Opening General Session

Sonia Manzano

Featuring Sonia Manzano
Thursday, September 20, 9:00-10:30am

Manzano was named one of the most influential Hispanics by People en Español for her work playing Maria on Sesame Street, a role she's held since the early 1970's.  She has earned 15 Emmys as a writer for that show and reached generations of children.  She is the author of two children’s books, No Dogs Allowed! and A Box Full Of Kittens (both with Simon & Schuster).  Her powerful new novel, The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano addresses universal themes of family and community set against a cultural backdrop and is being published by Scholastic in October 2012. Sonia is a noted actress, starring in the original production of Godspell and in recent productions of The Vagina Monologues, The Exonerated and Love, Loss and What I Wore. She is a recipient of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Award, the Hispanic Heritage Award for Education and an honorary doctorate from Notre Dame University. Learn more about Sonia on her website: www.soniamanzano.com. Sonia Manzano sponsored by Scholastic.

Author Lunches

Youth Authors Lauren Myracle and Sharon Flake
Friday, September 21, 12:15-1:45pm

Lauren Myracle
Lauren Myracle —Along with being the author of the New York Times bestselling Internet Girls trilogy—ttyl, ttfn, and l8r, g8rRhymes with Witches, Bliss, and her latest novel Shine, in 2009 Myracle held the #1 position on the ALA’s most challenged book list.  Myracle is also a spokesperson for intellectual freedom, and has addressed librarians, teachers, and students across the country about the importance of keeping books accessible to kids. Lauren Myracle sponsored by Abrams Books.

Sharon Flake photo by Richard KellySharon Flake — Sharon G. Flake exploded onto the literary scene as a virtual unknown with The Skin I’m In in 1998 and was named a Publisher’s Weekly Flying Start. Since then, she has become a multiple Coretta Scott King Award winner, and has been hailed as the voice of middle-grade youth and a “Rising Star” by The Bulletin. Sharon’s books consistently receive ALA Notable and BBYA citations. Her upcoming book, Takedown, is a powerful novel about two teens, each one struggling with their disabilities. Told in alternating voices, Takedown explores issues of self-discovery, friendship, and what it means to be different. Sharon lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Please visit Sharon’s website: www.sharongflake.com. Sharon Flake sponsored by Scholastic.

Adult Authors Da Chen and David Treuer
Friday, September 21, 12:15-1:45pm

David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, the 1996 Minnesota Book Award, and fellowships from the NEH, Bush Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is the author of three novels and a book of criticism. His essays and stories have appeared in Esquire, TriQuarterly, The Washington Post, the LA Times, and Slate.com. The Translation of Dr Apelles was named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, Time Out, and City Pages. In his newest book and first full-length work of non-fiction, Rez Life, Treuer brings a novelists storytelling skill and an eye for detail to a complex and subtle examination of Native American reservation life, past and present. David Treuer sponsored by Ho-Chunk Nation.

Da Chen is a graduate of Columbia University Law School, which he attended on full scholarship. A brush calligrapher of considerable spirituality who also plays the classical bamboo flute, he lives in New York's Hudson Valley with his wife and two small children. His first work of fiction, Brothers, was the adult fiction winner of the APALA award in 2007. Other acclaimed books of Da's include the New York Times bestselling memoir Colors of the Mountain; the memoir Sounds of the River; and the books for young readers Wandering Warrior and China's Son. Da Chen Sponsored by Random House.

Closing General Session

Featuring Jamal Joseph
Sunday, September 23, 9:00-10:15 am

A notorious name in the industry, Mr. Joseph has gone from criminal to author, director, and founder of many well known creations. His book Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention details his knowledge from the streets of Harlem to Rikers Island and through the Halls of Columbia. Charged with conspiracy as one of the youngest members of the Panther 21, Mr. Joseph went on to earn two degrees, write 5 plays, direct for Black Starz, FoxTV, and New Line Cinema, as well as found the organization IMPACT, a Harlem based youth Theatre company. Sponsored by Algonquin Books.