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.

Spring 2019 Teen Author Series Events

Dread Nation

Justina Ireland | Dread Nation

Grades 9 – 12

In this New York Times bestseller, the dead begin walking the battlefields of Gettysburg during the Civil War. Slavery comes to a halt, and the north and south put aside their differences to join forces. Laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children to attend combat schools to learn to fight the dead, including Jane McKeene, who studies both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. But this is not the life Jane wants, and when she sets out to return home to Kentucky she finds herself in the middle of a dangerous conspiracy and a fight for her life. Ireland is also the author of Vengeance Bound and Promise of Shadows.


Torrey Maldonado | Tight

Grades 10 – 12

Reading comics, drawing superheroes, and hanging out with no drama are the things Bryan likes about his life—those things are tight. But when his friend Mike starts pressuring him to get into more trouble, Bryan finds himself in a situation that doesn’t feel quite right. With the help of his comic heroes, Bryan navigates urban life and how to stand up for what he feels. Maldonado is also the author of Secret Saturdays, and was spotlighted as a top teacher by New York City’s former Chancellor.

Fresh Ink: An Anthology

Lamar Giles | Fresh Ink: An Anthology

Grades 7 – 9

This young adult collection contains work from 13 of the most recognizable diverse authors, including Nicola Yoon, Jason Reynolds, and Melissa de la Cruz, and is published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books. Fresh Ink addresses issues that include gentrification, death, sexuality, and poverty, and ranges in genre from contemporary realistic fiction to adventure and romance. Guiles is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books and has written the young adult novels The Last Last-Day-of-Summer and Spin.

Ghost Boys

Jewell Parker Rhodes | Ghost Boys

Grades 5 – 8

Twelve-year old Jerome is shot and killed by a police officer when his toy gun is mistaken for a real weapon. As a ghost he observes the reactions of his family and friends, as well as the trial of his murder. The only living person who can see him is Sarah, the police officer’s daughter, who, along with the ghost of Emmitt Till, a boy murdered in 1955 under similar circumstances, helps Jerome process his death. Rhodes has written five children’s books and received numerous awards including the American Book Award and the National Endowment of the Arts Award in Fiction. Ghost Boys is the 2019 One Book, One Philadelphia selection for youth.

Ship of Souls

Zetta Elliott | Ship of Souls

Grades 6 – 8

In this blend of fiction and history, 11-year-old birdwatcher and math whiz Dmitri feels like an outcast when he loses his mom to breast cancer and is adopted by an elderly white woman. While out birdwatching, D finds an injured and unusual bird that takes him and two friends on an adventure from Brooklyn to the African Burial Ground in lower Manhattan to deal with the Nether Beings who lurk underground. Elliott has also written the young adult novels A Wish After Midnight and The Door at the Crossroads.

Hey Kiddo

Jarrett Krosoczka | Hey Kiddo

Grades 7 – 9

In this National Book Award Finalist graphic novel memoir, Jarrett Krosoczka is asked to draw a picture of his family in pre-school, with a mom and dad—but his father is absent, his mother is a drug addict that comes in and out of his life, and he lives with his grandparents. As he grows, Jarrett learns to cope with his life and express himself by drawing, and only when he becomes a teenager does he begin to learn the truth about his family by confronting his mother and seeking out his father. Krosoczka is a New York Times bestselling author/illustrator and has published more than 30 books, including the Lunch Lady graphic novels and Platypus Police Squad middle-grade novels.

Girl Mogul

Tiffany Pham | Girl Mogul

Grades 9 – 12

Girl Mogul is an inspiring guide to success for young adults, offering them tips and insight into achieving their dreams. A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School, Tiffany Pham is the founder and CEO of Mogul, one of the largest platforms for women worldwide, enabling them to connect, share information, and access knowledge from each other. A coder, she developed the first version of Mogul, reaching millions of women per week across 196 countries. She was named one of Forbes’s "30 Under 30" in media, Business Insider’s "30 Most Important Women Under 30" in technology, and ELLE Magazine’s "30 Women Under 30 Who Are Changing the World."

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