Authors Appearing at Children's Institute 2015

An Indies Introduce Author

Opening Reception with We Need Diverse Books

I.W. Gregorio
None of the Above, Balzer + Bray

Also Appearing at the Author Reception

I.W. Gregorio is a practicing surgeon by day, masked avenging YA writer by night. After receiving her MD, she did her residency at Stanford, where she met the intersex patient who inspired her debut novel, None of the Above (Balzer + Bray, April 2015). She is also a founding member of the We Need Diverse Books team. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children and is a recovering ice hockey player.

Ellen Oh
King (A Prophecy Novel), HarperTeen

Also Appearing at the Author Reception

Ellen Oh is an adjunct college instructor and former entertainment lawyer who one day picked up a Genghis Khan biography and was never quite the same again. It was the start of an obsessive fascination with ancient Asian history, which led to years of researching that culminated in Prophecy, her first novel. She is also the founder of the We Need Diverse Books campaign. Ellen loves martial arts films, K-pop, K-dramas, and cooking shows and thinks the Last Airbender series was the best animated show ever created. Originally from NYC, Ellen lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her husband and three daughters and is always on the hunt for a decent bagel. Her latest novel in the Prophecy series is King (HarperTeen, March 2015). You can visit her online at

Aisha Saeed
Written in the Stars, Nancy Paulsen Books

Aisha Saeed is a Pakistani-American writer, teacher, and attorney. As a founding member and vice president of strategy for the We Need Diverse Books campaign, she is helping to change the conversation about diversity in literature. Her writings have appeared in the Orlando Sentinel, Muslim Girl Magazine, and Rivaaj Magazine. She is a contributing author to the highly acclaimed Love Insh’Allah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women, which features the story of her own (happily) arranged marriage. Aisha lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two sons. Her debut novel, Written in the Stars, was released in March 2015 by Nancy Paulsen Books.

Lisa Yee
The Kidney Hypothetical, Arthur A. Levine Books

Also Appearing at the Author Reception

Lisa Yee is the author of The Kidney Hypothetical, Warp Speed, Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time (an ALA Notable Book), the Bobby chapter book series, and Millicent Min, Girl Genius. She lives in South Pasadena, California, with her family. Her latest title, The Kidney Hypothetical, will be out March 2015 from Arthur A. Levine Books. Visit her online at and follow her on Twitter at @lisayee1.

Nicola Yoon
Everything, Everything, Delacorte Press

Also Appearing at the Author Reception

Nicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica (the island) and Brooklyn (part of New York). She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and their daughter, both of whom she loves beyond all reason. Everything, Everything (Delacorte Press, September 2015) is her first novel.

Author Reception

Rilla Alexander
Her Idea, Flying Eye Books

Rilla Alexander is an Australian designer and illustrator whose work has appeared on everything from toys and tea cups to busses and buildings. She designed the children’s products for Madrid’s Museo del Prado, teaches Character Design at the Pictoplasma Academy in Berlin and her work has been showcased at Paris’ cultural mecca Colette and at the Musée de la Publicité/Louvre. Her books celebrate creativity, reading, making and doing. She currently lives in Portland, OR. Rilla's latest book is Her Idea and will be out in April 2015 by Flying Eye Books.

Mark Alpert
The Six, Sourcebooks Fire

Mark Alpert is a contributing editor at Scientific American and the author of several science-oriented adult thrillers: Final Theory, The Omega Theory, Extinction, and The Furies. His first young adult novel, The Six, will be published by Sourcebooks Fire in July 2015. He lives with his family in New York. Visit Mark online at

Adi Alsaid
Never Always Sometimes, HarlequinTeen

Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City, where he now lives after spending time in Israel, Las Vegas, and California. His debut, Let’s Get Lost, was nominated for YALSA's 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults list. Visit Adi online at, or follow him on Twitter: @AdiAlsaid. His next title, Never Always Sometimes, will be released from HarlequinTeen in August 2015.

Ken Baker
Finding Forever, Running Press

Ken Baker is an E! News Correspondent. He is the author of YA novels How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love and Fangirl. His memoir, Man Made: A Memoir of My Body, is the inspiration for the film The Late Bloomer. He lives (and writes) with his family in Hermosa Beach, CA. Finding Forever is his latest YA novel and will be published by Running Press in September of 2015.

