Authors & Celebrities | ALA 2017 Preview

Sue Macy’s Motor Girls, YA authors dishing about YA, gender stereotypes in YA romance, a World War II fighter pilot sharing his story, and more are poppin’ up at the PopTop stage or at Chapter 1.

Sue Macy’s Motor Girls, YA authors dishing about YA, gender stereotypes in YA romance, a World War II fighter pilot sharing his story, and more are poppin’ up at the PopTop stage or at Chapter 1.

Friday, June 23

Reshma Saujani (Girls Who Code: Learn To Code and Change the World) 4–5:15 p.m. (MCP W375b/Skyline). Opening General Session. The founder and CEO of the national nonprofit Girls Who Code advocates for a new female leadership model. Discover her code for girl power.

Nikki Giovanni (Chasing Utopia) (American Writers Museum) 7–10 p.m. ALA Cultural Communities Fund Benefit: American Writers Museum. Join poet/activist Giovanni in an exploration of Chicago’s new American Writers Museum (AWM). Scheduled to open this spring, AWM will engage the public in celebrating American writers by examining their influence on our history, identity, and culture.

John Lewis/Andrew Aydin/Nate Powell (winner, March: Book Three) Julie Berry (The Passion of Dolssa) Louise O’Neill (Asking for It) Neal Shusterman (Scythe) Nicola Yoon (The Sun Is Also a Star) 8–10 p.m. (Hyatt Regency Chicago, Grand AB). YALSA and Booklist. Michael L. Printz Award Program and Reception. Honoring excellence in YA literature.

Saturday, June 24

Gene Luen Yang (with Mike Holmes, Secret Coders) 8:30–9:30 a.m. (MCP W375b/Skyline). Auditorium Speaker Series. The National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature will talk about his program “Reading Without Walls,” emphasizing the importance of reading, no matter the reader’s background or the characters’.

Sandra Uwiringiyimana (How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child) 10:30–11:30 a.m. (MCP W375b/Skyline). Auditorium Speaker Series. A refugee from Democratic Republic of Congo who saw her family massacred talks about survival and calling attention to the situation on her home continent.

Joseph Cassara (The House of Impossible Beauties) Eileen Myles (Afterglow: A Dog Memoir) Rakesh Satyal (No One Can Pronounce My Name) Sophie Yanow (War of Streets and Houses) 10:30–11:30 a.m. (MCP W190a). United for Libraries and GLBTRT. Out and Proud: ­LGBTQ Literature. Authors on their latest books and their lives as writers. Signing to follow. Led by LJ Prepub Alert editor Barbara ­Hoffert. (Myles photo by Catherine Opie)

Sarah Dessen (Once and for All; Saint Anything) 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. (MCP S105). YALSA and School Library Journal. Margaret A. Edwards Award Brunch. Celebrating lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. Ticketed event.

Kyle Cassidy (This Is What a Librarian Looks Like) Anne Fadiman (The Wine Lover’s Daughter) Craig Grossi (Craig & Fred: A Marine, a Stray Dog, and How They Rescued Each Other) Lydia Kang & Nate Pederson (Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways To Cure Everything) Henry Jay Przybylo (Counting Backwards: A Doctor’s Note on Anesthesia) 3–4 p.m. (MCP W196a). Association of American Publishers (AAP). The Truth and Nothing But: Nonfiction Authors Saturday. Stranger than or possibly more riveting than fiction. Register at­VWNw30bBh0y. (Przybylo photo © Barb Levant)

Children’s & Teen Author Speed Dating Event 3–4 p.m. (MCP S103).AAP Children’s Library Marketing Committee. Converse (briefly) with Renée WatsonPiecing Me Together), John David Anderson (Posted), Patricia Reilly Giff (Genevieve’s War), Paul Griffin (Saving Marty), and many more. Sign up at­gTN730brg5f.

Sarah Jessica Parker (TV shows Divorce; Sex and the City) 3:30–4:30 p.m. (MCP W375b/Skyline). ALA President’s Program. The honorary chair of ALA’s Book Club Central, “an online platform of reading resources,” will reveal the club’s first selection.

Leslie Bulion (Leaf Litter Critters) Lesa Cline-Ransome (Before She was Harriet) Billy Merrell (Vanilla) Patricia Hruby Powell (Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker) Bob Raczka (Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems) 4–4:50 p.m. (MCP Exhibit Hall—Chapter 1 Stage).The Poetry Blast. This annual paean to popular poetry is hosted by award winning poet Marilyn Singer and LJ’s own verse-atile Barbara Genco.

Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City) Colson Whitehead (The Underground Railroad) 8–10 p.m. (Hilton Chicago, Grand Ballroom). Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction Ceremony and Reception. The winning books have been scarfing up award after award. Meet the authors and hear from featured speaker Sara Paretsky. Ticketed event. (Whitehead photo ©Erin Patrice O'Brien)

sunday, June 25

Rudine Sims Bishop (Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement) John Lewis and Andrew Aydin with Nate Powell (author winner, March: Book Three) Javaka Steptoe (illustrator winner, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat) Ashley Bryan (author/illustrator honor, Freedom over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan) R. Gregory Christie/Carole Boston Weatherford (honor, Freedom in Congo Square) Jerry Pinkney/Richard Jackson (honor, In Plain Sight) Jason Reynolds (honor, As Brave as You) Nicola Yoon (Steptoe Award Winner, The Sun Is Also a Star) 7–9:30 a.m. (Hilton Chicago, Grand Ballroom). EMIERT. The Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast. The leading authors and illustrators of quality children’s books depicting the African American experience. Ticketed event.

