For immediate release | September 30, 2013

Award-winning children’s book creators in ERT/Booklist Author Forum, 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting

CHICAGO - In an unmissable ERT/Booklist Author Forum at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, five acclaimed children’s book creators — Tonya Bolden, Brian Floca, Kadir Nelson, Steve Sheinkin and Melissa Sweet — join fellow author and Booklist Books for Youth Senior Editor Ilene Cooper as she moderates the discussion about award-winning nonfiction for youth. The Forum takes place 4 - 5:15 p.m., Friday, Jan. 24 in the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Tonya Bolden’s many exemplary books for kids include "Tell All the Children Our Story" and "Maritcha," an ALA Notable Book for Children and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. She has written about George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King, W.E.B. Dubois, women’s history, Reconstruction America and many other topics. She reveals more about her writing life and inspiration in this Book Links interview. Visit Bolden online at

Brian Floca is the author and illustrator of "Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11," a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book; "Lightship," also a Sibert Honor Book and a Booklist Top of the List winner—Youth Picture Book; "The Racecar Alphabet," an ALA Notable Children’s Book, and this year’s "Locomotive," which received a starred review in Booklist. He has illustrated Avi’s Poppy stories, Kate Messner’s Marty McGuire novels and Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan’s "Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring," a Sibert Honor Book and winner of the Orbis Pictus Award and a Booklist Editors’ Choice selection. Visit Floca online at

Kadir Nelson is one of the most accomplished, award-winning illustrators working today and is known for his stunning paintings depicting the African American experience. He won the 2012 Coretta Scott King Author Award and Illustrator Honor for "Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans" and has received additional Caldecott Honors, Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards and an NAACP Image Award. Nelson’s authorial debut, "We Are the Ship," was a New York Times bestseller, a Coretta Scott King Author Award winner, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book and a Booklist Editors’ Choice selection. Visit Nelson online at

Steve Sheinkin is the award-winning author of several highly regarded books on American history, including "The Notorious Benedict Arnold," which won the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for nonfiction. His recent book "Bomb" was a Newbery Honor Book, National Book Award finalist and winner of the Sibert Award as well as the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Visit Sheinkin online at

Melissa Sweet has illustrated nearly 100 children’s books, from board books to picture books and nonfiction titles. Her collages and paintings have appeared in the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living and more. After a childhood making paper dolls, and playing with paint–by–number kits, Colorforms and a Spirograph, she now writes and illustrates picture books, using the same simple materials to construct her brilliant mixed-media collage illustrations. She has received a Caldecott Honor, for "A River of Words" by Jen Bryant, the Robert F. Sibert Medal for “Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade” and two New York Times Best Illustrated citations. Read more about the research and craft Melissa Sweet brings to her illustrated biographies in this Book Links interview and visit Sweet online at

Moderator Ilene Cooper (Booklist Books for Youth Senior Editor and award-winning author of more than 30 books for young people) says she writes to “open windows, so young readers can look at the world outside—and inside themselves.” This year’s ERT/Booklist Author Forum is sure to offer unforgettable views as it opens some windows for attendees, too.

The authors are appearing thanks to the generous sponsorship of their publishers: Abrams Books for Young Readers (Bolden); Simon & Schuster Children’s Books (Floca); HarperCollins Children’s Books (Nelson); Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group (Sheinkin); and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Sweet).

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Gillian Engberg

Editorial Director, Books for Youth

American Library Association