2020 Virtual Book Festival

MASL Virtual Book Festival (2)

Thanks to everyone who tuned in to the MASL Virtual Book Festival!

We hope you have enjoyed the panels, learned something, and added to your reading list.

Session recordings can be accessed by clicking on the link.
Member log-in is required.
Be sure to check out the ones you missed.


Friday, May 1 at 2:30pm

Bringing Authors into the Classroom (in the time of COVID and beyond)
Author Panel:  Kat Zhang, Monique Fields, Ishta Mercurio, Lindsay Leslie, Claudia Guadalupe Martinez, and Michelle Ciampa Vattula.


Friday, May 1 at 6:00pm

Dark Blue International Children's Book Day_Instagram Story


Saturday, May 2 at 5:00pm

Keynote – Torrey Maldonado

Photo_Torrey Maldonado

About Torrey Maldonado:

New York City’s current and former Chancellors have praised Torrey Maldonado as a top teacher and author. He has taught for over twenty years in his Brooklyn childhood hometown. His middle-grade titles include Tight, which won a Christopher Award and was named a Washington Post and NPR best book of the year, Secret Saturdays, and What Lane?. Growing up, Torrey hated books because “they were boring or seemed to hate or dismiss people where I’m from”. Culturally responsive books and educators inspired him to teach and write. Voted a Top Latino Author and best Middle Grade and Young Adult novelist for African Americans, his work reflects his and students’ experiences and is praised for its current feel, realness, and universal themes. torreymaldonado.com

INSTAGRAM:    @torreymaldonado
TWITTER:          @torreymaldonado
Web site:           torreymaldonado.com

️ starred reviews for Torrey’s newest book What Lane?

★ “an engaging story of identity and tough choices that will appeal to middle schoolers everywhere. An ideal choice for school book clubs and advisory. — School Library Journal

★ “Bridges everyday racism and accountable allyship with sincerity.” — Kirkus Reviews

★ “elucidates matters related to racial profiling, police violence against black people, and allyship, all through the eyes of a brave kid trying to figure out who he is and where he belongs”. — Publishers Weekly


Monday, May 4

1:30pm – Magic of Middle Grade
Author Panel: Julie Abe, Karah Sutton, Adrianna Cuevas, and Claribel A. Ortega


6:00pm – Compelling True Stories: Debut Nonfiction Picture Books
Author Panel:  Lindsay Metcalf, Elisa Boxer, Kirsten W. Larson, Anna Crowley Redding, and Angela Burke Kunkel


Tuesday, May 5

4:00pm – The Possible Impossible:  MG Fantasy & Scifi
Author Panel: Joshua Levy, Rajani LaRocca, Katie Zhao, Carlos Hernandez, Sarah Jette, and Alexa Higbee


Wednesday, May 6

11:00am – Books that Bridge MG & YA
Author Panel:  Melanie Sumrow, Barbara Dee, Aida Salazar, Paula Chase, Laurie Morrison, Torrey Maldonado, and Henry Lien


3:00pm – Teach Social Justice Through Poetry
Author Panel:  Lindsay Metcalf, Keila Dawson, Jeanette Bradley, Traci Sorell, and Andrea J. Loney


Thursday, May 7

1:00pm – Middle Grade with Heart
Author Panel:  Mae Respicio, Leslie C. Youngblood, Ali Al Lawati, Paul Griffin, and Miriam Spitzer Franklin


3:00pm – New in YA: 2020-2021 Preview
Author Panel:  Adib Khorram, Sarah Henning, and Lana Wood Johnson


6:00pm – Capturing Boyhood in Literature
Author Panel:  Mike Jung, Melanie Sumrow, and Vita Murrow


Friday, May 8

11:00am – Read All About It! Create A Newspaper Club
Author Panel:  Beth Vrabel


2:00pm – YA That Will Have You at the Edge of Your Seat
Author Panel:  Megan Bannen, Rebecca Coffindaffer, Diana Urban, Lori Lee, Amparo Ortiz, and Tracy Deonn


5:00pm – You Make a Difference: Supporting LGBTQIA+ Stories in the Library
Author Panel:  Adib Khorram, Alex Sanchez, Lana Wood Johnson, Natalie Parker, and Tessa Gratton


