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Next Generation Now is the event series dedicated to nurturing a love of literature in children, tweens, and teens at the PEN America World Voices Festival. As the leading writers’ organization defending free expression, a major part of our mission is encouraging today’s children to explore their creativity and appreciate the rich, rewarding, and diverse world they will shape as readers and writers of tomorrow.

In Virtual Storytimes, writers for kids and teens read aloud the stories they would have shared in person at the 2020 Festival. These short home videos reach inboxes just in time to set family weekends off on the right foot. Many also include creative activities to energize kids, teens, or even aspiring young adult and children’s book authors to hone their craft and engage directly with beloved authors on social media.

Mae RespicioIn our fourth episode, middle grade author Mae Respicio shares a reading from her newest book, Any Day with You, about a creative girl who uses her talents to keep her family together. After her reading, Mae leads kids in an exercise about how to describe their worlds with words.

About Mae Respicio

Mae Respicio is author of the middle grade novels Any Day with You and The House That Lou Built, which won an APALA Honor Award in Children’s Literature, was an NPR Best Book of the Year, and was named to many state-wide reading and “best of” lists. Her upcoming book is Everything Starts with Nothing, set to release in 2021 with Random House Kids. Mae is a former recipient of a PEN Emerging Voices Fellowship and has published many musings on parenthood. She and her family live in the Bay Area suburban wild.

Order her newest book, Any Day with You, on Bookshop or Amazon.

Next Generation Now is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME).