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Who Tells the Story? Children’s Book Writers Talk About Voice


April 28, 2011 | Greenwich House Music School | New York City

With Giaconda Belli, Peter Lerangis, and Rebecca Stead; moderated by Jenny Brown

Co-sponsored by PEN’s Children’s Book Committee

LISTEN | Download the mp3

CLIPS: Gioconda Belli | Rebecca Stead | Peter Lerangis

Must the writer get inside the head of the child in order to find an authentic voice for a young character? Or does the authentic voice come from someplace else? Three distinguished writers share ideas about how their lives shape their books. With Nicaraguan novelist and poet Gioconda Belli, author of the children’s book The Butterfly Workshop; Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medalist and author of the New York Times bestseller When You Reach Me; and Peter Lerangis, author of 160 books for children and young adults, including two in the New York Times–bestselling series The 39 Clues. Moderated by Lisa Von Drasek, Children’s Librarian at the Bank Street College of Educations, blogger for EarlyWord.com, and contributor to the Barnes and Noble Review.


• Deji Olukotun: A humid night at the Greenwich House, with a backyard populated by cherry blossoms and miniature meals, and by those I mean appetizers. [More]

• Lyn Miller-Lachmann: The two empty chairs onstage at the PEN Children’s Committee panel, “Who Tells the Story? Children’s Book Writers Talk About Voice,” seemed to have been left there by accident, but unforeseen circumstances kept two participants from attending. Children’s Committee chair Susanna Reich fell victim to laryngitis, so her predecessor, Fran Manushkin, graciously welcomed the near-capacity crowd. [More]

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