Saturday, May 9

11:00am – Tackling Tough Topics with Humor & Fantasy
Author Panel:  Shari Simpson & Kerelyn Smith


2:00pm – Gateway Rockstars: Celebrating Gateway Nominees of Past and Present
Author Panel:  Meghan MacLean Weir, Jennifer Brown, Jennifer Latham, Brian Katcher, and Amy Engel


Monday, May 11

1:00pm – Agriculture in the Classroom
Author Panel: Lindsay Metcalf, Nancy Castaldo, Lisl Detlefsen, Peggy Thomas, and Lisa Amstutz


2:00pm – Stories in Conflict: Finding Hope in War
Author Panel:  Keely Hutton, Mitali Perkins, Naheed Hasnat Senzai, and  Shannon Hitchcock


6:00pm – Writing Difficult Topics in Difficult Times
Author Panel: Nora Carpenter, Rocky Callen, Liz Lawson, Leah Johnson, Alex Richards, and Eva Gibson


Tuesday, May 12

1:00pm – Worlds of Fun: New Series for Middle Grade Readers
Author Panel: Beth Vrabel, Eileen Moskowitz-Palma, Alex Aster, Jenna Gavigan, Vita Murrow


3:00pm – YA Historical Fiction
Author Panel: Amanda McCrina, Jennifer Latham, and Keely Hutton


Wednesday, May 13

12:00pm – STEAMing up Children’s Books
Author Panel:  Jennifer Malia, Rajani LaRocca, Vicky Fang, and Carrie Finison


2:00pm – Middle Grade Mayhem! Funny Books for Readers That Love to Laugh!
Author Panel:  Jarrett Lerner, Stacy DeKeyser, Niki Lenz, and Obert Skye


Thursday, May 14

1:00pm – Big Laughs (and Little Life Lessons) in Picture Books
Author Panel:  Carrie Finison, Abi Cushman, Kjersten Hayes, Isabella Kung, and Sam Wedelich


5:00pm – Nothing But the Truth: Nonfiction Authors Give Us the Facts
Author Panel:  Kelly Milner Halls, Carmella Van Vleet, Natalie Rompella, Dr. Mary Choy, Dr. Michele Kaufman, and Roseanne Tolin



Friday, May 15

11:00am – Sharing Stories: Two Librarians and a Teacher Talk about Writing Picture Books
Author Panel:  Lisa Rogers, Cathy Breisacher, and Sheri Dillard


1:00pm – Why We Need Diverse Books: Muslim Stories in Kidlit
Author Panel:  Saadia Faruqi, Aya Khalil, Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, and Intisar Khanani


Saturday, May 16

11:00am – More than Survival
Author Panel:  Trace Kerr, Kelly McWilliams, Demetra Brodska, and Erin Bowman


2:00pm – Enemies & Villians
Author Panel:  Kalyn Josephson, Jennifer Gruenke, Lora Beth Johnson, Rosiee Thor, Rebecca Schaeffer, CB Lee, and Jordan Ifueko


Sunday, May 17

2:00pm – Magic Systems Panel
Author Panel:  Kalyn Josephson, Shannon Price, Alexandra Overy, Nicki Pau Preto, and Rebecca Kim Wells


Monday, May 18

​2:00pm – Retooling & Retelling the Classics
Author Panel: Jennieke Cohen, Alexa Donne Sandhya Menon


Tuesday, May 19

1:00pm – Food, Friendship and First-gen Characters in Middle Grade Novels
Author Panel:  Saadia Faruqi, Laura Shovan, and Susan Muaddi Darraj


Wednesday, May 20

2:00pm – KC Picture Book Creators
Author Panel:  Jody Jensen Shaffer, Alastair Heim, Sue Gallion, Bridget Heos, Daniel Miyares, and Ann Ingalls


Session recordings for the author panels can be viewed by logging into the page linked above.
Please note – due to author/publisher requests, not all panels are recorded.


Interested in ordering copies of our participating authors’ titles?

Visit the below bookstore websites to shop!

The Novel Neighbor

Main Street Books