Authors 2019

Brian Yanish

Brian Yanish has held many jobs from working with the Muppets to special effects mold-maker, bail-bondsman, comedian and product designer. He is the creator of ScrapKins, a Recycled Arts program that inspires kids to see creative potential in everyday junk and has presented workshops at schools around the world and appeared on Sesame Street. He lives in Rochester, New York.

Patricia Polacco

Patricia was born in Lansing MI in July of 1944. She lived her early years as a child in Michigan, lived a few years in Florida, eventually landing in Oakland Ca where she grew up. She graduated from Oakland Tech, attended the California College of Arts and Crafts for a few semesters on a scholarship and then met a young man, married and settled down. Patricia has authored over 100 books and stories as well as adding the stunning visual artistry to her books. She has been enlightening children and adults alike for 30 years while visiting elementary schools all over the United States and Canada. She shares her message of tolerance, acceptance, diversity, love and respect to children of all ages all while entertaining them with her lively personal stories. Patricia draws upon her rich heritage of mixed cultures for her inspirations. Stories like The Keeping Quilt and The Blessing Cup, Fiona's Lace pay homage to her Russian and Irish backgrounds. Thank you Mr. Falker speaks to her challenges with reading as a child and discovering her own dyslexia. Patricia credits many teachers in her life who have helped her become who she is today. An A for Miss Keller, Mr. Wayne's Masterpiece, The Art of Miss Chew, are a few stories showcasing those inspirational teachers in her life. Mother of two adult children and two grandchildren, Patricia loves being with family when her schedule allows. She lives in South Central Michigan on her farm, Meteor Ridge, with her many cats, squirrels, horses dogs and goats. She is on the road about 6 months of the year speaking from colleges to kindergartens and appearing at book stores and conferences. Her speeches are legendary. Make sure to bring tissues! While at home she is in constant creation mode working on projects, drawing and writing. Patricia has inspired so many with her stories and artwork for many generations. A staple in any library or bookstore, Patricia and her books are well loved by all.

Gordon Korman

Team Position
Gordon Korman is the #1 NY Times bestselling author of more than ninety novels for kids and young adults, most recently THE UNTEACHABLES, and LEVEL 13, the sequel to SLACKER. His writing career began at the age of twelve when his seventh grade English assignment became his first published novel. Now, four decades later, he is a full-time writer and speaker, with over thirty million copies of his novels in print in thirty-three languages. Each year he travels extensively, visiting schools, libraries, and book festivals, bringing his trademark humor and adventure styles to readers everywhere. A native of Ontario, Canada, he lives with his family in Long Island, New York.

Michael Hall

Author + Illustrator
Michael Hall is the author/illustrator of The New York Times bestseller, My Heart Is Like a Zoo, as well as the critically acclaimed Perfect Square, Red: A Crayon’s Story, and Monkey Time. Before becoming a children’s author, Michael was an award-winning graphic designer whose work—including graphic identities for the City of Saint Paul, Macalester College, the Minnesota Historical Society, and the Hennepin County Medical Center—has been widely recognized for its simple and engaging approach. Michael lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Website URL:

Annette Dunn

Annette Dunn is a scientist, author, successful entrepreneur, and mother who is passionate about increasing science literacy. Science Rocks! Annette co-founded Jumbo Minds, Inc., whose ambition is to introduce the language of science in a simple and engaging way. She often shares her love of science by educating children through hands-on activities at schools and community events. Annette and her sister write and publish science books for young learners under pen name A. C. Lemonwood. Books include the original Science ABC books with ABCs of Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, and Physics. Visit to learn how to inspire future scientists and innovators!

Peter Brown

Author and Illustrator
Peter has always loved telling stories. Growing up in New Jersey, he told stories by drawing whimsical characters and scenes from his imagination. As a teenager, he fell in love with writing and began telling his tales with words. While studying illustration at Art Center College of Design, Peter’s love of both words and pictures led him to take several courses on children’s books, and before long he knew he’d found his calling. After graduating from Art Center Peter moved to New York City to be closer to the publishing industry. He was working on animated TV shows when he signed a book deal to write and illustrate his first picture book, Flight of the Dodo. Peter quickly signed up his second and third books, and his career as an author and illustrator of children’s books was under way. Since then Peter has written and illustrated many books for children and earned numerous honors, including a Caldecott Honor, a Horn Book Award, two E.B. White Awards, two E.B. White Honors, a Children’s Choice Award for Illustrator of the Year, two Irma Black Honors, a Golden Kite Award, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award and multiple New York Times bestsellers. Peter lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Kathy Brown

