In Partnership with Simon & Schuster
Providing book choices that represent the richness of students’ lives can make a difference in high school classrooms.
Four young adult authors join us to discuss why diverse books matter for all students as part NEA's Read Across America celebration.
J. Elle is the author of the instant New York Times and Indie bestseller Wings of Ebony, a YA novel about a Black teen who must lean into her ancestor’s magic to protect her inner-city community from drugs, violence, and crime. Ms. magazine calls it “the debut fantasy we need right now.” She also wrote its sequel, Ashes of Gold. Elle is a former educator and first-generation college student with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in educational administration and human development. When she’s not writing, Elle can be found mentoring aspiring writers, binging reality TV, loving on her three littles, or cooking up something true to her Louisiana roots.
Margarita Engle is the Cuban American author of many books including the verse novels Rima’s Rebellion; Your Heart, My Sky; With a Star in My Hand; The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor winner; and The Lightning Dreamer. Her verse memoirs include Soaring Earth and Enchanted Air, which received the Pura Belpré Award, a Walter Dean Myers Award Honor, and was a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, among others. Her picture books include Drum Dream Girl; Dancing Hands; and The Flying Girl. Visit her at MargaritaEngle.com.
Loan Le holds an MFA degree in fiction from Fairfield University, also her undergraduate alma mater. A Pushcart Prize–nominated writer, her short stories have appeared in CRAFT Literary, Mud Season Review, and Angel City Review. Loan works in book publishing and lives in Manhattan. A Phở Love Story is her first novel. Visit her website at WriterLoanLe.me and find her on Twitter @LoanLoan.
Brittney Morris is the author of SLAY and The Cost of Knowing. She is also the founder and former president of the Boston University Creative Writing Club. She holds a BA in economics. You can find her online at AuthorBrittneyMorris.com and on Twitter or Instagram @BrittneyMMorris.
Tanya Johnson Martin is a middle school reading specialist and reading team leader with the Howard County Public School System. Tanya is a member of the Howard County Education Association and has held several leadership positions within the county.