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Saturday, October 28 • 3:30pm - 4:30pm
YA: It's Getting Real

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Fiction can be a means of escape...or it can serve to illuminate real-world events and engage readers with issues that affect their lives. In this session, we’ll hear from four writers who ingeniously incorporate contemporary issues in their novels while also telling stirring stories. In Shadowhouse Fall, the followup to his bestselling novel Shadowshaper, Daniel José Older examines gentrification and state-sponsored violence through the prism of urban fantasy. In her debut novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, a finalist for the National Book Award, Erika L. Sánchez writes about the tensions between her protagonist’s ambitions and her undocumented Mexican parents’ expectations. In her buzzworthy debut, Dear Martin, Nic Stone experiments with form and honors Civil Rights Movement history while fearlessly addressing issues of police violence and social injustice. Finally, former Boston Globe reporter Dick Lehr turns his pen to YA with Trell, a hard-hitting narrative inspired by Lehr’s journalistic background and a Roxbury murder and wrongful conviction that has stayed with him since he reported on the story decades ago. These books—and this discussion, moderated by the Boston Public Library’s Laura Koenig—will inspire new ways of thinking about the real world we live in.

avatar for Laura Koenig

Laura Koenig

Laura Koenig is the Team Leader for Children’s Services at the Central Library of the Boston Public Library, where she was an integral part of the redesign of their award-winning children’s and teen spaces. She is an active presenter and committee member for the Association... Read More →

avatar for Dick Lehr

Dick Lehr

Writer and journalist Dick Lehr is perhaps best known as the author of Black Mass (2000), with Gerard O’Neill. The pair wrote the book from their experience as Boston Globe reporters during many of the events in the Whitey Bulger FBI case. Lehr worked at the Globe for almost two... Read More →
avatar for Daniel José Older

Daniel José Older

Daniel José Older, a Latino author who has taken all reading levels by storm with his gritty approach to fantasy literature, spent the first decade of his career as an EMT in Manhattan. His first novel, Half-Resurrection Blues, an urban fantasy and the first in his Bone Street Rumba... Read More →
avatar for Nic Stone

Nic Stone

Nic Stone is a young adult author who, although she is now herself an adult, has a deep understanding of the teenage brain and experience. A trained psychologist, she holds her BA from Spelman College and gained considerable experience mentoring teenagers. This experience gives her... Read More →
avatar for Erika L. Sánchez

Erika L. Sánchez

Erika L. Sánchez may not be a perfect Mexican daughter, but she is an accomplished poet, essayist, and novelist. After earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, she traveled to Madrid on a Fulbright Scholarship. She also earned an MFA from the University of... Read More →

Saturday October 28, 2017 3:30pm - 4:30pm EDT
BPL Teen Central