Ali Benjamin
The Thing About Jellyfish, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Ali Benjamin is the co-writer for HIV-positive teen Paige Rawl's coming-of-age memoir, Positive, as well as Tim Howard's New York Times bestseller The Keeper. She is a member of New England Science Writers and has written for The Boston Globe MagazineMartha Stewart's Whole Living, and Sesame Street. Her debut middle grade novel, The Thing About Jellyfish will be published in September 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Nina Berry
The Notorious Pagan Jones, HarlequinTeen

Nina Berry was born in Honolulu, studied writing and film in Chicago, and now works and writes in Hollywood. She is the author of the Otherkin series. When she’s not writing, Nina does her best to go bodysurfing, explore ancient crypts or head out on tiger safari. But mostly she’s on the couch with her cats reading a good book. Her latest, The Notorious Pagan Jones, will be released in May 2015 from HarlequinTeen.

Rae Carson
Walk on Earth a Stranger, Greenwillow Books

Rae Carson is the author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Crown of Embers, and The Bitter Kingdom. Her debut novel, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, was named a Morris YA Debut Award finalist, and Andre Norton Award finalist, a YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Teens Pick, and received two starred reviews. She lives in Arizona with her husband. Her latest book, Walk on Earth a Stranger, will be published in September 2015 from Greenwillow Books.

T Cooper
Changers Book Two: Oryon, Black Sheep dist. by Consortium

T Cooper is the author of four novels, including the best-selling Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes and The Beaufort Diaries. He is also the author of the nonfiction Real Man Adventures, and he was also coeditor of A Fictional History of the United States with Huge Chunks Missing. Cooper’s shorter work has appeared in a variety of publications including the New Yorker, the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, the BelieverO, The Oprah MagazineOne StoryBomb, Electric Literature, the Brooklyn Review, and many others. He is currently a visiting professor in fiction at Emory University, and sometimes writes for television. Cooper is coauthor with Allison Glock-Cooper of the Changers Series. The second book in the series, Changers Book Two: Oryon, will be published in April from Black Sheep.

Sarah Dessen
Saint Anything, Viking Juvenile

Sarah Dessen is one of the most popular writers for young adults. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews, and have sold more than seven million copies. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine. Her latest, Saint Anything, will be out in May 2015 from Viking Juvenile. Visit her online at

Bryn Fleming
Jasper & Willie Wildfire, Graphic Art Books

Bryn Fleming was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and graduated from Portland State University with a degree in English. She taught creative writing classes at Portland Community College, and has been published in Highlights, Cricket, and numerous poetry journals. Bryn volunteered at a wildlife care center as a teenager, worked in seven different National Parks, traveled and worked in Australia, New Zealand, and the Caribbean where she crewed on sailing yachts and worked at the Oregon Zoo for ten years. She now lives in Central Oregon with rescue dogs Bandit and Pippin, shelter cats Amber and Angel, horse Sky, and an adopted wild burro Biscuit and mini-mule, Mercy. She is currently employed as a fish biology field technician helping to restore endangered wild steelhead to Oregon rivers. Her latest book, Jasper & Willie Wildfire, will be published by Graphic Art Books.

Nicholas Gannon
The Doldrums, Greenwillow Books

Nicholas Gannon is a graduate of Parsons School for Design. He has lived in many places since his childhood, including Minnesota and upstate New York, but now resides in Brooklyn, NY. His first book, The Doldrums, will be published by Greenwillow Books in September 2015.

Dan Hanna
The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Dan Hanna has over ten years of experience in the animation industry, and his work has appeared on the Cartoon Network. He lives in Oxnard, California. The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) in June 2014. Visit Dan Hanna at

E.K. Johnston
A Thousand Nights, Disney-Hyperion

E.K. Johnston is a forensic archaeologist by training, a bookseller by trade, and a grammarian by nature. Someday, she's sure, she's going to get the hang of this whole "real world" thing, but in the mean time she's going to spend as much time in other worlds as she possibly can. When she's not on tumblr, she dreams of travel and Tolkien. Or writes books. It really depends on the weather. Her latest novel, A Thousand Nights, will be released from Disney-Hyperion in October 2015.

Elin Kelsey
Wild Ideas: Let Nature Inspire Your Thinking, Owlkids Books

Elin Kelsey is an educator, researcher, environmental consultant and award-winning author. She has received rave reviews from The Economist, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews for her more than a dozen environment- and science-based books for children and adults. Her latest book, Wild Ideas: Let Nature Inspire Your Thinking (Spring 2015; Owlkids Books), is a companion book to her best-seller, You Are Stardust (2012).

Jo Knowles
Read Between the Lines, Candlewick Press

Appearing at the Author Reception

Jo Knowles is the author of Jumping Off Swings and its sequel, Living with Jackie Chan, as well as See You at Harry’s. She lives in Vermont with her family. Her latest novel, Read Between the Lines, will be published by Candlewick Press in March 2015.

Lora Koehler
The Little Snowplow, Candlewick

Lora Koehler is a children’s librarian. The Little Snowplow (Candlewick, October 2015) is her first picture book. She lives near the mountains in Salt Lake City, Utah, where snowplows of all sizes come in handy.

Tom Lichtenheld
I Wish You More, Chronicle Books

Tom Lichtenheld has created many books for children, including the New York Times Bestsellers Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, Steam Train, and Duck! Rabbit! written with Amy Krouse Rosenthal, with whom he also collaborated on Exclamation Mark, The OK Book, It's Not Fair!, and Wumbers. A former advertising creative director, he lives in Geneva, Illinois. His latest collaboration with Amy Krouse Rosenthal, I Wish You More, will be published in March by Chronicle Books. You can see all of Tom’s books and more at

Eric Lindstrom
Not If I See You First, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Eric Lindstrom is a BAFTA-nominated veteran of the interactive entertainment industry. He is currently Chief Creative Officer for Flying Wisdom Studios. His debut nove, Not If I See You First will be published in December 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

D. J. MacHale
Voyagers: Project Alpha (Book 1), Random House Books for Young Readers

D. J. MacHale is the author of the bestselling book series Pendragon: Journal of an Adventure Through Time and Space, the spooky Morpheus Road trilogy, and the sci-fi thriller trilogy the SYLO Chronicles. In addition to his published works, he has written, directed, and produced numerous award-winning television series and movies for young people including Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Flight 29 Down, and Tower of Terror. D. J. lives with his family in Southern California. His latest title is Voyagers: Project Alpha (Book 1) will be published in September from Random House Books for Young Readers. Learn more about D.J. MacHale at

Alison McGhee
Firefly Hollow, Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Alison McGhee is the New York Times bestselling author of Someday, as well as Little Boy, So Many Days, Bye-Bye Crib, Always, A Very Brave Witch, and Bink and Gollie. Her other children’s books include All Rivers Flow to the Sea, Countdown to Kindergarten, and Snap. Alison is also the Pulitzer Prize–nominated novelist of the adult novel Shadowbaby, which was also a Today show book club selection. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and you can visit her at Firefly Hollow will be her latest, out August 2015 from Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Paige McKenzie
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, Weinstein Books, dist. by PGW

Paige McKenzie, the irresistible face of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, began playing Sunshine as a high school junior. Today, the YouTube series boasts a viewership nearing ten million. McKenzie was recently named one of Seventeen magazine’s “Pretty Amazing” finalists. Her book The Haunting of Sunshine Girl will be out in March 2015 from Weinstein Books, dist. by PGW. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Julie Murphy
Dumplin’, Balzer + Bray

Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cats who tolerate her. When she’s not writing or trying to catch stray animals, Julie can be found in a library smelling old books and manning the reference desk. Her acclaimed first novel is Side Effects May Vary. Her latest title Dumplin’ will be published by Balzer + Bray, September 2015. You can visit Julie at

Innosanto Nagara
Counting on Community, Triangle Square Books for Young Readers

Innosanto Nagara is a graphic designer and founding member of Design Action Collective. He is the author/illustrator of A is for Activist, and with author/musician Martha Gonzalez, the illustrator for A de activista. His latest, Counting on Community, is set for publication September 2015 from Triangle Square Books for Young Readers.

