From Oct. 24 to Oct. 28, Foundation 65 will bring five critically acclaimed authors to visit 15 District 65 schools. This author invasion is part of the visiting author series called “Perspectives: A Shared Author Experience.” The program was created by the District 65 library department and is funded through a grant from Foundation 65.
The authors – Matt de la Peña, Janice Harrington, Grace Lin, Duncan Tonatiuh, and Steve Sheinkin – represent diverse cultural backgrounds, writing styles and topics.
The “Perspectives” program is designed to highlight the importance of diversity in children’s literature, and give D65 students and families the opportunity to view issues from multiple perspectives and see themselves represented in the authors, the author’s life experiences, and the stories they tell.
“We are thrilled to bring these amazing authors to our schools,” said Tracy Hubbard, chair of the library department. “Reading is a way of exploring the world around us, and navigating difficult ideas. We believe that this program deeply supports the equity work that District 65 is so committed to.”
All authors will take part in a panel discussion on Oct. 24 at King Arts Magnet School, 2424 Lake St. This event, co-hosted by the Evanston Public Library and moderated by Betsy Bird, Collection Development Manager for the Evanston Public Library, will be open to the public.
“Rarely have I seen this impressive a gathering of authors and illustrators gathered in Illinois outside of a conference setting. Each one of them is a master of their art. It’s a privilege to get a chance to talk to them together,” said Ms. Bird.
The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with student art inspired by the authors’ work on display. Books by each author will be available for purchase from the Book Stall. Two food trucks, La Cocinita and Gotta Bee Crepes will have food for purchase on site. The panel discussion will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Mr. de la Peña is the New York Times Bestselling, Newbery Medal-winning author of six young adult novels and critically acclaimed picture books. Among his works are “Ball Don’t Lie,” “I Will Save You,” and “A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis,” illustrated by Kadir Nelson.
Mr. Sheinkin’s work has been widely acclaimed for its ability to transform historical information into thrilling, accessible accounts. His 2015 book “Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War,” was also a finalist for the National Book Award, and was called “easily the best study of the Vietnam War available for teen readers.”
Ms. Lin is the author and illustrator of picture books, early readers, and middle grade novels. Her 2010 Newbery Honor book “Where the Mountin Meets the Moon” was chosen for Al Roker’s Today Show Kid’s Book Club and was a New York Times bestseller. The cover illustration for “When the Sea Turned to Silver” was displayed at the White House, where she was recognized as a Champion of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling.
Mr. Tonatiuh (toh-nah-tee-YOU), both Mexican and American, is the author-illustrator of “The Princess and the Warrior,” “Separate Is Never Equal,” and “Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote,” among other books. His books have received multiple accolades, among them the Pura Belpré Medal, the Sibert Medal, The Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Children’s Book Award, The Américas Award, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award.
Ms. Harrington writes poetry and children’s books. Her first book of poetry, “Even the Hollow My Body Made Is Gone,” won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize from BOA Editions and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Her children’s books, “The Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County” and “Going North” have won many awards and citations, including a listing among Time Magazine’s top 10 children’s books and the Ezra Jack Keats Award from the New York Public Library.