Kwame alexander

 Book Author - Elementary and Middle Level

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Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, Emmy-winning producer and #1 New York Times bestselling author of 40 books, including This Is The Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets, Why Fathers Cry at Night, An American Story, The Door of No Return, Becoming Muhammad Ali (co-authored with James Patterson), Rebound, which was shortlisted for the prestigious UK Carnegie Medal, and The Undefeated, the National Book Award nominee, Newbery Honor, and Caldecott Medal-winning picture book illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

Kwame is also the Emmy-winning Executive Producer, Showrunner, and Writer of The Crossover TV series, based on his Newbery-Medal winning novel of the same name, which premiered on Disney+ in April 2023. The series was produced in partnership with LeBron James' SpringHill Company and Big Sea Entertainment, Kwame's production company that is dedicated to creating innovative, highly original children’s and family entertainment. Other current projects in development at Big Sea include America’s Next Great Author, the groundbreaking reality television series for writers.

A regular contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition, Kwame is the creator and host of the Why Fathers Cry podcast, premiering September 2023, featuring conversations about love and parenting and loss, with fathers and sons. He regularly shares his passion for literacy, books and the craft of writing around the world at events like the Chautauqua Lecture Series, the Edinburgh Book Festival, Aspen Ideas, and the Global Literacy Symposium in Ghana, where he opened the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic in Ghana. Most recently he was appointed the Rudell Artistic Director of Literary Arts and Writer-in-Residence at the Chautauqua Institution.

His mission is to change the world, one word at a time.



Lesa Cline-Ransome

 Book Author - Elementary and Middle Level

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Lesa Cline-Ransome is the author of numerous non-fiction and historical fiction titles for picture book, chapter book, middle grade and young adult readers and her work has been named to ALA Notable Books and Bank Street Best Children’s Book lists. 

Her verse biography of Harriet Tubman, Before She Was Harriet was nominated for an NAACP image award and received a Jane Addams Honor, Christopher Award and Coretta Scott King Honor for Illustration.  Her debut middle grade novel, Finding Langston, won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction and received the Coretta Scott King Award Author Honor.  The companion novels Leaving Lymon and Being Clem complete the Finding Langston trilogy.  For Lamb is her debut YA historical fiction novel set in Jim Crow Mississippi. 

A 2022 NAIBA Legacy Award recipient, Lesa has received numerous honors and awards including NAACP Awards , Kirkus Best Book, New York Public Library Best Book, SLJ Best Book, CBC Choice Awards,  two Top 10 Sports Books for Youth,  and an Orbis Pictus Recommended Book. 

She is currently an SCBWI Advisory Council member and host of KidLitTV's Past Present: Giving Past Stories New Life. 

She lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York with her husband and frequent collaborator, James Ransome and their family.  Visit her at



Adam gidwitz

 Book Author - Elementary Level

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Adam Gidwitz was a teacher for eight years. Now, he writes full time, which means he writes a couple of hours a day, and lies on his couch staring at the ceiling the rest of the time. He is the bestselling author of the children's books, A Tale Dark and Grimm and its companions; The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to Be a Jedi; and The Unicorn Rescue Society adventure series. He is the recipient of a Newbery Honor for his middle grade novel, The Inquisitor's Tale, and also the creator of GRIMM, GRIMMER, GRIMMEST, a podcast from Pinna and #1 show for kids on Apple Podcasts. The television adaptation of A Tale Dark and Grimm is currently on Netflix. For more info on Adam, visit his website at and follow him on Facebook and Twitter @AdamGidwitz.



tami charles

 Book Author - Elementary Level

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Tami Charles is the New York Times bestselling author of All Because You Matter, You Are Here and numerous books for children and young adults. 

An undergraduate of Saint Elizabeth University, Tami received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. She went on to earn a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Farleigh Dickinson University and thereafter became certified in principalship for the states of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Tami pursued her doctoral studies in Educational Leadership at Walden University, where she reached ABD status. For fourteen years, Tami served as a classroom teacher before following her childhood dream of becoming an author. 

This would not have happened without the encouragement of her students. During her tenure, Tami and her fifth grade students explored a wide array of diverse middle grade novels and picture books. Doing so inspired Tami and her students to write their own short stories and plays, with some performed for the school and community at-large. 

Publishing in 2018, Like Vanessa was Tami’s debut middle grade novel. It went on to earn Top 10 spots on the Indies Introduce and Spring Kids’ Next lists, three starred reviews, and a Junior Library Guild selection. Since then, she has published such titles as Definitely Daphne, Fearless Mary, Serena the GOAT, and Becoming Beatriz to name a few.

