The University of Southern California (USC) was the site of the 23rd Annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Well over 150,000 people attended the two-day event, April 21 – 22, which consisted of conversations with award-winning authors, journalists, celebrities, chefs, artists, and musicians. Coretta Scott King (CSK) Book Awards was well represented with CSK Winner and Honor awardees Renée Watson and Jason Reynolds, respectively, as featured speakers at the event.
Jason Reynolds, 2018 CSK Honor Author Award winner for Long Way Down, was a featured speaker interviewed on Saturday by CSK Chair Dr. Claudette S. McLinn, who is also Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature. Reynolds revealed the various aspects of his writing, including why he writes, the reasons for the various themes of his books, the purpose of his open-ended endings, and more. It was an informative as well as lively conversation. Long Way Down was also the 2018 winner of the L.A. Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature, awarded the previous evening.
Dr. McLinn was also the moderator of the Sunday panel discussion. Renée Watson, the author of the 2018 CSK Author Award-winning book Piecing Me Together, was a member of the panel discussion titled “Secrets and Self Discovery” with members: Brandy Colbert, author of Little & Lion; Robin Benway, author of Far From the Tree; and Abdi Nazemian, author of The Authentics. The authors were allowed to summarize their books and explain how each related to the session theme. Many thought-provoking questions were raised from the audience, which made it a very energized discussion.
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was a high-energy literary experience filled with many author presentations, vendor booths, stage performances, and storytelling. Looking forward to next year!
Dr. Claudette McLinn is Chair of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee. She is the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature.