Penguin Random House Winter Book & Author Festival 2023

This December, join Penguin Random House, Library Journal, and School Library Journal for our Winter 2023 virtual book and author festival, a free day-long event celebrating reading, authors, and librarians everywhere! Enjoy a day packed with author panels and interviews, book buzzes, virtual shelf browsing, and adding to your TBR pile. 

You’ll hear from many of your favorite authors, whose work runs the gamut from Picture Books to Young Adult titles to the best new Fiction and Nonfiction for adults. There is something of interest for every reader. Attendees will also have the opportunity to check out the virtual exhibit hall, access eGalleys, and enter to win prizes and giveaways. 

EVENT HOURS: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET  


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All live sessions will be on Zoom. Make sure to log in to your work or personal Zoom account before the day starts to avoid having to log in for each session. 

The Virtual Environment is optimized for 1024 X 768 screen resolution. Joining the environment with a cell phone is not recommended. Please make sure your computer and browser are up to date. Chrome tends to work best. The event platform does not support IE11 + Windows 7 or older versions. 

CE certificates are available in the event environment for all keynotes and panels, whether you view them live or on-demand. Certificates are not provided for sponsored content. 

If on the day of the event you find that you are unable to access the environment or join a session, please know that sessions will be available for on-demand viewing within 24 hours, and the entire event will be accessible for three months from the event date. 

By registering for this event or webcast, you are agreeing to Library Journal Privacy Policy and Code of Conduct Policy and agreeing that Library Journal may share your registration information with current and future sponsors of this event. 

Having trouble registering? Contact the Event Manager


10:00 - 10:25 AM ET | Exhibit Hall Opens

10:25 – 10:55 AM ET | Opening Keynote with Tommy Orange, Wandering Stars (Knopf)
Moderator: Allison Waukau (Menominee/Navajo), President of American Indian Library Association (MN)



11:00 – 11:50 AM ET | Family Ties
The importance and complexity of family, friends, and identity are explored in these middle grade novels.

Ruth Behar, Across So Many Seas (Penguin Young Readers)
Debbie Fong, Next Stop (Random House Children’s Books)
Mae Respicio, Isabel in Bloom (Random House Children’s Books)
Andrea Wang, Summer at Squee (Penguin Young Readers)
Moderator: Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook (NY)


11:00 – 11:50 AM ET | Crime and Prose
Feel-good mysteries and fierce crime fiction offer twisty, compelling, reads.

Justine Champine, Knife River (The Dial Press)
Tana French, The Hunter (Viking)
Sara Koffi, While We Were Burning (Putnam)
Jahmal Mayfield, Smoke Kings (Melville House)
Kirsten Perrin, How to Solve Your Own Murder (Dutton)
Moderator: Liz French, Senior Editor, LJ Reviews  

In-Booth Chat

12:30 – 1:30 PM ET | Step into the Audiobook Booth for a live lunchtime Q&A with award-winning PRH Audio producers! How does an audiobook get cast? How long does it take to record a book? Enter YOUR burning questions about audiobook production into the chat box during this interactive lunch hour—Senior Executive Producers Diane McKiernan and Orli Moscowitz will be standing by to chat with you! (PRH Audio/Books on Tape)


11:55 – 12:45 PM ET | Girl Power for Young Adult & Young Readers
From humorous and clever to brutally ambitious, these female leads let nothing stand in their way.

JaNay Brown-Wood, Mahogany (Charlesbridge)
Kate DiCamillo, Ferris (Candlewick)
Lindsay Eagar, Made Glorious (Candlewick)
Kami Garcia, Teen Titans: Starfire (DC Comics)
Farrah Rochon, Fate Be Changed (Disney/Hyperion)
Moderator: Myiesha Speight, Book Reviewer, SLJ

11:55 – 12:45 PM ET | Literary Launches
Debuts to note range from a novel told entirely through a phone call to a slightly surreal psychological satire.

Olivia Ford, Mrs. Quinn's Rise to Fame (Pamela Dorman Books)
Holly Gramazio, The Husbands (Doubleday)
Ashton Lattimore, All We Were Promised (Ballantine Books)
Alana B. Lytle, Man's Best Friend (Putnam)
Melissa Mogollon, Oye (Hogarth)
Moderator: Ashley Rayner, Librarian at NORC, University of Chicago (IL)


12:50 – 1:40 PM ET | Book Club Best Bets            
From contemporary cozies to historical sagas, these titles will keep readers talking.

Samuel Burr, The Fellowship of Puzzlemakers (Knopf)
Eve J. Chung, Daughters of Shandong (Berkley)
Ruth Reichl, The Paris Novel (Random House)
Maurice Carlos Ruffin, American Daughters (One World)
Hillary Yablon, Sylvia's Second Act (Pamela Dorman Books)
Moderator: Jen Jumba, MLIS, Popular Department Manager, Cleveland Public Library (OH)                           

12:50 – 1:40 PM ET | Who Runs the World?
These nonfiction titles explore the many ways women shape history even as they struggle to gain equal footing.

Jenn M. Jackson, PhD, Black Women Taught Us (Random House)
Katie Rogers, American Woman (Crown)
Katie Gee Salisbury, Not Your China Doll (Dutton)
Julie Satow, When Women Ran Fifth Avenue (Doubleday)
Karen Valby, The Swans of Harlem (Pantheon)
Moderator: Dontaná McPherson-Joseph, Collection Management Librarian, Oak Park Public Library (IL)  


1:45 – 2:15 PM ET | Lunch Keynote with Phillipa Soo, Piper Chen Sings (Random House Children’s Books)
Moderator: Allison Tran, Library & Cultural Services Supervisor, City of Mission Viejo (CA)



2:20 – 3:10 PM ET | Secrets, Sins & Sagas
Witches, elves, the fae, and more feature in novels set in enchanting worlds, including one involving a vast and mysterious library.

Molly X. Chang, To Gaze Upon Wicked Gods (Del Rey)
Danielle L. Jensen, A Fate Inked in Blood (Del Rey)
Mark Lawrence, Book That Broke the World (Ace)
Roselle Lim, Night for Day (Ace)
A.G. Slatter, Briar Book of the Dead (Titan Books)
Moderator: Kristi Chadwick, Massachusetts Lib. Syst., Northampton

2:20 – 3:10 PM ET | Who Am I? and Other Questions That Have No Answers
Teens struggle with familial expectations, medical racism, and structural queerphobia as they try to figure out who they are and what they want.

Jumata Emill, Wander in the Dark (Random House Children’s Books)
Walela Nehanda, Bless the Blood: A Cancer Memoir (Penguin Young Readers)
Stephanie Oakes, The Meadows (Penguin Young Readers)
Patricia Park, What's Eating Jackie Oh? (Random House Children’s Books)
Moderator: Lisa Krok, MLIS, MEd, Adult and Teen Services Manager, Morley Library (OH)

3:15 – 4:05 PM ET | Culture, Class & Community
Deeply considered novels trace characters navigating profound questions, situations, and desires.

Kaveh Akbar, Martyr! (Knopf)
Rachel Khong, Real Americans (Knopf)
Liz Moore, The God of the Woods (Riverhead Books)
Phillip B. Williams, Ours (Viking)
Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (One World)
Moderator: Faye A. Chadwell, Dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, Penn State University (PA)

4:10 – 4:30 PM ET | Afternoon Keynote with Oliver Jeffers, Begin Again (Penguin Young Readers)

4:30 - 5:00 PM ET | Mystery Debuts                                                                       
New voices in the puzzler game take readers on dangerous rides and into locked rooms.

Kate Brody, Rabbit Hole (Soho Crime)
L. Divine, An Epitaph for Jezebel (Kensington)                                     
Jon Lindstrom
, Hollywood Hustle (Crooked Lane)
Nishita Parekh, The Night of the Storm (Dutton)
Moderators: Brian Kenney, Director, White Plains Public Library (NY) and Henrietta Thornton, Co-Founder, firstCLUE









Oliver Jeffers makes art and tells stories. His books include How to Catch a Star; Lost and Found, which was the recipient of the prestigious Nestle Children's Book Prize Gold Award in the UK and was later adapted into an award-winning animated film; and the New York Times bestsellers Here We Are, What We'll Build, Stuck, This Moose Belongs to Me, and Once Upon an Alphabet. He is also the illustrator of the #1 smash hit Crayons series, written by Drew Daywalt. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Oliver now splits his time between Belfast and Brooklyn, New York.




Tommy Orange is a graduate of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. An enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, he was born and raised in Oakland, California. His first book, There There, was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize and received the 2019 American Book Award. He lives in Oakland, California.




Phillipa Soo is an actor and singer, best known for originating the role of “Eliza” in Broadway’s critically acclaimed Hamilton. She has also appeared as “Cinderella” in Into the Woods on Broadway, and “Guinevere” in Aaron Sorkin’s Broadway revival of Camelot. She stars in the film adaptation of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestselling novel, One True Loves, and voices the moon goddess, “Chang’e,” in Netflix’s animated feature, Over the Moon. Soo can be seen in Hulu’s Dopesick and in AppleTV+’s Shining Girls. She resides in Brooklyn with her husband and fellow actor, Steven Pasquale. 






Kaveh Akbar’s poems appear in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. He is the author of two poetry collections: Pilgrim Bell and Calling a Wolf a Wolf, in addition to a chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic. He is also the editor of The Penguin Book of Spiritual Verse: 110 Poets on the Divine. He lives in Iowa City.


Ruth Behar (, the Pura Belpré Award-winning author of Lucky Broken Girl and Letters from Cuba, was born in Havana, Cuba, grew up in New York, and has also lived in Spain and Mexico. Her work also includes poetry, memoirs, and the acclaimed travel books An Island Called Home and Traveling Heavy. She was the first Latina to win a MacArthur "Genius" Grant, and other honors include a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and being named a "Great Immigrant" by the Carnegie Corporation. An anthropology professor at the University of Michigan, and she lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 



Kate Brody lives in Los Angeles, California. Her work has previously appeared in Lit Hub and The Literary Review, among other publications. She holds an MFA from NYU. Rabbit Hole is her debut novel. 



JaNay Brown-Wood is an early childhood professor and the author of several books for children, including Grandma's Tiny House, Imani's Moon, and Shhh! The Baby's Asleep. She also contributed to the poetry anthologies Thanku: Poems of Gratitude and No World Too Big. Much of JaNay's work is intended to celebrate casual diversity, primarily featuring Black characters. She lives in California. 



Samuel Burr is a TV producer who has worked on popular factual shows including the BAFTA-nominated Secret Life of 4-Year-Olds. Samuel's writing was selected for Penguin's WriteNow scheme and in 2021 he graduated from the Faber Academy. He previously studied at Westminster Film School. 


Justine Champine’s short fiction has appeared in Kenyon Review, Epoch, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and is a founding staff member of No Tokens Journal. She lives in New York City. Knife River is her first novel. 



Molly X. Chang is a first-generation immigrant born in Harbin, China. To Gaze Upon Wicked Gods is her debut novel. 



Eve J. Chung is a Taiwanese American human rights lawyer focusing on gender equality and women’s rights. She lives in New York with her husband, two children, and two dogs. 


Kate DiCamillo is one of America’s most beloved storytellers. She is a former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and a two-time Newbery Medalist. Born in Philadelphia, she grew up in Florida and now lives in Minneapolis. 



L. Divine is an educator and the acclaimed author of the Drama High YA series and the Keke McCoy Mysteries, the first of which, An Epitaph for Jezebel, hits shelves June 25, 2024. She is a Faucet Book Award-winner whose novels have been praised by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Essence, Ebony, and more. She holds a MA from UCLA in African American Studies and Educational Psychology and served as a visiting scholar at UCLA’s Center for the Study of Women. She also holds an MA and MFA from Clayton State University in Atlanta. She currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her daughter and son.


Lindsay Eagar is the highly acclaimed author of the young adult novel The Family Fortuna and of the middle-grade novels Hour of the Bees, Race to the Bottom of the Sea, The Bigfoot Files, and The Patron Thief of Bread. She lives in the mountains of Utah with her husband and their two daughters. 



Jumata Emill is a journalist who has covered crime and local politics in Mississippi and parts of Louisiana. He earned his BA in mass communications from Southern University and A&M College. He’s a Pitch Wars alum and a member of the Crime Writers of Color. When he’s not writing about murderous teens, he’s watching and obsessively tweeting about every franchise of the Real Housewives. Jumata lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is the author of The Black Queen and Wander in the Dark. Visit him online at 



Debbie Fong is an Ignatz-nominated comic artist and illustrator based in Brooklyn, New York. She has illustrated multiple children’s nonfiction books, including the best-selling How to Be a Person. She is also the artist behind POMMO Press, an online art shop selling prints, stationery, and other fun goods. Visit her online at 



Olivia Ford has spent a decade in entertainment TV, including Made in Chelsea and Love Island. Olivia is a graduate of the Faber Academy, where she wrote the beginnings of Mrs. Quinn's Riseto Fame, which was longlisted for the 2021 Women’s Prize Trust’s Discoveries Prize. Raised in Lincolnshire, Olivia now lives in London. 



Tana French is the New York Times bestselling author of eight previous books, including In the Woods, The Likeness, and The Searcher. Her novels have sold over three million copies and won numerous awards, including the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, and Barry awards, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller, and the Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction. She lives in Dublin with her family. 


Kami Garcia is a #1 New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author and comic book writer. Kami’s best-known works include the Beautiful Creatures series, Teen Titans: Raven, The X-Files: Agent of Chaos, The Lovely Reckless, Broken Beautiful Hearts, and the DC Black Label comic Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity. She is also a co-founder of the Kid Lit book festival YALLFest and co-organizer of #Creators4Comics. 


Holly Gramazio is a writer, game designer and curator from Adelaide, currently based in London. She founded the experimental games festival Now Play This and wrote the script for the award-winning indie video game Dicey Dungeons. Her recent projects include New Rules, a zine collecting essays about play during the pandemic, and a collaboration with artist Lawrence Lek on a game for his exhibition NOX. She’s particularly interested in rules, play, cities, gardens, games that get people acting creatively and art that gets people interacting with their surroundings in new ways. The Husbands is her first novel. 



Jenn M. Jackson is an award-winning professor of Political Science at Syracuse University and has been a columnist for Teen Vogue, where they wrote the popular “Speak On It” column that “explores how today's social and political life is influenced by generations of racial and gender (dis)order.” A queer genderflux androgynous Black woman, Jackson’s primary research is in Black Politics with a focus on racial trauma and threat, gender and sexuality, and social movements. Black Women Taught Us is their first book. 



Danielle L. Jensen is the USA Today bestselling author of the Bridge Kingdom, Dark Shores, and Malediction series, as well as the Saga of the Unfated. Her novels are published internationally in fifteen languages. She lives in Calgary, Alberta, with her family and guinea pigs. 



Rachel Khong is the author of Goodbye, Vitamin, winner of the California Book Award for First Fiction, and named a Best Book of the Year by NPR; O, The Oprah Magazine; Vogue; and Esquire. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Cut, The Guardian, The Paris Review, and Tin House. In 2018, she founded The Ruby, a work and event space for women and nonbinary writers and artists in San Francisco’s Mission District. She lives in California. 



Sara Koffi is a writer and editor from Memphis, TN, with a B.A. in English from Whittier College. By day, she is a narrative designer for a mobile gaming app. As a writer, she strives to explore the nuances of "unlikable female characters" and humanize Black women by giving them space on the page to breathe. While We Were Burning is her debut novel. 



Ashton Lattimore is an award-winning journalist and a former lawyer. She is the editor-in-chief at Prism, a nonprofit news outlet by and for communities of color, and her nonfiction writing has also appeared in the Washington Post, Slate, CNN, and Essence. Lattimore is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Law School, and Columbia Journalism School. She grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband and their two sons. All We Were Promised is her first novel.



Mark Lawrence is the author of the Broken Empire Trilogy, the Red Queen’s War Trilogy, the Book of the Ancestor series, and most recently, the Library Trilogy. His next novel, The Book That Broke the World, will be released in April of 2024. Mark lives in Bristol with his family. 



Roselle Lim is the critically acclaimed author of Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune, Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop, and Sophie Go’s Lonely Hearts Club. She is a Filipino Chinese writer who came to Canada from the Philippines as a young teen and learned English by watching wrestling shows on television. Her new romantic fantasy novel, Night for Day, releases in February. 



Jon Lindstrom can be found in studio movies, independent films, and thousands of hours of TV, working with several A-list directors and alongside many of Hollywood’s biggest names. An award-winning filmmaker, Jon's films have won multiple film festival accolades. His writing has twice won recognition at the Launchpad Prose Competition, and several top screenplay competitions. For several years he was the drummer for The High Lonesome, scoring two hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Jon divides his time between Los Angeles and New York City. 



Alana B. Lytle is a screenwriter whose recent credits include Netflix's Brand-New Cherry and Peacock's A Friend of the Family. Her short fiction has been published in Guernica. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and sausage-shaped dog. Man's Best Friend is her debut novel. 



Jahmal Mayfield was born in Virginia but currently resides in New Jersey. In addition to writing crime fiction, he serves as the director of a nonprofit program that provides employment support to people with disabilities. Smoke Kings was inspired by Kimberly Jones’ passionate viral video, “How can we win?” 


Diane McKiernan is a Senior Executive Producer at Penguin Random House Audio and has more than 18 years of experience in the audiobook industry. Most notably, her 2019 production of Educated by Tara Westover won an Audie Award in both the Autobiography and Best Female Narrator categories, and in 2015 she received a Grammy Award for her work on Diary of a Mad Diva, written and read by Joan Rivers. 



Melissa Mogollon is a fiction writer and high school educator. She holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a BA from George Washington University. Originally from Colombia and raised in Florida, she now lives in Rhode Island with her partner and her dog. 



Liz Moore is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Long Bright River, which was a Good- Morning America Book Club Pick and one of Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2019, as well as the acclaimed novels Heft and The Unseen World. A winner of the 2014-2015 Rome Prize in Literature, she lives in Philadelphia. 



Orli Moscowitz is a Senior Executive Producer at Penguin Random House Audio who has crafted more than 2,000 audiobooks, including the Harry Potter series. She continues to shape the audio works of many of the publishing industry’s cornerstone authors. Orli’s work has garnered multiple Grammy nominations and a Grammy win for her production of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale.



Walela Nehanda is a nonbinary cultural worker, stem cell transplant and cancer survivor, and mental health advocate born and based in Los Angeles, California. 



Stephanie Oakes is the author of The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, which was a Morris Award finalist and a Golden Kite Honor book, and The Arsonist, which won the Washington State Book Award and was an ALA/YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick. An elementary school librarian, Stephanie lives in Spokane, Washington with her wife and family. 



Nishita Parekh was born and raised in Mumbai and now lives in Texas with her husband and toddler. She is a software programmer but is a writer at heart. She loves writing about her experiences as a woman and an immigrant. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers, Crime Writers of Color, and Sisters in Crime, and is a #RevPit contest winner. The Night of the Storm is her first novel. 



Patricia Park is an assistant professor of creative writing at American University, a Fulbright Scholar in Creative Arts, a Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, and the author of the acclaimed adult novel Re Jane. The Korean American reimagining of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre was named an Editors' Choice by the New York Times Book Review; a Best Book of 2015 by the American Library Association; an O, The Oprah Magazine pick; and an NPR "Fresh Air" pick, among other honors. She has also recently published her first YA novel Imposter Syndrome. Patricia lives in Brooklyn, NY, and is online at 



Kristen Perrin is originally from Seattle, Washington, where she spent several years working as a bookseller before moving to the UK to do a master's and PhD. She lives with her family in Surrey, where she can be found poking around vintage bookstores, stomping in the mud with her two kids, and collecting too many plants. Her middle-grade series, Attie and the World Breakers, was published in German, Dutch, and Polish. How to Solve Your Own Murder is her adult debut. 



Ruth Reichl is the New York Times bestselling author of five memoirs, the novel Delicious!, and the cookbook My Kitchen Year. She was editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, and previously served as restaurant critic for The New York Times, as well as food editor and restaurant critic for the Los Angeles Times. She has been honored with six James Beard Awards. 



Mae Respicio writes novels full of hope and heart. Her debut, The House That Lou Built, received the Asian/Pacific American Library Association Honor Award in Children's Literature and was an NPR Best Book of the Year. She is also the author of the acclaimed Any Day with You and How to Win a Slime War. Visit her online at



Farrah Rochon is the USA Today bestselling author of The Boyfriend Project and over thirty other romance novels. She hails from south Louisiana and is a two-time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award, as well as the 2015 winner of the Emma Award for Author of the Year. Her June 2020 novel, The Boyfriend Project, was lauded by O, The Oprah Magazine as a must-read Black romance novel and praised by Cosmopolitan as a Best Romance Novel of 2020. 



Katie Rogers is a White House correspondent for The New York Times, where she has worked since 2014. She has covered two presidential administrations. 



Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You, longlisted for The Story Prize and a finalist for The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, and We Cast a Shadow. A recipient of an Iowa Review Award in fiction and the Louisiana Writers Award, he has been published in the Virginia Quarterly Review, AGNI, the Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas. A native of New Orleans, he is a graduate of the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop and a professor of creative writing at Louisiana State University.



Katie Gee Salisbury has spoken and written about Anna May Wong on MSNBC, in the New York Times, and in Vanity Fair. She also writes the newsletter "Half-Caste Woman." She was a 2021 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship finalist and gave the TED Talk “As American as Chop Suey.” A fifth generation Chinese American from Southern California, she now lives in Brooklyn. Not Your China Doll is her first book. 



Julie Satow is an award-winning journalist and the author of The Plaza, a New York Times’ Editor’s Choice, and NPR Favorite Book of 2019. A regular contributor to the New York Times, her work has also appeared on National Public Radio, Bloomberg Businessweek, Travel + Leisure, and elsewhere. A graduate of Columbia College, she has a master's degree from Columbia University’s School of International Affairs. 


Angela Slatter is the author of six novels, including All the Murmuring Bones, The Path of Thorns, and the forthcoming The Briar Book of the Dead, as well as twelve short story collections, including The Bitterwood Bible and The Tallow-Wife and Other Tales. Dark Horse Comics released her Hellboy Universe collaboration with Mike Mignola, Castle Full of Blackbirds in 2022. She’s won a World Fantasy Award, a British Fantasy Award, a Ditmar, three Australian Shadows Awards and eight Aurealis Awards. Her work has been translated into multiple languages.



Karen Valby is a writer living in Austin, Texas. Her work has appeared in Vanity Fair, where she is a frequent contributor, the New York Times, O Magazine, Glamour, Fast Company, and EW, where she spent fifteen years writing about culture. 



Karla Cornejo Villavicencio is the author of the National Book Award Finalist The Undocumented Americans. Her work, which focuses on race, culture, and immigration, has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Vogue, Elle, The New Republic, The Daily Beast, n+1, The New Inquiry, and Interview magazine. Born in Ecuador, she later became one of the first undocumented students admitted to Harvard University. She is a fellow at Laurene Powell Jobs's Emerson Collective and is currently a doctoral candidate in the American studies program at Yale University. 



Andrea Wang is the award-winning author of the picture books The Nian Monster (Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Honor), Magic Ramen (Freeman Book Award Honor), and Watercress (Caldecott Medal and Newbery Honor). Her debut middle grade novel is The Many Meanings of Meilan, which was featured on a recommended reading list from TODAY Show Read with Jenna. Andrea likes to write about family, food, and culture. She spent her childhood in Ohio and Boston and now lives in Colorado with her family. 



Phillip B. Williams is from Chicago, Illinois, and is the author of two collections of poetry, Thief in the Interior, which was the winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and a Lambda Literary Award, and Mutiny, which was a finalist for the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection and the winner of a 2022 American Book Award. Williams is also the recipient of a Whiting Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. He currently teaches in the MFA creative writing program at New York University. 


