University of Arizona Campus  •  March 2 - 3, 2019  •  9:30am to 5:30pm
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Youth Preview

Festival Staff / January 11, 2017

The 2017 roster of children’s and YA authors boasts an abundance of genres, backgrounds, and career stages. Panels and speeches will illuminate many elements of the writing, research, and publishing process.

Books for Young Children

It’s never too early to meet America’s heroes, and Chris Eliopoulos’ picturebook biographies of figures like Jane Goodall, Helen Keller, and Martin Luther King, Jr. inspire the youngest readers. Caldecott honor-winning illustrator Christian Robinson will visit to talk about his work, and you might also get the chance to hear from some of his various collaborators, including Adam Rex and Kelly DiPucchio. Author of books for all ages of kid Grace Lin, whose artwork is held by Tucson’s own Worlds of Words collection at the University of Arizona, will attract readers of picturebooks, easy readers, and middle grade. Newly minted illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal comes to promote her first book, La Madre Goose.

Books for Older Kids

The author of more than 25 books, Tonya Bolden knows how to make readers understand that history is much more than just what’s in the classroom. Superstars Shannon and Dean Hale have much to share about publishing in just about every genre and age group you can imagine. Say you knew her before she was famous by sitting in on a session with Mary Lambert, an Arizona author with her debut novel in 2017. Artistic types won’t want to miss seeing Matt Phelan, illustrator and graphic novelist. Nikki Grimes will have much to share about novels in verse, multiple voices, and more.

Books for Teens and Young Adults

Whether you only saw the movie or you read the book first, you’ll want to catch Maze Runner series author James Dashner. Ask Guadalupe Garcia McCall what it’s like to go from contemporary novel in verse to fantasy to historical romance in three books. YA may be known best for its realistic fiction, so perhaps you’ll want to attend a session withShaun David Hutchinson. Ever wonder how anthologies get put together? Ask Kelly Jensen. And if you were a teen at any point in the past 15 or so years, you’ll probably recognize the name Ellen Hopkins.

These authors and illustrators are just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the full roster of children’s and YA authors attending the festival.

Sarah Hannah Gómez holds an MA in children’s literature and an MS in library and information science from Simmons College and is working toward a PhD in children’s and adolescent literature at the University of Arizona. Find her online at or @shgmclicious

Named Sponsors

Arizona Daily Star
University of Arizona

Presenting Sponsors

Tucson Medical Center

Major Sponsors

Friends of the Festival
Pima County Public Library
Stocker Foundation
University of Arizona BookStores
University of Arizona - Facilities Management
Western National Parks Association
William & Mary Ross Foundation

Key Sponsors

Arizona Office Technologies
Arizona Wholesale Supply
Marshall Foundation

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