Kathryn Otoshi
Beautiful Hands, Blue Dot Press, dist. by PGW

Kathryn Otoshi is a multi-award winning author/illustrator and national/international speaker best known for her character-building number book series, Zero, One (an E.B. White Read Aloud Award Honor Book), and Two. She goes to schools across the country to encourage students to make positive choices and does presentations to help educators find customized and creative methods to engage and connect with kids through art, reading and literature. Prior to this, Kathryn worked in film as a graphic designer at George Lucas's Inustrial Light & Magic and Disney Imagemovers. Beautiful Hands will be out in September 2015 from Blue Dot Press, dist. by PGW. Find more about Kathryn and her books at

Mo O’Hara
My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish: Fins of Fury, Feiwel & Friends

Mo O’Hara is the author of My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish. She grew up in Pennsylvania, and now lives in London, where she works as a writer, actor, and storyteller, visiting theaters and schools all across the UK and Ireland. Mo and her brother once brought their own pet goldfish back from the brink of death (true fact). The latest in the Zombie Goldfish series is My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish: Fins of Fury, out March 2015 from Feiwel & Friends. Visit Mo O'Hara at

Mitali Bose Perkins
Tiger Boy, Charlesbridge

Mitali Bose Perkins studied political science at Stanford University and public policy at UC Berkeley, and survived academia thanks to a steady diet of kids’ books from public libraries and bookstores. She went on to teach middle school, high school, and college students. She lived in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, and California with her husband and twin sons before moving to Newton, Massachusetts, and back to California, where she lives now. Tiger Boy will be released in April 2015 from Charlesbridge. Visit her at to think, chat, and learn about life between cultures.

Yvonne Prinz
If You’re Lucky, Algonquin Young Readers

Yvonne Prinz is the award-winning author of The Vinyl Princess and All You Get Is Me. A Canadian living in the San Francisco Bay Area, she is the cofounder of Amoeba Music, the world’s largest independent music store. Her new novel, If You're Lucky, is on sale this October from Algonquin Young Readers.

Spencer Quinn
Woof, Scholastic Press

Spencer Quinn is the author of the New York Times bestselling adult mystery series Chet and Bernie. According to Stephen King, “Spencer Quinn speaks two languages – suspense and dog – very fluently.” Spencer lives on Cape Cod with his wife, Diana, and his dogs, Audrey and Pearl. Spencer Quinn is also the alter-ego of bestselling, Edgar Award-winning author Peter Abrahams, whose many crime thrillers include Reality Check, End of Story, Oblivion, and the Echo Falls series for young adult readers. His latest, Woof, will be published April 2015 from Scholastic Press.

Lance Rubin
Denton Little’s Deathdate, Knopf Books for Young Readers

Lance Rubin spent his twenties working as an actor and writing sketch comedy, with several successful runs of The Lance and Ray Show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City. He has now turned his comedic talents to fiction, and Denton Little’s Deathdate (Knopf Books for Young Readers, April 2015) is his first novel. You can find him on the Web at and on Twitter at @LanceRubinParty.

Barney Saltzberg
Redbird: Colors, Colors, Everywhere!, Workman Publishing Company

Barney Saltzberg is the author of more than 30 books for children, including Beautiful Oops!Good Egg and the bestselling Touch and Feel Kisses series, with over 800,000 copies in print. Additionally, he’s recorded four albums of songs for children. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, two dogs, and a pond full of fish. His latest, Redbird: Colors, Colors, Everywhere!, was published in February from Workman Publishing Company.

Kevin Sands
The Blackthorn Key, Aladdin

Since escaping from university with a pair of degrees in theoretical physics, Kevin Sands has worked as a researcher, a business consultant, and a teacher. He lives in Toronto, Canada. His debut novel, The Blackthorn Key, will be published by Aladdin in September 2015.

Kate Schatz
Rad American Women A-Z, City Lights/Sister Spit dist. by Consortium

Kate Schatz is a writer, editor, and educator. Her book of fiction, Rid of Me: A Story, was published in 2006 on Continuum Press as part of the acclaimed 33 1/3 series. Her writing has been published in Oxford American, Denver Quarterly, Joyland, and West Branch, among others, and her short story "Folsom, Survivor" was included as a "Notable Short Story" in Best American Short Stories 2011. She is a co-founder and editor of The Encyclopedia Project. She is the Chair of the School of Literary Arts at Oakland School for the Arts, where she teaches fiction, poetry, and journalism to 9th-12th graders. She received her MFA in Fiction from Brown University, and a double BA in Women's Studies/Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz. She lives with her family on the island of Alameda, CA. Rad American Women A-Z will be published in April from City Lights/Sister Spit.

Sarah Lynn Scheerger
Are You Still There?, Albert Whitman & Company

Sarah Lynn Scheerger is a writer and a licensed clinical social worker who works with at risk youth. She lives with her husband and children in Ventura County, California. Her first novel was The Opposite of Love 2014. Are You Still There? will be out in fall 2015, published by Albert Whitman & Company. 

Betsy Schow
Spelled, Sourcebooks Fire

Betsy Schow is the author of the memoir Finished Being Fat, and has been featured on The Today Show and in The Wall Street Journal. She lives in Utah, but travels the country with Color Me Rad 5k, and partners with non-profits to teach kids creative thinking and how to reach their goals. Her latest book, Spelled, will be published by Sourcebooks Fire in June 2015. Visit her at

Jon Scieszka
Frank Einstein and the Electro-Finger, Amulet Books

Jon Scieszka is the author of The New York Times bestseller Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor. The next title in the six-book series, Frank Einstein and the Electro-Finger, will be available in March 2015 from Amulet Books. He is also the author of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, Battle Bunny, and 4,832 other stories. Jon is the founder of Guys Read (a web-based literacy initiative for boys), and served as the first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Visit him online at and @Jon_Scieszka.

Bob Shea
Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret, Disney-Hyperion

Bob Shea ( is the author-illustrator of the Dinosaur vs. series and several other picture books, including Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don't Play With Your Food! and Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great. He and his wife, Colleen, run their own graphic design company called Perfectly Nice. Their son Ryan inspired the character Dinosaur. When Bob isn't out on the road promoting his books, he lives and works in Madison, Connecticut. His latest book Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret will be published in May from

Peter Sís
Ice Cream Summer, Scholastic Press

Peter Sís is a Hans Christian Anderson Award winner, a Sibert Award winner and a MacArthur Fellow. Sís’s award-winning picture books include Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei, Tibet Through the Red Box, and The Wall: Growing Up behind the Iron Curtain. His forthcoming picture book Ice Cream Summer will be published in June 2015 from Scholastic Press. Sís lives in the New York City area with his family. Learn more about him online at

Holly Goldberg Sloan
Appleblossom the Possum, Dial

Holly Goldberg Sloan is the author of the acclaimed Counting by Sevens (Dial, August 2013). She was born in Michigan and spent her childhood living in Holland, Turkey, Washington DC, California and Eugene, Oregon. She has written and directed a number of successful feature films. The mother of two sons, Holly lives with her husband, Gary Rosen, in Santa Monica, California. Her latest, Appleblossom the Possum, will be published by Dial in August 2015.

Leah Thomas
Because You'll Never Meet Me, Bloomsbury

Leah Thomas frequently loses battles of wits against her students and her stories. When she's not huddled in cafes, she's usually at home pricking her fingers in service of cosplay. Leah lives in San Diego, California, and Because You'll Never Meet Me (Bloomsbury, June 2015) is her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter @blunderkinder.

Emma J. Virján
What This Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig, HarperCollins

Emma J. Virján was born under an Aries moon on a Wednesday, her dad’s bowling night. She loves to draw, work in her garden and often lets her dog sleep on the couch. She makes her home in Austin, Texas, where she spends her days as an illustrator and graphic designer. Unlike Pig, Emma has never worn a wig, but she is thinking of buying one - a red one, of course. Her book, What This Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig, will be published in May 2015 from HarperCollins. Visit her at

Frieda Wishinsky
Avis Dolphin, Groundwood Books

Frieda Wishinsky is the award-winning author of over 60 books. She writes in a variety of genres: picture books, novels and non-fiction. Her books have been translated into many languages and her picture book Please, Louise! won the 2008 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Frieda loves sharing the writing process with students at all levels. She lives in Toronto, ON. Frieda's latest novel, Avis Dolphin, will be published by Groundwood Books in April 2015.

Salina Yoon
Stormy Night, Bloomsbury

Salina Yoon is the award-winning author/illustrator of nearly 200 books for children, including Penguin and Pinecone, Penguin on Vacation, Penguin in Love, Penguin and Pumpkin, and Found! She lives in San Diego with her family. Visit Salina online at Her latest picture book is Stormy Night, released in January 2015 by Bloomsbury.


Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel
Wabanaki Blues, Poisoned Pen

Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel spent her childhood learning ancient stories and traditions from her Mohegan tribal elders. She currently serves as the Medicine Woman for the Mohegans and writes fiction and non-fiction about the extraordinary real world of the Native Americans of New England. Her latest, Wabanaki Blues, will be released in June 2015 by Poisoned Pen.

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