Breakthrough debut author Sabaa Tahir ready to rock AASL national conference

For Immediate Release
Thu, 08/27/2015


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of Scchool Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO –  Best-selling debut author Sabaa Tahir will appear as one of five featured speakers at an author breakfast presented during the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 17th National Conference & Exhibition. Tahir will discuss female character development in the fantasy genre alongside Josephine Angelini, Rae Carson, Colleen Gleason and Kate Messner at the Sunday, Nov. 8, event themed “Girls Rock the Fantasy World.” Registration and more information regarding the event can be found at

“With her very first complex, and somewhat violent novel, ‘An Ember in the Ashes,’ Sabaa has grabbed the imagination of teen readers,” said Karen Perry, author co-chair. “The surprising events in the Martial Empire fuel rebellion among her strong characters who feel conflicted and betrayed, but still hopeful.”

The impetus to write “An Ember in the Ashes” came from Tahir’s former position as an editor on the foreign desk at The Washington Post. In a May 2015 interview with Laura M. Bell for the Huffington post, Tahir explains:

“The stories I read at The Washington Post were about some of the world's most voiceless and powerless people. I read about child soldiers, child slavery, warzones, crimes against humanity, genocides and the ‘disappeared.’ Specific stories stuck with me, and had me asking myself about the oppressed and the oppressors, as well as about what I would do if I were stuck in some of the situations I read about.”

Tahir’s debut novel was so highly anticipated, the film rights were purchased by Paramount pictures prior to the book’s release. Once published, it quickly rose to the number two spot on The New York Times young adult best-seller list. “Ember” has been compared to other popular sci-fi and fantasy series such as “Harry Potter,” “The Hunger Games” and “A Song of Ice and Fire.”

“Fantasy hooks in readers of all ages, whether kids want a book that lets them forget about real life, or smart, strong characters that solve insurmountable problems,” said author co-chair Mary Ann Scheuer. “The women on our author breakfast panel rock the fantasy world, creating compelling stories of all sorts -- from realistic, historical settings to everyday modern life to complex world building.”

Tahir’s AASL national conference appearance is made possible by Penguin Young Readers Group. An additional registration fee of $40 is required in advance of the breakfast. Register today at

The AASL National Conference & Exhibition is the only national conference dedicated solely to the needs of school librarians and their roles as educational leaders. The 17th National Conference & Exhibition, “Experience Education Evolution,” taking place Nov. 5-8, 2015, will feature preconference workshops, author events, concurrent sessions and an exhibition featuring companies relevant to the profession.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.