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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.


Moderators
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 for L... Read More →

Presenters
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 decades in a number of roles, though he was primarily an investigative reporter. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his work in investigative journalism. Lehr is currently a journalism professor at Boston University. He has written a number of other books about crime and murder in Boston, as well as The Birth of a Nation (2014), an examination of the infamous 1915 silent film about the Ku Klux Klan. His newest work is a young adult novel called Trell, based on a 1980s Roxbury case of wrongful imprisonment for a murder that Lehr investigated while on the Boston Globe... 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 series, was published in 2015. Later that same year, his young adult... 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 a unique vantage point from which to write her fiction. Born and raised just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, Stone lived in Israel for several years before returning to the United States to focus on her writing. Dear Martin is her debut novel, and details the experience of Justyce McAllister as he journeys through his teenage years and struggles with being black in twenty-first-century... 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 New Mexico... Read More →


Saturday October 28, 2017 3:30pm - 4:30pm
BPL Teen Central 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA