Authors Appearing at Children's Institute 2017

    An Indies Introduce Author

    Keynote Speakers

    Rachel Ignotofsky
    Women in Science, Ten Speed Press

    Rachel Ignotofsky is an illustrator and designer. She graduated from Tyler School of Art's graphic design program and formerly worked as a senior designer and illustrator at Hallmark Greetings. Rachel and her work have been featured in many print and online media outlets such as Babble, The Huffington Post, Scientific American, and Buzzfeed. She is the author of Women in Science, the I Love Science journal, and the forthcoming Women in Sports which will be published in July, 2017 by Ten Speed Press.


    Jason Reynolds
    Ghost, Simon & Schuster Children's Books

    Jason Reynolds is the author of the critically acclaimed and award winning novels When I Was the GreatestBoy in the Black Suit, and All American Boys. His middle grade debut, As Brave As You, was a Time Book of the Year and Ghost, the premier book in his middle grade Track series, was a Kirkus Prize winner and a National Book Award finalist.  Patina, the next installment in his Track series, will be published by Simon & Schuster Children's Books in August, 2017, and his upcoming young adult novel, Long Way Down, will be published, also by Simon & Schuster Children's Books, in October. You can find his ramblings at

    Featured Presenters

    Frances Gilbert

    Frances Gilbert is the Associate Publishing Director of Random House Books for Young Readers, where she manages the Doubleday Books for Young Readers imprint and the editorial team responsible for brands such as Little Golden Books, Richard Scarry, and the Berenstain Bears. Prior to moving to Random House in 2012, Frances established and ran the children’s editorial department at Sterling Publishing for twelve years. Frances first worked in children’s books at the age of fifteen, in the children’s department of her town's library in high school. She continued library work as an undergraduate at the University of Toronto and began her career in publishing at Scholastic Canada in 1994 as a Book Club Editor. Frances’s first two authored children’s books were published in 2017: I Love Pink, a Step Into Reading leveled reader, and an abridgment of The Secret Garden for Little Golden Books.

    Philip Stead
    The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine, Doubleday Books for Young Readers/Random House Children's Books

    Philip Stead and Erin Stead are the author and illustrator of the Caldecott Medal winning book A Sick Day for Amos McGee, also a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a PW Best Children's Book of 2010. Together, the Steads also created Lenny & Lucy and the acclaimed Bear Has a Story to Tell, Kirkus Best Children's Book of 2012. The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine will be published by Doubleday Books for Young Readers/Random House Children's Books in September, 2017. They live together in Michigan.Visit them online at and

    Erin Stead
    The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine, Doubleday Books for Young Readers/Random House Children's Books

    Erin Stead and Philip Stead are the author and illustrator of the Caldecott Medal winning book A Sick Day for Amos McGee, also a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a PW Best Children's Book of 2010. Together, the Steads also created Lenny & Lucy and the acclaimed Bear Has a Story to Tell, Kirkus Best Children's Book of 2012. Erin’s And Then It's Spring was also named a 2012 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book and aKirkus and PW Best Children's Book of 2012. The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine will be published by Doubleday Books for Young Readers/Random House Children's Books in September, 2017. They live together in Michigan.Visit them online at and

    Appearing Authors

    Tara Altebrando
    The Possible, Bloomsbury USA Childrens

    Tara Altebrando is the author of several middle grade and teen novels, including The Leaving and Roomies, an ALA 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, co-written with Sara Zarr. She lives in New York City with her family. Her newest book, The Possible, will be published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens in June, 2017. Visit Tara at and on twitter at @TaraAltebrando.

    Armand Baltazar
    Timeless #1: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic, Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins

    Armand Baltazar was born in Chicago’s North Side, not far from the famed Wrigley Field. After attending the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Armand began a visual storytelling career in feature animation as a background artist, visual development artist, and art director for DreamWorks Studios, Walt Disney, and Pixar Animation. He currently resides in Northern California with his family, creating the art and stories for the epic adventure series Timeless. The first book in this series, Timeless #1: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic, will be published in fall, 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins. You can visit him online at

    Bonny Becker
    A Christmas for Bear, Candlewick

    Bonny Becker is the author of several books about Bear and Mouse, including the New York Times bestseller A Visitor for Bear. She is also the author of a number of other award-winning titles, both picture books and middle-grade novels. A Christmas for Bear, is the newest title in the Bear and Mouse series and will be published by Candlewick. Bonny lives in Seattle.

    Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
    The Unbreakable Code, Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers/Macmillan

    Jennifer Chambliss Bertman was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds an MFA in creative writing and has worked for literary agencies, magazines, educational publishers, and as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader. Her debut novel Book Scavenger, was a Children's Summer/Fall 2015 Indies Introduce pick, and the sequel, The Unbreakable Code is due out in April, 2017 from Henry Holt and Co.Books for Young Readers Visit Jennifer online at and

    Dusti Bowling
    Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, Sterling Children’s Books

    Dusti Bowling grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, where, as her family will tell you, she always had her nose in a book. Dusti holds a Bachelor of Psychology and a Master of Education, but she eventually realized that her true passion was writing. The Day We Met, her self-published YA novel, has sold over 20,000 copies. Her new middle grade book, Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, will be published by Sterling Children’s Books in September, 2017. She currently lives in Carefree, Arizona, with her husband, three daughters, one bobcat, a pack of coyotes, a couple of chuckwallas, several rattlesnakes, and a few herds of javelina.

    Loryn Brantz
    Feminist Baby, Disney-Hyperion

    Loryn Brantz is a two-time Emmy Award-winning author, illustrator, and design professional. Her picture book Harvey the Child Mime was the recipient of the 2010 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for Best First Picture Book. Loryn lives in New York City, where she is on staff at BuzzFeed writing and illustrating about feminism and body image. Her newest book, Feminist Baby, will be published by Disney-Hyperion in April, 2017. Find her online or

    Amy Brashear
    No Saints in Kansas, Soho Teen

    Amy Brashear was born in Arkansas but spent her elementary school years in Garden City, Kansas, just six miles from Holcomb. Amy heard about the Clutter family murders from a childhood friend, though it wasn’t until she read In Cold Blood that she finally understood its significance. No Saints in Kansas is her debut novel which will be published by Soho Teen in fall, 2017.

    MarcyKate Connolly
    Shadow Weaver, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

    MarcyKate Connolly is a writer and arts administrator living near Boston with her husband and pugs. She is the author of Monstrous, which was a New England Book Award finalist, and the companion novel Ravenous. Her new middle grade fantasy, Shadow Weaver, will be published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in January, 2018. You can visit her online at

    Jacky Davis
    Black Belt Bunny, Dial Books/Penguin Young Readers

    Jacky Davis co-writes the Ladybug Girl books with her husband, David Soman, who also illustrates the books. They live with their two kids in upstate New York and the books are inspired by their own children and family experiences. Jacky Davis's first non-Ladybug Girl picture book, Black Belt Bunny, illustrated by Jay Fleck, will be published in Summer 2017 by Dial Books/Penguin Young Readers.

    Mark Fearing
    Giant Pants, Candlewick

    Mark Fearing is the author-illustrator of several award-winning books, including The Great Thanksgiving Escape. His newest book, Giant Pants, will be published by Candlewick in October, 2017. Mark lives in Oregon.

    Maureen Fergus
    Buddy and Earl and the Great Big Baby, Groundwood Books/House of Anansi

    Maureen Fergus is an award-winning author of books for kids of all ages. Her novels include The Gypsy King trilogy and Ortega; her picture books include InvisiBill and The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten. Her picture book, Buddy and Earl and the Great Big Baby, was published by Groundwood Books/House of Anansi in April, 2016. She lives in Winnipeg.

    Anne Fleming
    The Goat, Groundwood Books/House of Anansi

    Anne Fleming is the author of Pool-Hopping and Other Stories (shortlisted for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, the Danuta Gleed Award, and the Governor General’s Award), and Anomaly and Gay Dwarves of America. She is a long-time and highly regarded teacher of creative writing who has taught at the University of British Columbia, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Douglas College, Kwantlen University College, and the Banff Centre for the Arts. The Goat is her first full-length work for young readers and will be published by Groundwood Books/House of Anansi in March, 2017.

    Amanda Foody
    Daughter of the Burning City, Harlequin Teen

    Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a Masters in Accountancy from Villanova University and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from the College of William and Mary. Currently, she works as a tax accountant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, surrounded by her many siblings and many books. Daughter of the Burning City is her first novel, and will be published by Harlequin Teen in July, 2017. Her second, Ace of Shades, will follow in April 2018.

