This week, National Ambassador Jacqueline Woodson speaks in New Jersey; Grace Lin has a chill launch; R.J. Palacio presents a read aloud; Markus Zusak visits the U.S.; Jerry Pinkney and Yuyi Morales stop by Holiday House; and National Geographic sends women experts on a tour for global Recruitment Day.

Song of Hope

Presented by the Literary Alliance of New Jersey, Jacqueline Woodson (Harbor Me, Penguin/Paulsen), the 2018–2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, spoke to New Jersey middle school students. The event took place at the College of New Jersey on October 16, with more than 60 libraries tuning in via livestream. After an address in which Woodson discussed her program, Reading = HOPE X CHANGE, she answered questions from students (four of whom are pictured here with Woodson).

Snow Much Fun

On October 12, author-illustrator Grace Lin launched her new picture book, A Big Bed for Little Snow (Little, Brown), at Porter Square Books in Boston. The picture book, a companion to her Caldecott Honor book A Big Mooncake for Little Star, offers a contemporary myth that introduces young readers to snow.

I’m Like a Bird

Author R.J Palacio appeared at Symphony Space on Manhattan’s Upper West Side on October 20 to discuss her new graphic novel, White Bird (Knopf). Actress Debra Monk and five Thalia Kids’ Book Club campers (pictured) performed an excerpt from the book. After the reading, Palacio discussed historical lessons and themes of discrimination with Madeline Cohen, Symphony Space’s education director, then asked kids in the audience to rewrite a scene from her novel, shifting from a negative outcome to a positive one. Palacio ended with a q&a session and disclosed that White Bird has been acquired for a film adaptation.

I’ve Gone to Look for America

Bestselling author Markus Zusak embarked on an eight-city U.S. tour from October 15–26 to promote the paperback edition of Bridge of Clay (Knopf). Zusak held book signings and meet-and-greets for hundreds of fans across the country. Here, Zusak appears with two young fans before his event at BookPeople in Austin. Bridge of Clay, Zusak’s first novel in 13 years, is a multigenerational family saga.

The Visitors

Recently, 2010 Caldecott Medalist Jerry Pinkney (A Place to Land, Holiday House/Porter) and 2015 Caldecott Honoree Yuyi Morales (Dreamers, Holiday House/Porter) stopped by the publisher’s office in Manhattan’s Financial District. A Place to Land, written by Barry Wittenstein and illustrated by Pinkney, relays how Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his “I Have a Dream” speech. Dreamers by Morales is inspired by her journey from Mexico to the United States and how she found home in the pages of picture books.

Take a Little Trip

On October 10, an all-female team of 12 National Geographic Explorers, experts in fields including ecology, anthropology, and photography, embarked on a nationwide and international tour for National Geographic’s inaugural Recruitment Day. The tour, celebrating the launch of Explorer Academy: The Double Helix by Trudi Trueit (Under the Stars), featured approximately 30 events at libraries, bookstores, and schools, reaching more than 13,000 students. Pictured here is one of the Explorers, Sarah Eshleman, at Dripping Springs Elementary School in Dripping Springs, Tex.