The seventh annual Tweens Read Festival took place on October 21 at South Houston High School in ​Houston. This year’s festival brought together 25 authors and more than 1,600 students for a day of panels, signings, and other opportunities for kids to connect with favorite authors. Blue Willow Bookshop is a sponsor of the annual event, which is run by educators from the greater Houston area. We’ve rounded up a selection of highlights from the events. All photos: Two Cats Communications for Blue Willow Bookshop

Leland Melvin, astronaut and author of Chasing Space, delivers an opening keynote.

Kat Yeh (l.), author of The Way to Bea, and Victoria Jamieson, author of All’s Faire in Middle School, share their books about middle-grade misfits during the “On the Outside Looking In” panel.

A view of the crowd at the “Escape in a Book” panel.

James Hannibal (The Fourth Ruby) and Kate Milford (Ghosts of Greenglass House) share their adventure stories during the “Escape in a Book” session.

David Barclay Moore, author of The Stars Beneath Our Feet, signs books for festival-goers.

(From l.): Authors Paul Griffin (Saving Marty), Andrew Clements (The Losers Club), Alan Woodrow (Unschooled), and Tamara Ireland Stone (Click’d) talk about their craft and middle-school growing pains during the “Back to School” panel.

Caleb Huett (l.) signs copies of Top Elf.

Alan Gratz (center), author of Refugee, poses for a selfie with fans.