Her latest titles include YA novel-in-verse, Muted, which was a Buzzfeed Top 40 pick, Ketanji Brown Jackson: A Justice for All, and lyrical picture book My Day with the Panye, which received a starred review from School Library Journal.

Tami’s work has been spotlighted in such outlets as Essence Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Marie Claire, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. When she isn’t writing, Tami can be found presenting at schools both stateside and abroad. As a former educator, Tami understands the true power of teaching. It extends beyond lesson plans, data collection, and testing. Teachers are in a unique position to empower students and cultivate the next generation of writers and thought-leaders. 



Nicholas solis

Book Author - Elementary Level

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Nicholas Solis is an award-winning elementary educator, as well as a writing teacher at The Writing Barn in Austin, Texas. In 2018, he was the recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Grant from We Need Diverse Books. He has taught students all over the globe—from Tanzania to Texas—and there’s one thing he’s learned from his world travels: kids are kids everywhere you go. Nick is a prolific author who writes picture books, teaching blogs, middle grade novels, and poetry. His debut author/illustrator book, THE STARING CONTEST, released with Peter Pauper Press in September 2020 and was nominated as a Redbud Read Aloud Award finalist for 2022.  THE COLOR COLLECTOR, with Sleeping Bear Press, came out April 15th, 2021 and MY TOWN, MI PUEBLO, with Nancy Paulsen Books, will be released August 16th, 2022. He lives with his wife, their dog, and their son, Leo, in Austin, Texas. Learn more about Nick at



Akshaya raman

Book Author - High School Level

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Akshaya Raman is a Tamil American writer born in Chennai and raised in the Bay Area. She fell in love with writing when she wrote her first story at the age of ten. Though she graduated from UC Davis with a degree in biology, she gave up pursuing a career in science to write books. She lives in California with an actual scaredy cat, and in her free time, she enjoys baking, traveling, and watching too much reality TV. 



Jennifer holm

Book Author - Elementary Level

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Jennifer L. Holm is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY-bestselling children's author. She is the recipient of three Newbery Honors for her novels OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA, PENNY FROM HEAVEN, and TURTLE IN PARADISE and the Scott O'Dell Award for FULL OF BEANS. Jennifer collaborates with her brother, Matthew Holm, on several graphic novel series including the Babymouse series which has sold over 3.2 million copies and won the Eisner Award, the Sunny series which is a NY Times-bestseller, and finally, the Squish series which was turned into an animated series by Cottonwood Media and aired on HBO MAX. Her latest novel, THE LION OF MARS is a USA TODAY-bestseller. She lives in California with her husband, two children, and three bossy cats named Augustus, Livia, and Calpurnia.



Ken Lamug

Book Author - Elementary  Level
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Ken Lamug is an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s picture books and graphic novels. Originally from the Philippines, he moved to America with his parents and siblings when he was just 17 years old.

Ken’s stories explore the power of creativity & curiosity, diversity, and adventure. His most recent books include Mischief and Mayhem graphic series, The Family Business and The Whole Hole Story.

He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he is a professional dabbler and has tried everything from beekeeping, filmmaking, 3d printing, photography, coding, and race car driving. 

Learn more about Ken and his books at 



Kristin o'donnell tubb

Book Author - Elementary Level

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Kristin O’Donnell Tubb is the award-winning author of The Decomposition of Jack, Luna Howls at the Moon, Zeus, Dog of Chaos, The Story Collector series, A Dog Like Daisy, John Lincoln Clem: Civil War Drummer Boy (written as E.F. Abbott), The 13th Sign, Selling Hope and Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different. In 2042, watch for Fowl Play. Kristin lives near Nashville, Tennessee with her bouncy-loud family. Just like her two dogs, she can be bribed with cheese. 



Jacci turner

Book Author - Upper Elementary and Middle School

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Jacci is the author of twelve books for middle grade and young adults and two for adults.

Her fantasy for young adults is Tree Singer. It has three things she loves: trees, a good quest story, and a young girl who has to find her voice to bring her gifts to the world! It was a finalist in three Wishing Shelf book contest categories: YA, Cover, and Audio.

Most recently, Jacci published her first Non-Fiction for Adults, Tumbled People: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Your Faith, and she has a similar fiction geared towards adults, The Retreat: A Tale of Spiritual Awakening, on Harper Collins. 


Jacci's middle grade fiction, Bending Willow, is about Riley and Mia searching for a father who doesn't know they exist. It is the first book in The Finding Home Series. Bending Willow represented Nevada at the National Book Festival in Washington D.C and was a finalist for the Wishing Shelf Contest. 

In addition, Jacci is the author of the Amazon best-selling young adult novel, The Cage, the first book in The Birthright series.

Her YA book, Snapped, is about Snapchat gone wrong and how to stand up to cyberbullying. It received five stars from Litpick and was a Wishing Shelf finalist. 

Her YA book, Cracker, is an alternative history and helps us understand what it is like to be a marginalized person. Teachers use the Discussion guide in the back to help students talk about difficult topics like race, microaggressions, and systemic injustice.

Her middle grade fantasy, Shipwrecked, was written alongside fourth-grade students in Idaho.

In an amazing show of generosity, 1200 of Jacci's books were given to the WCSD libraries by a patron.



suzanne morgan williams

Book Author - Elementary and Middle School Level

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Suzanne Morgan Williams, author, school presenter and workshop leader, has given hundreds of successful assemblies, workshops, and community events across the U.S. and Canada. She is the author of the novels SIERRA BLUE and BULL RIDER (for ages 10 and up) as well as eleven nonfiction books for children. 

Midwest Book Review says SIERRA BLUE is “especially and unreservedly recommended for all elementary, middle school, high school, and community library YA collections.” Reviewer Wendy Schultz says in Placerville Mountain-Democrat: “SIERRA BLUE is an empathetic, exciting and empowering read, especially for those readers currently trying to navigate their way through the vagaries of middle and high school.” 

BULL RIDER is a Junior Library Guild Selection, was on state award lists for grades 4-high school in Texas, Nevada, Missouri, Wyoming and Indiana, and received a Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City. Booklist said, “This first novel makes the sports details of skateboarding and bull-riding part of the powerful contemporary story of family, community, and work.” The Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books says,” The book isn’t overtly anti- or pro-war so much as pro the people who are struggling with this difficult change in their lives. This is therefore a gripping read for fans of family dramas, and it’s certainly high time that this aspect of the war’s consequences received a sensitive and compelling exploration.” Suzanne’s nonfiction titles include PINATAS and SMILING SKELETONS, THE INUIT, MADE IN CHINA, and CHINA'S DAUGHTERS.



Terri farley

Book Author - Upper Elementary

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Terri Farley has always loved horses and is overjoyed that she outgrew her childhood allergy to them. She taught middle school and high school language arts and journalism in inner-city Los Angeles before moving to the cowgirl state of Nevada. Now she rides the range researching the books that have made her an award-winning author and an advocate for the West’s wild places and wildlife—especially wild horses. Through school and library visits, Terri continues to work with young people learning to make their voices heard. She lives in a one-hundred-year-old house with her family, which includes her dog, Willow. In true collie fashion, Willow rescued the youngest member of the Farley family, an orphaned kitten named Tamarack.



Orpheus Collar

Book Author - Middle School

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Orpheus Collar is a New York Times best-selling graphic novelist on The Kane Chronicles trilogy, currently in development at Netflix, and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series, currently being adapted on Disney +.


As a visual consultant for film and television, he's drawn ads you've seen, TV shows and music videos you might have seen, and movies you'll likely never see. His work on the Noble Prize [sic]- winning graphic novel Alien Boys co-authored with musician Oliver Tree has been featured in concerts worldwide.


Originally from Baltimore Maryland, Orpheus now lives in Los Angeles, where he peddles his caterpillar comic MUNCH at bug fairs around the region and works on his next books.


Follow along @ orpheuscollar on Instagram and find semiannual new comic book offerings at


Kwame Mbalia

Book Author - Elementary School (4th Grade to 5th Grade) and Middle School (6th and 7th Grade)

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Kwame is a husband, father, writer, a New York Times bestselling author, a former pharmaceutical metrologist, and a publisher with Freedom Fire Books, an imprint of Disney Books. His debut middle-grade novel, TRISTAN STRONG PUNCHES A HOLE IN THE SKY was awarded a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, and it—along with the sequels TRISTAN STRONG DESTROYS THE WORLD and TRISTAN STRONG KEEPS PUNCHING—is published by Rick Riordan Presents/Disney Books. He is the co-author of LAST GATE OF THE EMPEROR with Prince Joel Makonnen, from Scholastic Books, and the editor of the #1 New York Times bestselling anthology BLACK BOY JOY, published by Delacorte Press. A Howard University graduate and a Midwesterner now in North Carolina, he survives on Dad jokes and Cheezits.