Children’s authors will be front and center on the Uptown Stage today, when back-to-back kids’ programming takes place. A stellar pantheon of authors and illustrators are scheduled to take part in an array of panel discussions spanning genres and age levels. Booksellers and other industry professionals will have the opportunity to hear fresh voices—those of promising new authors whose books were selected for this year’s Young Adult and Middle-Grade Editors’ Buzz sessions—as well as the voices of many well-known authors, including two Newbery Medalists.
For those looking to plan their agendas, here’s the schedule of today’s Stage happenings. All events take place on the Uptown Stage unless otherwise noted.
10–10:30 a.m.: Meet the 2016 BEA Young Adult Editors’ Buzz Authors 2016. Susannah Greenberg, president of Susannah Greenberg Public Relations, moderates a panel discussion among authors showcased on the Young Adult Editors’ Buzz Panel yesterday. Participants are Stephanie Garber (Caraval, Flatiron Books), Kerri Maniscalco (Stalking Jack the Ripper, Little, Brown/Jimmy Patterson), Sonia Patel (Rani Patel in Full Effect, Cinco Puntos), Aaron Starmer (Spontaneous, Dutton), and Billy Taylor (Thieving Weasels, Dial).
11–11:45 a.m., Downtown Stage: What’s New in YA? Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent series, moderates a panel of YA authors discussing the journeys into brand-new worlds they are embarking on with their new projects. Participants are Lauren Oliver (Replica, HarperCollins), Alyson Noël (Unrivaled, HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen), Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns, HarperTeen), and Melissa de la Cruz (Something In Between, HarlequinTeen).
11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.: The Story Starts Here: Humor Edition. A trio of award-winning and bestselling picture book creators—David Shannon (Duck on a Tractor, Scholastic), Kate Beaton (King Baby, Scholastic), and Tom Lichtenheld and Eric Litwin (Groovy Joe, Orchard)—will tickle audience members’ funny bones in this panel discussion on illustrating humor.
12:30–1 p.m.: Spotlight on African-American Children’s Authors and Illustrators. Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambati, founder of The African American Children’s Book Project and The Literary Media and Publishing Consultants, will moderate a panel about the strong demand for YA books that feature African-American characters. Authors Kwame Alexander (Surf’s Up, NorthSouth), Christine Kendall (Riding Chance, Scholastic), and Denene Millner (Early Sunday Morning, Agate Publishing) will discuss their books and the appeal of these titles to all readers.
1:15–1:45 p.m.: Meet the BEA 2016 Middle-Grade Editors’ Buzz Authors. Ellen Myric of Myric Marketing & Media/Publisher Spotlight will introduce the authors whose editors spotlighted their debut books during this year’s Middle-Grade Editors’ Buzz Panel. Featured are Booki Vivant (Frazzled, HarperCollins), Kate Beasley (Gertie’s Leap to Greatness, Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Wade Albert White (The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes, Little, Brown), James R. Hannibal (The Lost Property Office, S&S), and Ross Welford (Time Traveling with a Hamster, Random House/Schwartz & Wade).
2–2:30 p.m.: Graphic Novel/Super-Hero Creators Unite! Capes! Cave men! Aliens! Whiskers! The imaginative and boundless world of middle-grade, from comics to graphic novels to comic-book inspired novels, is the topic of this panel featuring Jeffrey Brown (Lucy & Andy Neanderthal, Crown), Jennifer L. Holm (Little Babymouse and the Christmas Cupcakes, Random House), Judd Winick (Hilo Book 2: Saving the Whole Wide World, Random House), and Lisa Yee (Supergirl at Super Hero High: DC Super Hero Girls #2, Random House).
2:45–3:15 p.m.: Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! Tracey Keevan, executive editor of Disney-Hyperion, moderates this panel spotlighting the new I Like Reading! series of beginning readers starring Elephant & Piggie (Disney-Hyperion). The series launches with We Are Growing! by Mo Willems and Laurie Keller, and The Cookie Fiasco by Willems and Dan Santat.
3:30–4 p.m.: Surviving Fictional Worlds with Tor Teen! An enchanted Brooklyn. A city ravaged by disease and poverty. A magical realm facing an impending war. Moderator Katie Bartow, founder of the MundieMoms blog, invites Tor Teen authors Kristen Simmons (Metaltown), Susan Dennard (Windwitch), and Sarah Porter (Vassa in the Night) to discuss their new books, as well as the trials and tribulations of living within these speculative worlds. Attendees can also play Bingo for a chance to win prizes.
4:15–4:45 p.m.: Middle-Grade Marvels: Award-winning Authors Discuss Writing Lasting Stories for Young Readers. Becky Anderson of Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, Ill., guides authors Jennifer L. Holm (Full of Beans, Random House) and Richard Peck (The Best Man, Dial) in a conversation about writing books for middle-grade readers and the experience of being honored with the Newbery Medal.
This article appeared in the May 13, 2016 edition of PW BEA Show Daily.