4 Presentations from the 2015 National Book Festival

"I love the form. I love the memoir form. I'll read anybody's life story, and I did want to reflect on my life and how I got to where I got. I think that there's got to be something good about getting older, and one of them is the desire to look back on your life and sort of put things in perspective." -Sonia Manzano 

"I believe that in this life we have to be prepared for the no's. We have to allow them to come. That's just a part of how the world works. Because here's what happens. When the no's come, there are so many no's in the universe, and so eventually the no's are going to clear themselves away for what? The yes! And all it takes is one yes. That's all it takes. So then a funny thing happened. The book got published. And on February the second I received a call and the call said, dear Kwame. Or the call didn't go dear Kwame.I'm still... Yeah. Sorry. Sometimes as writers we get caught in our own stories and we're off into a whole 'nother thing. The call--the call--the caller said is this Kwame Alexander. And I said yes. And they said Kwame we're calling from the 2015 John Newberry Medal Committee. And of course that can only be a good call, right?" -Kwame Alexander 

"The story revealed itself very slowly to me because I wasn't just writing a book, I was building this whole world. It was really, really important to me that this world be authentic and true, so that meant research. I'm going to tell you a little bit about that research. And I promise it won't be boring because there's lots of pretty pictures of like cool-looking dudes with badges." -Sabaa Tahir

"I look for titles, I look for stories about young people who have made a difference, who have taken stands, who - nonfiction stories of kids who have really put their lives out there, as Claudette did." -Phillip M. Hoose


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