Hillary Yablon lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two young sons. She is a graduate of Princeton University and earned her MA in poetry from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. Sylvia's Second Act, her debut novel, received the Allegra Johnson Prize at UCLA. 










Faye A. Chadwell has been working in research libraries for more than 35 years. Prior to her stint at Penn State, she held various library leadership positions at both Oregon State University and the University of Oregon. Her experience reviewing for Library Journal  began in September 1991 and she draws upon her education as an English major and her long passion for reading in multiple genres to inform her insights.   



Kristi Chadwick is a Consultant for Massachusetts Library System, providing advisory and continuing education for multitype library members all across the Commonwealth. Kristi is also the columnist for Library Journal's Science Fiction & Fantasy reviews. You can find her discussing writing, books, libraries, and her love for coffee, chickens, and fountain pens on Twitter @booksnyarn.






Liz French, Senior Editor, LJ Reviews



Jen Jumba has worked in public libraries for the last nine years. Most recently, Jen works as the Coordinator of The People's University at Cleveland Public Library. Along with the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Public Library and over thirty community organizations, Jen is also co-managing a city-wide Cleveland READS initiative. Jen received her Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh and her Emotionally Intelligent Leadership Certificate from Case Western Reserve University. She is a member of the Public Library Association and American Library Association. 



Brian Kenney has worked as a librarian and editor, including a decade at the Brooklyn Public Library, a stint as the editorial director of LJ, SLJ, and the Horn Book, and another decade with White Plains. Along with Henrietta, he founded firstCLUE, a weekly newsletter that reviews all manner of crime fiction.



Marybeth Kozikowski works as a Librarian II, Children's Services at Sachem Public Library in Holbrook, NY. She has been published in Children and Libraries, reviews for School Library Journal and has served on multiple ALSC Committees including May Hill Arbuthnot and Quicklists. 



Lisa Krok, MLIS, MEd, is the Adult and Teen Services Manager at Morley Library and a former teacher in Cleveland, Ohio. She is the author of Novels in Verse for Teens: A Guidebook with Activities for Teachers and Librarians (ABC-CLIO). She reviews YA for School Library Journal and blogs for Teen Librarian Toolbox, and her passion is reaching marginalized teens and reluctant readers through young adult literature. Lisa has served on both the Best Fiction for Young Adults and Quick Picks for Reluctant Reader’s teams. She can be found being bookish and political on Twitter @readonthebeach


Dontaná McPherson-Joseph is an avid reader and dedicated librarian with a passion for curating diverse collections. An active member of the American Library Association, she currently serves as Chair of the Rainbow Round Table. She lives in the Chicagoland area with her pets Monroe and Pistachio, and several overflowing bookshelves.



Ashley Rayner is a Librarian at NORC, University of Chicago (IL).



Myiesha Speight holds a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in English with a minor in History from Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 2019, she received her Master's of Library and Information Science with a specialization in Diversity and Inclusion from the University of Maryland College Park’s iSchool located in College Park, Maryland. Myiesha Speight is currently a Book Reviewer for SLJ




Henrietta Thornton, formerly LJ’s Reviews Editor, is a librarian and the author of How To Get Your Book into Libraries and Reviews Are In. She is also a cofounder and coauthor of firstCLUE (, a free weekly newsletter that reviews mysteries and thrillers as far in advance of publication as possible.



Allison Tran is a Library & Cultural Services Supervisor for the City of Mission Viejo in California. She's dedicated to fostering self-expression, curiosity, and empathy in the community through art and literature. Before earning her Masters of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University in 2006, Allison taught English in Japan. 



Allison Waukau (Menominee/Navajo) resides in Minneapolis, MN, and works in community engagement. Allison is currently President of the American Indian Library Association and one of the Library Journal’s 2021 Movers & Shakers. She recently received the Rising Leader award at the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color for being one of Minnesota's 5th Barrier-Breaking Women. Allison’s professional interests include exploring library land acknowledgement practices, developing community-led library programs, and elevating the voices and perspectives of her Native community.


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