MEet The Authors
Sara Pennypacker is the New York Times best-selling author of seventeen children's books, including the Clementine series; Summer of the Gypsy Moths; Pierre in Love; Sparrow Girl; and The Amazing World of Stuart. She has also contributed four books to the venerable Flat Stanley series.
Her books have won numerous awards, including a Golden Kite Award and a Christopher’s Medal, many children’s choice state awards, and have appeared on many 'Best Books' lists. She was a painter before becoming a writer, and has two absolutely fabulous children who are now grown. She grew up in Massachusetts and splits her time between Cape Cod and Florida.
Often asked “why do you write for children” she explains first, books can make a profound difference to a young reader: they can either mirror his experience in a way that says, “Look, you’re already a member of the human tribe, Welcome!” or they can open up a whole different path than the one she’s on. Second, because of the connection triangle: Reader-character-author. Authors really connect with their characters, and readers really connect with them, too. But only young readers make the final connection – between themselves and the author.
She speaks about writing children’s books at elementary schools, conferences and college programs.
Jason Reynolds is the New York Times best-selling author of All American Boys, the Track series, Long Way Down, For Everyone, and Miles Morales-Spiderman.
He is an American author who writes novels and poetry for young adult and middle-grade audiences, including Ghost, a National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.
Born in Washington, DC and raised in neighboring Oxon Hill, Maryland, Reynolds found inspiration in rap to begin writing poetry at nine years old. He focused on poetry for approximately the next two decades, only reading a novel cover to cover for the first time at age 17 and publishing several poetry collections before he published his own first novel, When I Was The Greatest, in 2014. He won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent for this first work of prose and seven more novels followed in the next four years, including Ghost (2016) and two more books in what became his New York Times best-selling Track series, Patina (2017) and Sunny (2018); As Brave As You (2016), winner of the 2016 Kirkus Prize, the 2017 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/Teen, and the 2017 Schneider Family Book Award; and a Marvel Comics novel called Miles Morales: Spider-Man (2017).
Reynolds returned to poetry with Long Way Down (2017), a novel in verse which was named a Newbery Honor book, a Printz Honor Book, and best young adult work by the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Awards.