    Cornelia Funke
    The Book No One Ever Read, Breathing Books

    Cornelia Funke is a NYT-bestselling author, multiple award-winning storyteller and illustrator who creates fantasy for readers of all ages. Her books have sold over 16 million copies worldwide and been translated into more than thirty languages. Her newest endeavor is a picture book called The Book No One Ever Read, and will be published by Breathing Books in May, 2017. She was born in Germany and resides in Malibu, CA. For more information, visit  

    Jack Gantos
    Writing Radar: Using Your Journal to Snoop Out and Craft Great Stories, Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan Children's Books

    Jack Gantos has written books for people of all ages. His works include Hole in My Life, a Michael L. Printz Honor memoir; Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, and Dead End in Norvelt, a Newbery Award winner. The seeds for Jack’s writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he read his sister’s diary and decided he could write better than she could. He began to collect anecdotes he overheard, mostly from eavesdropping outside the teachers’ lounge, later including many of these anecdotes in his books. His newest book, Writing Radar: Using Your Journal to Snoop Out and Craft Great Stories, will be published by Farrar, Straus and Grioux Books for Young readers in August, 2017. Jack devotes his time to writing books and educational speaking. You can visit him online at

    J.C. Geiger
    Wildman, Disney-Hyperion

    J. C. Geiger ( has eaten the beating heart of a snake, been deported from a full-moon party, and spent a short time locked in a Bolivian prison. He also writes fiction. His short works have appeared in the pages of Murky Depths and Horror Garage, and on stage at The Second City in Chicago. His upcoming young adult novel, Wildman, will be published by Disney-Hyperion in June, 2017. J. C. now writes, teaches, directs, and performs in the Pacific Northwest, where he can often be spotted behind the wheel of a 1993 Buick Century. It still runs like a dream.

    Mariah Huehner
    Stitched, Charmz/Papercutz

    Mariah Huehner is the New York Times bestselling writer of comics like True Blood, Angel, Illyria: Haunted, and editor of The Last Unicorn graphic novel and Womanthology. She is also the author of the Emily & the Strangers series. An industry veteran, Huehner has held editorial positions at Vertigo and IDW publishing. She is currently the Editor of Papercutz's Charmz imprint and the author of Stitched, one of the new line's debut titles, which will be published this May.

    Victoria Jamieson
    All's Faire in Middle School, Dial Books/Penguin Young Readers

    Victoria Jamieson is the creator of the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Roller Girl, which has also won a Newbery Honor, and was called a Best of Book of 2015 by Parents, New York Times, Publishers Weekly,  and Kirkus Reviews. Jamieson received her BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and worked as a children's book designer before moving to Portland and becoming a freelance illustrator. She has also worked as a portrait artist aboard a cruise ship, and has lived in Australia, Italy, and Canada. She maintains a not-so-secret identity as Winnie the Pow, skater with the Rose City Rollers roller derby league and has a not-so-secret past as a Renaissance Faire groupie. Her new graphic novel All’s Faire in Middle School will release in September 2017 from Dial Books/Penguin Young Readers.

    Gregory Scott Katsoulis
    All Rights Reserved, Harlequin Teen

    Gregory Scott Katsoulis is a former educator who has worked extensively with children of all ages across a broad range of subjects. He’s taught at enrichment programs like the Exploration Summer Program, hosted by Wellesley College, and The Saturday Course at the Milton Academy. He has a background designing educational multi-media material for companies such as Simon & Schuster and Pearson. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. All Rights Reserved, out in August from Harlequin Teen, is his debut novel.

    Brigid Kemmerer
    Letters to the Lost, Bloomsbury USA Childrens

    Brigid Kemmerer is the author of More Than We Can Tell, the YALSA-nominated Elementals series, and the paranormal mystery Thicker Than Water. She was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States. Brigid is now settled near Annapolis, Maryland, with her husband and children. Her upcoming novel, Letters to the Lost, will be published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens in April, 2017. Visit her at and on twitter at @BrigidKemmerer.

    Linsey Miller
    Mask of Shadows, Sourcebooks Fire

    Linsey Miller is a wayward biologist from Arkansas who previously worked as a crime lab intern, neuroscience lab assistant, and pharmacy technician. She is active in the writing community and can be found writing about science and magic anywhere there is coffee. Mask of Shadows is her first novel and will be published by Sourcebooks Fire in September, 2017. You can follow her on Twitter @LinseyMiller.

    Bethanie Deeney Murguia
    Toucans, Too, little bee books

    Bethanie Deeney Murguia graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City with an MFA in Illustration and has created numerous picture books, including Zoe Gets Ready, Snippet the Early Riser, and I Feel Five. Her upcoming picture book, Toucans, Too, will be published by little bee books in May, 2017. Bethanie lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her two daughters and her dog Thunder Paws.

    Eucabeth Odhiambo
    Auma's Long Run, Carolrhoda Books/Lerner

    Eucabeth Odhiambo is a professor of Teacher Education at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. As a classroom teacher she has taught all grades between kindergarten and middle school. Auma's Long Run is her first novel and will be published by Carolrhoda Books/Lerner in fall, 2017.

