Children’s and Young Adult Book Authors

PEN’s Children’s and Young Adult Book Authors support writers and librarians whose books have been banned or challenged. We are eager to receive information about these actions so that we can respond to them promptly. Our committee also has monthly meetings which include passionate give-and-take conversations about topics that affect writers of children’s literature. If you would like to join the committee or receive news related to Children’s and YA Books and Authors, write to [email protected] for more information. 

On the Separation of Families at the US Border

“As authors and illustrators dedicated to serving the needs of children through words and images and to the support of free expression, the Children’s and Young Adult Books Committee of PEN America asserts its complete opposition to the policy of separating children from their parents at the borders of the United States. This policy is badly damaging to babies and young people who have committed no crime. We join our voices with those of other writers, especially those taking action in the children’s book community, to protest this policy or any similar efforts. We reject the spirit of violence enacted against innocents for any reason.” –Co-chairs Fatima Shaik and Paul Zelinsky, and the members of the PEN America CYAB Committee

Children's and YA Books Committee at the 2018 PEN World Voices Festival

The Children’s and YA Books Committee was well-represented at the 2018 World Voices Festival Next Generation Now program. Committee co-chair Fatima Shaik moderated the panel, “What Shall We Tell the Children?” The panel focused on the question: “As authors and as caregivers and teachers, what do we tell the children about the current political situation?” The panel featured editor Wade Hudson, writer Tonya Bolden, and visual artists Innosanto Nagara and Eric Velasquez. They shared their perspectives on the ways in which children grapple with difficult political situations and times of controversy and danger. Panelists also discussed how to write on and speak about the current political climate with children and young adults, as artists, teachers, parents and grandparents. Check out committee member Lyn Miller-Lachmann’s blog post about the event: “What Shall We Tell the Children?”


Committee's Recent News & Announcements

The film adaptation of Emily Arnold McCully’s Mirette on the High Wire was recently screened at the Tribeca Film Festival. Here Emily is feature on the red carpet at the festival with producer Michael Stanish, Philippe Petit, and director Helen O’Hanlon. 



Committee member Lyn Miller-Lachmann regularly features PEN America events and campaigns on her blog. Check out some of her posts!