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Children's Literary Salons: Children's Literary Salon - Middle Grade Fiction: Surviving the YA Onslaught

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February 2, 2013

Program Locations:

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, South Court Auditorium

Join authors Jeanne Birdsall, N.D. Wilson, Adam Gidwitz and Rebecca Stead for a discussion of middle grade fiction and popular culture's attempts to rebrand it YA.

Prior to her entrance into the world of children's literature Ms. Birdsall held a variety of jobs over the years.  She is an accomplished photographer and her art is located in such places as the Smithsonian and the Philadelphia Art Museum.  Her middle grade novel The Penderwicks was a National Book Award winner and has had two sequels so far, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street and The Penderwicks at Point Mouette.


Brooklyn schoolteacher Adam Gidwitz set out to write a book for kids after he found a complete collection of the Grimm’s fairytales.  His first book A Tale Dark and Grimm was called by fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes “a profound understanding of the Grimms’ tales, and he cleverly weaves different tales with an imaginative thread so that they form a grand narrative that has a critical utopian vision – a realm ruled by wise and responsible children.”  He following the book up with the sequel In a Glass Grimmly.

Rebecca Stead is a New York City native and worked for some time as a public defender.  She debuted with First Light, a truly original work of speculative science fiction for kids.  Her second book, When You Reach Me, won the Newbery Award.  Her third and most recent title was Liar & Spy, a book so good that it has cemented her as one of our top middle grade authors working today.

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