Asha Bromfield talks with educator Jacqueline N. Stallworth about themes in her debut novel, Hurricane Summer (Macmillan Publishers), a coming-of-age story that reflects the island culture of Jamaica.
Meg Medina, author of Merci Suárez Can’t Dance (Candlewick Press), shares the history of her beloved main character, Merci Suárez, and how she hopes that the careful reflection in her books of how children interact with important issues can give teachers and caregivers an opportunity to talk about those intersections in their own lives.
Dr. Tiffany A. Flowers leads a panel discussion on culturally relevant texts about overlooked figures in history, featuring authors and contributors Mireille Harper (Timelines From Black History: Leaders, Legends, Legacies; DK Publishing), Lesa Cline-Ransome (She Persisted: Claudette Colvin; Penguin Young Readers), and Cheryl Willis Hudson (Brave. Black. First. 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World; Random House Children’s Books).
Desmond Hall talks about his debut novel, Your Corner Dark (Simon & Schuster), and how it embraces tough topics that deal with contemporary issues in the hope that his book will help spur meaningful conversations in the classroom.
Ibi Zoboi, author of Punching the Air (HarperCollins Children’s Books), explores how language and literacy shape our lives and the connections between stories and identity.
Graci Kim talks about what it was like to be “invisible on the page” as a young reader, the magic of fantasy stories, and about the road that led her to write The Last Fallen Star (Disney), a fantasy adventure featuring Korean-American characters.
Dr. Grace Enriquez, professor of language and literacy at Lesley University, defines what it means to be a culturally responsive educator, explains why it’s important to know your students, and shares concrete ideas for fully integrating diverse books in your classroom.