Dion Graham (narrator, Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City) Gregg Hurwitz (Orphan X) Julia Quinn (Because of Miss Bridgerton) 8–10 a.m. (Hyatt Regency McCormick, Prairie Room). Reference and User Services Association (RUSA). Literary Tastes: Celebrating the Best Reading of the Year. Book signing; light ­refreshments. (Quinn photo by Roberto Filho)

Brené Brown (Rising Strong: How the Ability To Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead) 8:30–9:30. (MCP W375b/Skyline). Auditorium Speaker Series. Her TED Talk “The Power of Vulnerability” has engendered global fascination.

Camille Bordas (How To Behave in a Crowd) Mort Castle (New Moon on the Water) Jeffrey Cranor (It Devours! A Welcome to Night Vale Novel) Christopher Meades (Hanna Who Fell from the Sky) Benjamin Percy (The Dark Net) 8:30–10 a.m. (MCP W185a). United for Libraries. Crossing Over: Adult Lit with YA Appeal. Books that appeal to a wide age range—perfect for parent-teen book talks. LJ’s youthful Barbara Hoffert will moderate.

C. Morgan Babst (The Floating World) Emil Ferris (My Favorite Thing Is Monsters) Gregory Scott Katsoulis (All Rights Reserved) Devin Murphy (The Boat Runner) Sarah Shoemaker (Mr. Rochester) 3–4 p.m. (MCP W196c). United for Libraries. First Author, First Book. Debut novelists to take note of now. Not for the first time, LJ’s Barbara Hoffert will moderate.

Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton; Grant) 3–4:30 p.m. (MCP W375b/Skyline). ALA Awards & Keynote Address. The man whose book inspired the musical about the man who inspired a nation.

Dr. Carla Hayden (14th Librarian of Congress) 4–6 p.m. (19 East Event Gallery). Spectrum 20th Anniversary Cocktail Hour. Kick-off celebration of the 20th anniversary of ALA’s Spectrum Scholarship Program, through which more than 1,000 library leaders of color have benefited. A minimum donation of the $20 ticket purchase price includes nibbles and a cash bar.

James Breakwell (Only Dead on the Inside: A Parent’s Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse) David Litt (Thanks, Obama: My Hopey Changey White House Years) Paula Poundstone (The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness) Lisa Scottoline & Francesca Serritella (I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool) 5:30–7:30 p.m. (Hilton Chicago, International South). United for Libraries. The Laugh’s on Us sponsored by Ingram Content Group. Wine-and-cheese event featuring headliner and United for Libraries spokesperson Poundstone and mother-daughter pair Scottoline and Serritella. Book signing. Buy tickets; they expect to sell out. Tickets: $65. Event code: UNI2.

monday, june 26

Andy Weir (The Martian) 8:30–9:30 a.m. (MCP, W375B/Skyline). United for Libraries President’s Program Auditorium Speaker Series. Meet the longtime space nerd whose debut novel gave him the cred to become a full-time author. Signing.

Xhenet Aliu (Brass) Marie Benedict (Carnegie’s Maid) Elizabeth Berg (The Story of Arthur Truluv) Betsy Carter (We Were Strangers Once) Tayari Jones (An American Marriage) Gregory Scott Katsoulis (All Rights Reserved) 8:30–10 a.m. (MCP W179A). AAP. Book-a-licious Breakfast. Great eats, great authors, but sign up early to get a seat at the table (

Rick Riordan (winner, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor) Meredith Russo (winner, If I Was Your Girl) Anna-Marie McLemore (honor, When the Moon Was Ours) Jenny Downham (honor, Unbecoming) Robin Stevenson (honor, Pride) 10 a.m. (MCP S102). GLBT Round Table Stonewall Book Awards. Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award to English-language children’s and YA books relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience.

Susanna Calkins (A Death Along the River Fleet) Brian Pinkerton (Bender) Scott Turow (Testimony) Diane Vallere (The Decorator Who Knew Too Much) Kate White (Even if It Kills Her) 10:30–11:30 a.m. (MCP 184a). United for Libraries. It’s a Mystery to Me: Crime Fighting Authors. Authors of whodunits clue us in to how it’s done. Signing to follow. Our investigation points to LJ’s Barbara Hoffert as ­moderator.

Bill Nye & Gregory Mone (Jack and the Geniuses) 2–3 p.m. (MCP W375b/Skyline). Auditorium Speaker Series. Nye and Mone’s middle grade scientific adventure includes real-world science and scientific facts as well as a mystery.

A.J. Finn (The Woman in the Window) Jonathan Safran Foer (Here I Am) Elly Griffiths (The Chalk Pit) Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere) Allison Pataki (Where the Light Falls: A Novel of the French Revolution) Brianna Wolfson (Rosie Colored Glasses) 2–4 p.m. (MCP S103). United for Libraries. Gala Author Tea sponsored by ­ReferenceUSA. Enjoy tea, finger sandwiches, and sweets. Book signing. Buy your tickets ($65) early. Event code: UNI1. (Ng photo by Kevin Day Photography)

TUESDAY, June 27

Hillary Clinton 10–11:30 a.m. (McCormick Place, W375b/Skyline). Closing Session Speaker. Until just before press time, ALA was guarding the identity of the “amazing” guest speaker owing to a special agreement. From the conference website: 1) You will not want to leave the conference early; 2) You may have to stand, so get there early; 3) You can say, “I was there!”
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