April 13, 2024


  • 3:00 pm - 3:45 pm
  •    |   Location of Session: Copper Kitchen
  • Middle Grade Sessions
  • Start of Signing: 4:00 pm
  •    |   Signing Location: Festival Marketplace

About the Event

In times of change and hardship, friendships can offer belonging and understanding for kids dealing with life-altering experiences like bullying and parental absence. In their new middle grade novels, Kevin Carey (Junior Miles and the Junkman) and Dr. Carmen Tafolla (Warrior Girl) talk about love, loss, hope, and not shying away from hard conversations. 

Introduced by Dalia Morales

About the Authors

Kevin Carey - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: Stephenie Young

Kevin Carey

Kevin Carey is Coordinator of Creative Writing at Salem State University. His books include: The Beach PeopleThe One Fifteen to Penn StationJesus Was a HomeboySet in StoneMurder in the Marsh and a co-written poetry collection Olympus Heights. He is the co-founder of Molecule: a tiny lit mag. Kevin is also a filmmaker and a playwright and was a middle school basketball coach for 19 years. His latest book is Junior Miles and the Junkman

Carmen Tafolla - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: Courtesy of Dr. Carmen Tafolla

Carmen Tafolla

Dr. Carmen Tafolla is an award-winning author, speaker, and university professor. A native of the West Side barrios of San Antonio, she is the author of more than 40 books and her works have been published in Spanish, English, French, German, Korean and Bengali. From 2012 to 2014, she served as the first City Poet Laureate of San Antonio, and in 2015 was named state Poet Laureate of Texas. Her numerous distinctions include the Americas Award, two Tomás Rivera Book Awards, six International Latino Book Awards, the Art of Peace Award, and Top Ten Books for Babies by the Fred Rogers Corporation. She lives and writes in San Antonio, where she is currently at work on the full biography of 1930s organizer, Emma Tenayuca. Her latest book is Warrior Girl.


Carmen Tafolla - The San Antonio Book Festival

Jennifer Ziegler

Jennifer Ziegler is an author of over two dozen books for young adults and middle graders—including her latest novel, Worser, which was named one of the best books of 2022 by the New York Times, Booklist, and Kirkus Reviews. She is also on the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA program on Writing for Children and Young Adults. When not writing or teaching, she can be found reading, doing puzzles, exploring, making salsa, and trying to keep her Wordle streak going. Jennifer lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, author Chris Barton. 

Photo Credit: Sam Bond Photography

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