bus tour celebrating the launch of his Versify imprint with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, as well as the newly released paperback editions of The Crossover and Booked. For the first leg of the tour, Alexander was joined by the authors and illustrators whose books appear on the debut Versify list: Lamar Giles (The Last Last-Day-of-Summer), Kadir Nelson (The Undefeated), Raúl the Third (¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market!), and Kip Wilson (White Rose). We’ve gathered a selection of highlights from the events.
At the tour’s first public event, Newbery Honor author Jacqueline Woodson moderated a conversation among Versify authors at the new Center for Fiction space in Brooklyn. (From l.): Raúl the Third, Kwame Alexander, Woodson, Kip Wilson, and Lamar Giles.
Finding bus parking on the streets of New York City—tricky but not impossible! After a morning school visit in Brooklyn, Giles, Wilson, and Raúl the Third dropped by Books of Wonder in Manhattan to sign copies of their new books.
Can a Newbery Medalist get a ride?
Diary of a Wimpy Kid author and bookstore owner Jeff Kinney (l.) interviewed Kadir Nelson, Raúl the Third, Kip Wilson, and Lamar Giles during an event at his store, An Unlikely Story, in Plainville, Mass.
At the Boston Public Library, Raúl the Third shared scenes from ¡Vamos! with a group of young readers.
The Versify window display at Words Bookstore in Maplewood, N.J.
An author’s work is never done: Kip Wilson signing copies of her debut novel, White Rose, at Words Bookstore.
Visiting Clinton Elementary School in Maplewood, N.J. There’s nothing like 100 high-fives to make an author feel welcome.
At the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Kevin Merida (l.) of TheUndefeated.com led a conversation between Nelson and Alexander about their picture book, The Undefeated.
One side of the tour bus, seen here at Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind., featured the four new Versify titles…
…. while the other side, seen here at Trinity School in Columbus, Ohio, highlighted the paperback editions of the Newbery Medal–winning The Crossover and bestselling Booked.
Alexander and fans at an event organized by Cover to Cover in Columbus, Ohio.
Claudette S. McLinn, executive director of the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature, joined Nelson and Alexander for a discussion about their new book at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.
Following the festival, Alexander and Nelson visited the Metaphor Club in L.A. for an event hosted by author Lawrence Ross (center).
Musician Randy Preston (r.) performed with Alexander at events throughout the tour.
Three weeks and thousands of kids later, it was time to head home.