We Are Family - San Antonio Book Festival
May 21, 2022

We Are Family

  • 10:30 am - 11:30 am
  •    |   Location of Session: McNutt Garden Tent
  • Middle Grade Sessions
  • Start of Signing: 11:45 AM
  •    |   Signing Location: Festival Marketplace

About the Event

A sequel exploring immigration, family, and what it means to feel at home; a story exploring themes of toxic masculinity and family legacy; and a bullied 12-year-old boy must find a new normal after his mother has a stroke. Youth People’s Poet Laureate Naomi Shihab Nye (The Turtle of Michigan), Coretta Scott King Honoree Varian Johnson (Playing the Cards You’re Dealt), and beloved author Jennifer Ziegler (Worser) delve into themes of family, toxic masculinity, refuge, and home.  

About the Authors

Varian Johnson - The San Antonio Book Festival

Varian Johnson

Varian Johnson is the author of several novels for children and young adults, including The Parker Inheritance, which won both Coretta Scott King Author Honor and Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor awards; The Great Greene Heist, an ALA Notable Children’s book, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book, and a Texas Library Association Lone Star List selection; the graphic novel Twins co-created with Shannon Wright, an NPR Best Book of the Year; and Playing the Cards You’re Dealt, a Booklist Editor’s Choice and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. He lives with his family near Austin, Texas.
Naomi Shihab Nye - The San Antonio Book Festival

Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Her father was a Palestinian refugee and her mother an American of German and Swiss descent, and she spent her adolescence in both Jerusalem and San Antonio, Texas. She earned her BA from Trinity University in San Antonio. Naomi Shihab Nye is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for her work, including the Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Book Critics Circle, the Lavan Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Carity Randall Prize, the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry award, the Robert Creeley Prize, and many Pushcart Prizes.
She has received fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and she was a Witter Bynner Fellow. From 2010 to 2015 she served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In 2018 she was awarded the Lon Tinkle Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Texas Institute of Letters. Naomi Shihab Nye is the current Young People’s Poet Laureate (Poetry Foundation). She is the author and/or editor of more than 30 volumes. Her books of poetry include Everything Comes Next: Collected & New Poems, Cast Away: Poems for Our Time, Voices in the Air, 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East, A Maze Me: Poems for Girls, Red Suitcase, Words Under the Words, Fuel, and You & Yours (a bestselling poetry book of 2006). Her middle-grade novel, The Turtle of Oman, was chosen as both a Best Book of 2014 by the Horn Book and a 2015 Notable Children’s Book by the American Library Association. Naomi Shihab Nye lives in San Antonio, Texas.
Jennifer Ziegler - The San Antonio Book Festival

Jennifer Ziegler

Jennifer Ziegler is an author of books for young adults and middle graders, including How Not to Be PopularRevenge of the Flower Girls, and Revenge of the Teacher’s Pets. She is on the faculty of Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA program on Writing for Children and Young Adults. Like Worser, she is a lover of words, word play, puzzles, libraries, and bookstores. Unlike Worser, she was never sent to the principal’s office. Jennifer lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, author Chris Barton. Visit her at jenniferziegler.com.


Jennifer Ziegler - The San Antonio Book Festival

Erika Murray

Erika Murray is a lover and promoter of all things books and book-related. She is a certified school librarian and has worked in elementary, middle, and high school libraries. Erika has a passion for connecting self-proclaimed non-readers of all ages to the book that hooks them and has them asking for more. She is a strong supporter of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement and believes that everyone deserves to see themselves reflected in the pages of books.
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