YA Author Panel

Friday, November 9, 2018 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Jessie Ann Foley, Michelle Falkoff, Crystal Chan, Gloria Chao, Samira Ahmed

Join us for a dynamic panel with six critically-acclaimed authors of young adult novels: Jessie Ann Foley, Michelle Falkoff, Crystal Chan, Gloria Chao, and Samira Ahmed. Kate Hannigan will be the moderator. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At 57th Street Books

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About Neighborhood Girls: A powerful coming-of-age story about a girl whose encounters with loss, broken friendships, and newfound faith leave her forever changed, from Printz Honor winner and Morris Award Finalist Jessie Ann Foley. When Wendy Boychuck’s father, a Chicago cop, was escorted from their property in handcuffs, she knew her life would never be the same. Her father gets a years-long jail sentence, her family falls on hard times, and the whispers around their neighborhood are impossible to ignore. If that wasn’t bad enough, she gets jumped walking home from a party one night. Wendy quickly realizes that in order to survive her father’s reputation, she’ll have to make one for herself.

About Jessie Ann Foley: Jessie Ann Foley writes books for young adults. Her debut novel, The Carnival at Braywas named a Printz Honor Book, a Kirkus Best Book of 2014, a YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults title, and a William C. Morris Award finalist. Her second novel, Neighborhood Girlswas a 2017 Booklist Editor’s Choice and YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults title. Her third novel, Sorry for Your Lossis out from HarperTeen in June 2019. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the northwest side of Chicago, where she was born and raised.You can follow Jessie on Instagram at @jessieannfoley. 

About Questions I Want to Ask You: Patrick “Pack” Walsh may not know where he’s going in life, but he’s happy where he is. He’s got a job lined up for himself after graduation. A great girlfriend. And can’t really see himself ever leaving his small town. Then, on his eighteenth birthday, a letter from his mother changes everything. Because she’s dead. At least, that’s what he always believed. As Pack begins a journey to uncover the truth about the parents he thought he knew, the family he didn’t know he had, and the future he never realized he wanted, he starts to have a whole different understanding of his life—and where he wants to go from here. Questions I Want to Ask You is a contemporary realistic coming-of-age story with an emotionally-driven mystery at its core. Kirkus praised it as "a well-rounded, much-needed portrait."

About Michelle Falkoff: Michelle Falkoff was born and raised outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She pretty much spent her whole childhood reading and then went off to study literature at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. After that, she attended Columbia Law School in New York and went on to be an intellectual property litigator in Silicon Valley. (Her weirdest case involved a battle over the patent for the variant of blue-green algae that makes farm-raised salmon turn pink when they eat it.) She quit practicing law to study fiction at writing at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and ever since then she's been teaching legal writing and fiction writing and writing novels. Right now, she serves as the Director of the Communication and Legal Reasoning program at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and teaches fiction on the side at the University of Chicago. She is the author of the young adult novels Playlist for the Dead (an NPR Great Read of 2015), Pushing Perfect (2016), and Questions I Want to Ask You (2018). 

About All That I Can Fix: In Makersville, Indiana, people know all about Ronney—he’s from that mixed-race family with the dad who tried to kill himself, the pill-popping mom, and the genius kid sister. If having a family like that wasn’t bad enough, the local eccentric at the edge of town decided one night to open up all the cages of his exotic zoo—lions, cheetahs, tigers—and then shoot himself dead. Go figure. Even more proof that you can’t trust adults to do the right thing. Overnight, news crews, gun control supporters, and gun rights advocates descend on Makersville, bringing around-the-clock news coverage, rallies, and anti-rallies with them. With his parents checked out, Ronney is left tending to his sister’s mounting fears of roaming lions, stopping his best friend from going on a suburban safari, and shaking loose a lonely boy who follows Ronney wherever he goes. Can Ronney figure out a way to hold it together as all his worlds fall apart? From acclaimed author Crystal Chan comes an incisive tale of love, loyalty, and the great leaps we take to protect the people and places we love most.

About Crystal Chan: Crystal Chan watched with amazement at the exotic zoo outbreak in Zanesville, Ohio in 2011, where scores of animals—hungry lions, panthers, and tigers—ran loose around the county. That incident helped inspire her most recent novel, All That I Can Fix, which has been listed in Bustle.com and Buzzfeed.com and received three starred reviews. When Crystal isn’t writing, her passion is giving diversity talks to adults and kids alike, telling stories on Wisconsin Public Radio, and hosting conversations on social media. Her debut novel, Bird, was published in nine countries and is available on audiobook in the US. She is the parent of a teenage turtle (not a ninja). 

About American Panda: At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies. With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth—that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese. But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels? From debut author Gloria Chao comes a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how unlike the panda, life isn’t always so black and white.

About Gloria Chao: Gloria Chao is an MIT grad turned dentist turned writer. She is always up for Dance Dance Revolution, cooperative board games, or soup dumplings. Her debut novel, American Panda, received four starred trade reviews, is a Junior Library Guild Selection and Indie’s Next Pick, and is nominated for several awards including YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adult. Her second novel, Misaligned, is forthcoming fall 2019.

About Love, Hate and Other Filters: In this unforgettable debut novel, an Indian-American Muslim teen copes with Islamophobia, cultural divides among peers and parents, and a reality she can neither explain nor escape. American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school. There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates alike are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.

About Samira Ahmed: Samira Ahmed was born in Bombay, India, and grew up in a small town in Illinois in a house that smelled like fried onions, cardamom, and potpourri. A graduate of the University of Chicago, she taught high school English, helped create dozens of small high schools, and fought to secure billions of additional dollars to fairly fund public schools. She's lived in Vermont, Chicago, New York City, and Kauai, where she spent a year searching for the perfect mango.

Event Location: 
57th Street Books
1301 E 57th Street
Chicago, IL 60637