Field Family Teen Author Series

The Field Family Teen Author Series promotes a lifetime love of reading by creating a personal connection between author and student. In addition, students get to know their local Free Library branch, an essential public resource for academic enrichment, recreational reading materials, cultural opportunities, and internet access.

The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Field Family Teen Author Series is one of the best in the country.

Walter Dean Myers

Philly’s Free Library has created a teen program that would make Oprah envious.

“Star Power” School Library Journal

How it Works

The Teen Author Series operates in partnership with Philadelphia high schools and middle schools—public, charter, magnet, and diocesan—and is open to classes in grades 7–12. Participation is by invitation only.

  • There is no cost to schools or students!
  • Each student receives a FREE copy of the visiting author's book to keep!
  • The Teen Author Series Outreach Coordinator will visit your classroom to talk about the author's book and deliver copies for each participating student to read in advance.
  • Students meet the author at their local Free Library branch for a one-hour presentation, Q&A, and book signing.

Get Involved!

Teachers and school administrators can contact the Teen Author Series Outreach Coordinator at teenauthors@freelibrary.org or 215-686-5372 for information about current opportunities to participate.

Fall 2017 Teen Author Series Events

Solo by Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander | Solo

Kwame Alexander is the New York Times bestselling author of 24 books, including The Crossover, which received the 2015 Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Honor Award. His other novels include He Said, She Said and Booked. He is the cofounder of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program. Solo is a novel in verse about 17-year-old rock star Blade Morrison, who discovers a family secret and embarks on a journey that will change everything he thought to be true.

Buck by MK Asante

MK Asante | Buck

A "rare, remarkable talent that brings to mind the great artists of the Harlem Renaissance" (Philadelphia Inquirer), MK Asante is a writer, filmmaker, hip-hop artist, and recipient of the Langston Hughes Award. His work includes the poetry collection Like Water Running Off My Back and the documentary film The Black Candle, co-written with Maya Angelou. Buck, Asante's poetic and powerful memoir, describes his rise from North Philadelphia dealer and delinquent to writer, filmmaker, poet, and professor.

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Ibi Zoboi | American Street

In her "self-assured, elegant and utterly captivating" (New York Times) debut novel, Pushcart-nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own immigrant experience in telling the story of a young woman from Port-au-Prince whose mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving her to navigate her American cousins, Detroit’s west side, a new school, and an unexpected romance all on her own.

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates | We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

Ta-Nehisi Coates won the 2015 National Book Award for Between the World and Me, a "searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today" (New York Times) that became a no. 1 bestseller and was named to dozens of best-of-the-year book lists. He won the George K. Polk Award for his Atlantic magazine cover story "The Case for Reparations" and is a recipient of a MacArthur "genius grant," among many other honors. We Were Eight Years in Power is a collection of essays on the Obama presidency.

A Good Cry: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter by Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni | A Good Cry: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter

"One of the finest poets of our time" (Ebony), Nikki Giovanni is the author of nearly 30 books. An activist and educator whose art emerged during the turmoil of the Civil Rights and Black Arts movements of the 1960s, she is the winner of the Langston Hughes Medal for Outstanding Poetry, a seven-time winner of the NAACP Image Award, and one of Oprah Winfrey's 25 "Living Legends," as well as a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech. In A Good Cry, Giovanni ruminates on a life spent at the forefront of social change and the people who have transformed her the most.

Riding Chance by Christine Kendall

Christine Kendall | Riding Chance

Inspired by the Work to Ride program in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia native Christine Kendall's debut novel Riding Chance tells the story of Troy, who is required to work at the local city stables after getting into trouble. What he sees at first as a punishment becomes a passion, as he falls in love with riding and with polo. The book was a Junior Library Guild Selection and nominated for a NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/Teens.

The Field Family Teen Author Series is endowed through a generous grant from the family of Marie and Joseph Field.