Angeline Boulley was born into story-telling people. As a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, she was first introduced to the art through generational oral tradition. Yet during her childhood, Angeline struggled with her biracial indigenous identity. In searching for representation through the stories in books she was reading, she realized that the examples she found lacked depth and true experience.
It wasn’t until her mid forties that she realized she could write her own experience into existence. For nearly three decades, Angeline had mulled over a story idea, until she decided it was time to write this story. After another decade of working full-time (like really full time as a mom of three with a big-time DC job) and seeking out time to write, she debuted with her award-winning novel, “Firekeeper’s Daughter.”
In this episode, Yuyi explores her experience as an immigrant to the United States and her “constant immigrant journey” now that she is living and creating in Mexico. She opens up about everything from how her stories helped quell her homesickness to the inspiration for her more recent picture books. She shares an incredible story about how one book completely changed her perspective on reading and made her a reader. We discuss magical realism, and Yuyi’s secret to finding joy in every crevice of life, no matter the starting point.
In this episode, M.T. takes us on his own journey to embracing these genres as a writer, he talks about the growing relevance of their ability to offer societal critiques and representation in the increasingly hostile censorship movements, and he tells us about his new story where he uses a new perspective to learn about the world (his dog’s).
In this episode, author-illustrator Shadra Strickland takes us through the important artistic influences and moments in her life that led her to this debut solo picture book. She shares the elements of art that stand out to her and how she applies them to her work, and we also discuss the rise and ethics of AI art.
Author-illustrator Victoria Jamieson ("When Stars Are Scattered," "All's Faire in Middle School," "Roller Girl") talks to us about why she loves illustrations in literature, authors that inspired her, and how a dream job rejection inspired her first book.
Erin Entrada Kelly
Newbery Award-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly (“Blackbird Fly,” “Hello, Universe,” “We Dream of Space”) discusses her favorite books growing up, her path to youth literature, and why she believes kids are not ‘incomplete vessels.’
Author of the popular series "City of Spies" and "Framed!", James Ponti shares the movies that influenced him, how locations inspire his work, and his transition from movies and television to kidlit.
Author of the “Prophecy” and “Spirit Hunters” series and the founder of We Need Diverse Books, Ellen Oh is equal parts no-nonsense and hilarious truth-teller.
Nic Stone (Dear Martin, Clean Getaway) talks about her passion for speaking out and giving a voice to the stories less told.
Grace Lin (The Year of the Dog, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon) shares her thoughts on the value art provides to those who experience it and those who create it, and how it contributes to getting us in touch with our own humanity.
Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark and Grimm, The Inquisitor's Tale) talks about his journey to finding truth through literature and how he found his own voice to tell the truths he's learned.
Kate DiCamillo (Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tiger Rising) talks about leaning into the dark parts of life to show kids there is always hope.
Renée Watson (Piecing Me Together, Ryan Hart series) teaches us about the power of poetry in children's literature, and how the medium gives kids an outlet to find their voice and speak up.
Zetta Elliott (Dragons in a Bag series) shares how her experience growing up Black in suburban Canada impacted her reading, and ultimately her writing voice. She'll tell us about discovering her heritage, finding her voice and disrupting the world of children's literature.
In our Halloween Special, Lamar Giles (Fake I.D, The Last Last Day of Summer) talks about how horror helps him cope with his anxieties, and why he believes in the power of the genre for young readers.
Varian Johnson (Playing The Cards You're Dealt, The Parker Inheritance) talks about the importance of diversity extending beyond the pages of children's literature and the significance of the reader-author relationship.
Karina Yan Glaser
Karina Yan Glaser (The Vanderbeekers series) shares how and why empathy plays such an integral role in her writing. She tells us about her own reading experiences and how they shaped her, along with why she believes in emotional honesty when writing for children.
Meg Medina (Merci Suárez series) talks about the role storytelling plays in her life, from writing to passing on her culture to the fight against book bans.
The Reading Culture Trailer
In our new podcast, The Reading Culture, host Jordan Lloyd Bookey will bring you along as we connect with diverse authors about their own journeys as readers and storytellers, as well as what experiences along the way motivated them to read more. Authors will share their perspectives on the cultural climate in children’s and young adult literature. And get excited for each guest's unique, themed reading challenge for students and readers of all ages. Coming this fall.