F281. Young Adult Literature: A Political and Social Revolution

Liberty Salon L, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Friday, February 10, 2017
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


The poet Shelley said that writers are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. In this way, young adult literature with its focus on racism, inequality, social injustice, war, and challenged politics, functions as activism. This panel, comprised of four writers and a professor in the field, explores the renaissance of political and social issues in YA fiction. Contemporary culture skates a more dangerous landscape, and in its unsparing honesty, the fiction becomes a form of social action.



Pamela L. Laskin teaches graduate children's writing and directs the Poetry Outreach Center at the City College. Several of her poetry collections and books for children have been published. Ronit and Jamil, a Palestinian/Israeli Romeo and Juliet is forthcoming.

Brendan Kiely received his MFA from CCNY. His novel, The Gospel of Winter, has been published in ten languages and was one of ALA's the top ten books of 2015. He is the coauthor of the novel, All American Boys, which won the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award and the Walter Dean Myers Award.

Caroline Bock is the author of two acclaimed young adult novels: LIE and Before My Eyes. Her poetry has been nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Literary Prize and her short story was the winner of the 2016 Writer Magazine Prize. She has an MFA in fiction from the City College of New York.

Suzanne Weyn is a prolific writer of young adult novels and middle grade series. She is best known for her award-winning Bar Code Tattoo trilogy and the eco-thriller, Empty, both of which are taught in HS and MS ELA programs. She teaches writing at Westchester Community College and Medgar Evers College. Her novel Bionic came out recently.

Renée Watson is an author and educator. Her books include Piecing Me Together, This Side of Home, and Harlem's Little Blackbird. She teaches at Pine Manor College for the Solstice MFA in Children's Literature program.


March 23–26, 2022
Philadelphia, PA

Pennsylvania Convention Center