Kathy Brown is the author of, Where’s Hurley? A picture book about a therapy dog who mysteriously goes missing inside the school building. Kathy was a Special Education Teacher in the Grand Island School District for over 37 years before retiring in June 2018. She believes the best years of her career were the last 6 in which she brought her dog, Hurley to school. Hurley is a “rescue dog” from the SPCA and passed tests to become a Certified Therapy dog in the Paws for Love program. She saw first hand what a positive impact having a Therapy Dog in school made for everyone in the building! Her intention for writing, Where’s Hurley? was to bring attention to the benefits of having a dog in school and also as a way to benefit the two organizations that made it possible for Kathy to have such an outstanding dog go to work with her making students feel happier. Therefore, all profits from the book sales get split between the SPCA serving Erie County and her former school’s Playground Fund. When she’s not volunteering with the Paws for Love organization, she loves to read, write and travel. Retirement has given her time to share Hurley with many more organizations and to work on writing future children’s books. Look for Hurley’s blog –

Juana Martinez-Neal

Juana Martinez-Neal is the recipient of the 2018 Pura Belpré Medal for Illustration for La Princesa and the Pea (written by Susan M. Elya, Putnam/Penguin). Alma and How She Got Her Name (Candlewick 2018), her debut picture book as author-illustrator, was awarded the 2019 Caldecott Honor. Juana is the illustrator of La Madre Goose (written by Susan M. Elya, Putnam/Penguin 2016), Babymoon (written by Hayley Barrett, Candlewick 2019), Fry Bread (written by Kevin Noble, Roaring Brook Press 2019), and Swashby and the Sea (written by Beth Ferry, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020). Juana was named to the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Honor list in 2014, and was awarded the SCBWI Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize in 2012. She was born in Lima, the capital of Peru, and now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband and three children.

Tami Charles

Former teacher. Wannabe chef. Tami Charles writes picture books, middle grade, young adult, and nonfiction. Her middle grade novel, Like Vanessa, earned Top 10 spots on the Indies Introduce and Spring Kids' Next lists, three starred reviews, and a Junior Library Guild selection. Her recent titles include a humorous middle grade novel, Definitely Daphne, picture book biography, Fearless Mary, and young adult novel, Becoming Beatriz. When Tami is not writing, she can be found presenting at schools both stateside and abroad. (Or sneaking in a nap...because sleep is LIFE!) Website:

Reem Faruqi

When Reem Faruqi taught second grade, her favorite time was “Read Aloud” time. Now, her favorite time at home is “Read Aloud” time to her daughters. Of Pakistani origin, she moved to Peachtree City, Georgia, from Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, when she was 13 years old. Reem based her first award-winning children’s book “Lailah’s Lunchbox” on her own experiences as a young Muslim girl immigrating to the United States. She has two new books projected for 2019, “Amira’s Picture Day”(Holiday House 2019) and “Let Me Show You The Way.” (Eerdmans 2019). Reem also works as a photographer at ReemFaruqi Photography and a Scheduler for the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta. She loves to doodle, write, and take photos. Check out her photoblog at! Currently, she lives with her husband and three daughters in Atlanta. website:

David Kelly

DAVID A. KELLY is a former Little League right fielder and the author of the BALLPARK MYSTERIES and MVP sports book series from Random House, as well as BABE RUTH AND THE BASEBALL CURSE, and the picture book MIRACLE MUD. He lives outside Boston with his family. For more information, visit

Jacqueline Jules

Jacqueline Jules is the award-winning author of 40 children’s books, including theZapato Power series, the Sofia Martinez series, Unite or Die: How Thirteen  States Became a Nation, Duck for Turkey Day, Never Say a Mean Word Again, Feathers for Peacock, The Hardest Word, and Pluto is Peeved. Also a poet, Jacqueline is the author of three poetry chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in over 100 publications, includingCricket, Cicada, Germ Magazine, YARN, The Poetry Friday Anthologies, and One Minute Till Bedtime. Visit or connect on Twitter @jacquelinejules