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 or 215-686-5372 for information about current opportunities to participate.

Fall 2018 Teen Author Series Events

Dear Evan Hansen, The Novel

Val Emmich, Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul | Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel

Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel follows Evan, an anxious and lonely teenage whose entire life is changed when one lie about a recently deceased classmate being his secret best friend presents him with the opportunity to do what he has always wanted most: belong. Val Emmich is an actor (Vinyl, Ugly Betty, 30 Rock) and author of the novel The Reminders. Steven Levenson is the Tony Award-winning book writer of Dear Evan Hansen. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are the Tony, Oscar, and Golden Globe-winning songwriting team behind the Broadway musicals Dear Evan Hansen and A Christmas Story, The Musical.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Nic Stone | Dear Martin

Nic Stone tackles race, class, and police brutality in her New York Times bestselling debut novel Dear Martin, a William C. Morris Award Finalist. “A visceral portrait of a young man reckoning with the ugly, persistent violence of social injustice” (Publishers Weekly), the book is structured as a conversation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A simple question—What would Martin do if he were alive?—guides the novel’s protagonist throughout his senior year, as he encounters everything from his white classmates’ racism to police profiling and violence.

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

Renée Watson | Piecing Me Together

Renée Watson’s young adult novel Piecing Me Together received a Coretta Scott King Award and Newbery Honor. The book tells the story of a 16-year-old high-achieving high school student on scholarship at an exclusive private school who gets help from a mentor. The novel deals with issues of identity, self-image, race and gender bias, and socioeconomic differences, as well as the power of art. Watson’s other books include This Side of Home, Harlem’s Little Blackbird, and What Momma Left Me. She is on the Council of Writers for the National Writing Project and is a team member of We Need Diverse Books.

Spliced by Jon McGoran

Jon McGoran | Spliced

In this sci-fi thriller, genetically altered teens fight for survival in a near-future society that is redefining what it means to be human. Sixteen-year-old Jimi knows people change, but nothing could prepare her for what’s about to happen to her best friend, Del. Del is obsessed with becoming a chimera: a person with animal DNA. When a law passes to make the chimeras nonpersons, Del is suddenly legally less-than-human. McGoran’s other books include the ecological thrillers Drift, Deadout, and Dust Up, as well as The Dead Ring, based on the TV show The Blacklist. He co-hosts The Liars Club Oddcast, a podcast about writing and creativity.

Facing Frederick by Tonya Bolden

Tonya Bolden | Facing Frederick

Tonya Bolden is the award-winning author of more than 20 books, including Maritcha, Emancipation Proclamation, and Crossing Ebenezer Creek. Her many honors include the Coretta Scott King Honor, the James Madison Award, and the Children’s Book Guild’s Nonfiction Award. Drawing on new scholarship, 19th-century newspapers, a collection of Douglass’s correspondence, the Library of Congress’s Frederick Douglass Papers, and many photographs, Facing Frederick captures what a multifaceted man he was.

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