Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times Bestselling author of 24 books, including THE CROSSOVER, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Paterson Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children of all ages. Some of his other works include THE PLAYBOOK: 52 RULES TO HELP YOU AIM, SHOOT, AND SCORE IN THIS GAME OF LIFE; the picture books, ANIMAL ARK, OUT OF WONDER and SURF’S UP; and novels SOLO, BOOKED, andHE SAID, SHE SAID.
Kwame believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his writing and publishing program. A regular speaker at schools and conferences in the U.S., he also travels the world planting seeds of literary love: Singapore, Brazil, Italy, France, Shanghai, and recently, Alexander led a delegation of 20 writers and activists to Ghana, where they delivered books, built a library, and provided literacy professional development to 300 teachers, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an International literacy program he co-founded. In 2015, Kwame served as Bank Street College of Education’s Inaugural Dorothy M. Carter writer-in-residence. The Kwame Alexander Papers, a collection of his writings, correspondence, and other professional and personal documents is held at the George Washington University Gelman Library. www.kwamealexander.com
New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds is the author of the critically acclaimed When I Was the Greatest. He is a National Book Award Finalist, a Kirkus Prize winner, a Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. His work includes the recently published Long Way Down and Miles Morales: Spider Man , as well as, The Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave As You , the first two books in the Track series, Ghost and Patina . He is on faculty at Lesley University, for the Writing for Young People MFA Program. www.jasonwritesbooks.com
3 Fun Facts
1. I know how to crochet…REALLY well.
2. I have thirteen tattoos.
3. My last haircut was 14 years ago.
JACK GANTOS is the author of forty-nine books for children from the “ROTTEN RALPH” picture books, collections of “JACK HENRY” short stories, upper elementary and middle school “JOEY PIGZA” and “NORVELT” novels, young adult books—LOVE CURSE OF THE RUMBAUGHS, DESIRE LINES, HOLE IN MY LIFE and THE TROUBLE IN ME. His work can lead readers from the cradle to the grave.
Mr. Gantos was a professor at Emerson College where he developed the Master’s Degree Program in Children’s Literature, Writing and Publishing. He now spends his time writing and is an active speaker at book and literacy conferences, schools and libraries. His works have received a Newbery Award, Scott O’Dell Award, Newbery Honor, Printz Honor, Sibert Honor, National Book Award Finalist nomination, and he is the 2010 recipient of the NCTE/ALAN AWARD for his contribution to the field of Young Adult and Children’s Literature. DEAD END IN NORVELT received both the 2012 John Newbery Award and the Scott O’Dell award for Historic Fiction. This was followed by the companion novel, FROM NORVELT TO NOWHERE. THE KEY THAT SWALLOWED JOEY PIGZA, the final book in the “Joey Pigza” series was released in 2014 and nominated for the Kirkus Prize. His most recent book, THE TROUBLE IN ME, is now available. www.jackgantos.com