This week, PEN America holds a panel on feminist activism; Mac Barnett and Greg Pizzoli hop around the country for their new series; the CBC Forum talks books with fifth graders; Annie Sullivan has a “purrfect” launch; Greg James and Chris Smith’s U.S. tour is anything but normal; and Bridget Farr’s debut celebration raises funds for a good cause.

Who Run the World?

As part of the Brooklyn Book Festival, the PEN Children’s and YA Books Committee sponsored the “#StrongGirls=Empowerment and Activism” panel on September 17. The Langston Hughes House in Harlem hosted, with Ciarra Chavarria (far l.) moderating. The panelists (from l.), authors KaeLynn Rich and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, publisher Cheryl Willis Hudson, and Caldecott Medalist Emily Arnold McCully, spoke about inspiring women of the past and girls’ activism in the present.

Hit the Road, Jack

Mac Barnett and Greg Pizzoli (l.) made an appearance at The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, N.C., as part of their “Hi, Jack!” Fall Tour. Hi, Jack! (Viking), followed by Jack Blasts Off!, launches their Jack series for early readers, featuring an incorrigible rabbit named Jack, an exasperated old Lady, and a dog named Rex. With stops at book festivals, schools, museums, and bookstores, Barnett and Pizzoli’s cross-country tour began at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., on August 31 and ended at Copperfield’s Books in Petaluma, Calif., on September 17.

In Conversation

On Monday, September 16, the Children’s Book Council Forum Committee, working with Goddard Riverside Community Center, hosted a book discussion with a group of fifth graders at Goddard’s Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center in Manhattan. A teacher moderated the q&a session as the children discussed favorite titles, reading, and their interests. Students received complimentary books, courtesy of the CBC attendees. Here, Dalys Castro (l.) and Beth Dunphe of Goddard Riverside Community Center prepare for the event.

Eye of the Tiger

Annie Sullivan launched her latest YA fantasy, Tiger Queen (HarperCollins/Blink), at Barnes & Noble River Crossing in Indianapolis on September 14. The party included a nearly life-sized tiger cake crafted by Classic Cakes. In Tiger Queen, a desert princess must battle in an arena for her right to rule. Sullivan will continue her book tour, joined by author Lauren Mansy (The Memory Thief), in October, hitting up four states in as many days.

Holding Out for a Hero

BBC Radio 1 hosts Greg James (l.) and Chris Smith recently crossed the pond for a weeklong U.S. tour on behalf of their newest book, Kid Normal and the Rogue Heroes (Bloomsbury). Their illustrated Kid Normal middle grade series stars a superpower-less boy and his eccentric friends at a superhero school. James and Smith visited schools in Chicago, Houston, and Denver, presenting to more than 2,000 children in total.

To Build a Home

Last Thursday, Bridget Farr celebrated the release of her debut middle grade novel, Pavi Sharma’s Guide to Going Home (Little, Brown), with a fundraiser at BookPeople in Austin. Donations went to SAFE Foster and Adopt, a local agency that supports foster kids. Farr spoke to around 70 guests about the novel’s inspiration, and the store provided lesson plans, treats, and a photobooth.