S277. The Power of the Unstable Setting

Room 11, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


When the places most important in children’s lives are in jeopardy, how can books help them cope? Novels dealing with loss of home, family, community, and security encourage young readers to think about their own deep connections to place as well as the dual nature of flux. This panel of middle grade authors will discuss what a powerful force the unstable setting can be as it drives story and shapes characters’ actions and decisions, while also offering young readers new ways to view change.


Janet Sumner Johnson is the author of the middle grade novel, The Last Great Adventure of the PB&J Society. Since her debut released, she has presented on a variety of writing topics, including setting, at libraries and writing conferences across the nation.

Laura Shovan’s middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, is a NCTE 2017 Notable Verse Novel, a 2017 Bank Street Best Children’s Book, and won Cybils and Nerdy Book Club awards. A longtime poet-in-the-schools, Laura is the author and editor of three books of poetry for adults.

Karina Yan Glaser is the author of the middle grade novel The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, with a sequel planned for 2018. She has been a contributing editor at Book Riot since 2015 where she reviews and recommends children’s books.

Tricia Springstubb is the author of numerous middle grade novels, including What Happened on Fox Street, the story of a Rust Belt neighborhood threatened by eminent domain. A frequent speaker in schools and libraries, she's also an essayist as well as a book reviewer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside