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.

Spring 2018 Teen Author Series Events

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson | Another Brooklyn

The author of more than two dozen books for young adults, Jacqueline Woodson has won three Newbery Honors, a Coretta Scott King Award and three Coretta Scott King Honors, and the 2014 National Book Award for Brown Girl Dreaming. Using a gentle hand and lyrical prose to tackle difficult subjects such as teen pregnancy, drug addiction, gender identity, and juvenile crime, she has penned After Tupac and D Foster, Feathers, and Show Way. Another Brooklyn, the 2018 One Book, One Philadelphia featured book and a 2016 National Book Award finalist, is a tale of the promise and peril of adulthood set on the mean streets of 1970s Brooklyn.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys | Salt to the Sea

Lauded for uncovering forgotten moments in history, Ruta Sepetys is the author of Between Shades of Gray and Out of the Easy. In Salt to the Sea, she details the 1945 sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, the single greatest maritime disaster in history, when over 9,000 people, mainly refugees, perished. The book was a number 1 New York Times bestseller and received numerous awards, including the 2017 Carnegie Medal and Golden Kite Award for Young Adult Fiction. "Compelling for both adult and teenage readers," (New York Times), Salt to the Sea reveals how humanity and love can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds | Ghost

Jason Reynolds is a New York Times bestselling author, a National Book Award honoree, a Kirkus Award winner, a Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. His books include When I Was the Greatest, The Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys, As Brave As You, Jump Anyway, and Long Way Down. The first in the four-book Track series, Ghost is raw and lyrical and as funny as it is heartbreaking. Ghost's "journey is so genuine that he's worthy of a place alongside Ramona and Joey Pigza on the bookshelves where our most beloved, imperfect characters live" (New York Times).

Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson | Speak: The Graphic Novel

Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times bestselling author of Speak and Chains, both finalists for the National Book Award for young people’s literature, as well as many more books for teens and young adults. Her ability to address tough teen issues with honesty, humor, and sensitivity has earned her numerous awards, including the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award. Originally published in 1999, Speak follows Melinda, a teen who retreats into isolation after she is raped, finding solace only in her art. The book was adapted into a 2004 film starring Kristen Stewart. With powerful illustrations by artist Emily Carroll, Speak: The Graphic Novel comes alive for new audiences and fans of the classic novel.

United States Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith | United States Poet Laureate

A poet of "extraordinary range and ambition" (New York Times Book Review), Tracy K. Smith is the author of the memoir Ordinary Light and three books of poetry: Life on Mars, which received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize; Duende, recipient of the 2006 James Laughlin Award, and The Body's Question, which won the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. In June 2017, she was named the 22nd U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2017-2018 by the Library of Congress.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

Erika L. Sánchez | I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

A New York Times bestseller and a National Book Award finalist, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter tells the story of Julia, who grows up in a Mexican American home in Chicago while coping with her sister's death and mysterious life, her own mental health issues, and the divide between her artistic ambition and her family's wishes for a traditional daughter. Erika L. Sánchez is also the author of the "lush and formidable" (New York Times) poetry collection Lessons on Expulsion, and her work has appeared in The Guardian, Salon, and Cosmopolitan, among other publications. A 2017–2019 Princeton Arts Fellow, she currently teaches poetry at Princeton University.

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Tiffany D. Jackson | Allegedly

Tiffany D. Jackson's NAACP Image Award-nominated debut novel Allegedly "offers an unflinching portrayal of the raw social outcomes when youth are entrapped in a vicious cycle of nonparenting and are sent spiraling down the prison-for-profit pipeline. This dark, suspenseful exploration of justice and perception raises important questions teens will want to discuss" (School Library Journal). Jackson has more than a decade of experience in the television industry, working for National Geographic, BET, and BBC America, among other outlets. She received her Bachelor of Arts in film from Howard University and her Master of Arts in media studies from The New School University.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo | The Poet X

Elizabeth Acevedo is a National Slam Champion and the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam representative for Washington, D.C. With more than 12 years of performance experience, she has been featured on BET and Mun2, delivered several TED Talks, and graced stages at renowned venues including Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts, and South Africa's State Theatre. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and author of the chapbook Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths. Her debut novel The Poet X tells the story of a struggling Harlem teenager's journey with slam poetry as she explores a new romance, her mother's conservative religious principles, and her own artistic goals.

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