    Miranda Paul
    Blobfish Throws a Party, little bee books

    Miranda Paul is an award-winning children’s author who has worked as a freelance writer, teacher, volunteer zookeeper, and more. She began writing in elementary school, thanks to her wonderful teachers. She also enjoys science, trivia, and board games. Most of Miranda’s heroes are ordinary people who do extraordinary things—including her own kidbots, who invent all kinds of gadgets with their super-handy dad. Her upocoming picture book, Blobfish Throws a Party, will be published by little bee books in May, 2017. When she’s not traveling, you can find Miranda chugging around in Green Bay, Wisconsin, or online at

    Sherri Duskey Rinker
    Mighty, Mighty Construction Site; 12 Sleighs of Christmas, Chronicle Books

    Sherri Duskey Rinker is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction SiteSteam Train, Dream Train and the eagerly awaited Mighty, Mighty Construction Site which came out in February 2017. She loves cooking, gardening, and old oil paintings. Sherri lives with her photographer husband, two sons, one dog, and one hedgehog in St. Charles, Illinois. Her newest picture book, 12 Sleighs, will be published by Chronicle Books in October, 2017. Find out more about her at

    Melissa D. Savage
    Lemons, Crown Books for Young Readers/Random House

    Melissa D. Savage is a writer and a therapist, working in bereavement counseling with children and families who have lost loved ones. Her desire to write purposeful, issue-driven books for young people, coupled with her interest in cryptozoology and the mystery of Bigfoot, inspired her to write her debut middle grade novel and Winter/Spring 2017 Indies Introduce pick Lemons, which will be published by Crown Books for Young Readers in May, 2017. Melissa lives in Minneapolis. You can follow her on Twitter at @melissadsavage, and visit her at



    Jennifer E. Smith
    Windfall, Delacorte Press/Random House Children's Books

    Jennifer E. Smith is the author of seven novels for young adults, including The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. She earned a master's degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and spent years working as an editor on a number of bestselling books, including Ballantine's New York Times bestseller Tell the Wolves I'm Home. Her work has been translated into thirty-three languages and four of her novels are currently in development for film. She lives in New York City. Her upcoming young adult novel, Windfall, will be published by Delacorte Press in May, 2017. Learn more about Jennifer on her website, and on Twitter @JenESmith.

    Laurel Snyder
    Orphan Island, Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins

    Laurel Snyder is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the author of many books for children, including Orphan Island, forthcoming from Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins in May 2017; Bigger Than a Breadbox, an ABC Best Books for Children Selection; Penny Dreadful, an E. B. White Read-Aloud Award Honor Book; and Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, an ALAALSC Notable Children's Book and a Parents' Choice Silver Honor Book. Though she grew up in Baltimore, Laurel now lives in Atlanta, far from the water. Often, she spends her nights dreaming of waves, salt air, and bonfires in the sand. Visit her online at to learn more.

    Liara Tamani
    Calling My Name, Greenwillow/HarperCollins

    Liara Tamani went down a winding path of vocations—she was a marketing coordinator for the Houston Rockets, a production assistant for “Girlfriends” (the TV show), a home accessories designer, a floral designer, and a yoga and dance teacher, before finally finding her way back to writing. Liara holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College and a BA from Duke University. She was born in Akron, Ohio, and lives in Houston, Texas, with her daughter. Calling My Name is her first novel, out in the fall of 2017 from Greenwillow.

    Joe Todd-Stanton
    Arthur and the Golden Rope, The Secret of Black Rock, Flying Eye Books/Nobrow

    Joe Todd-Stanton grew up in Brighton and was taught to draw by his mother, who is also an illustrator. He studied at Bristol University, receiving a first class degree in Illustration. Stanton has been commissioned to work for clients such as Oxford University Press, Usborne Publish, and Aquila magazine. His first two picture books, Arthur and the Golden Rope and The Secret of Black Rock, will be published by Flying Eye Books/Nobrow in 2017.

    Marit Weisenberg
    Select, Charlesbridge Teen

    Marit Weisenberg has a master’s degree from UCLA in Cinema and Media Studies and worked as a film and television executive for a number of years in Los Angeles. She currently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two daughters. Select is Marit’s debut novel for young adult readers, and will be published by Charlesbridge Teen in fall, 2017.

    Cat Winters
    Odd & True, Amulet/Abrams

    Cat Winters is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult novels The Steep and Thorny Way, The Cure for Dreaming, and In the Shadow of Blackbirds, which collected three starred reviews and was a finalist for the William C. Morris Award for debut YA fiction. Her new book, Odd & True, about two sisters with a dark past who face their demons, published by Amulet/Abrams, hits shelves in Fall 2017. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at