Twin Cities Book Festival, Minnesota State Fairgrounds
Friday, October 13, 2017: Opening Night Festivities
Saturday, October 14, 2017: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Rain Taxi is pleased to welcome the following authors from around the country and the globe to this year’s Twin Cities Book Festival stages. Book sales provided by Red Balloon Bookshop.
PICTURE BOOKS & COMICS AUTHORS
After detours through social services and astrophysics, Peter Pearson earned his MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in 2012. Peter has received awards, grants, and other recognition from Hamline, the Loft Literary Center, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Anderson Center. His first picture book, How to Eat an Airplane, was published by Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins). He also makes pretty good pancakes and is sort of tall.
Bao Phi was born in Vietnam and raised in the Phillips neighborhood of South Minneapolis. He is an author, a poet, a community organizer, and a father. A two-time Minnesota Grand Slam champion and a National Poetry Slam finalist, Bao Phi’s poems and essays are widely published in numerous publications including Screaming Monkeys, Spoken Word Revolution Redux, and A Good Time for the Truth. He is the author of two collections of poems: Song I Sing and Thousand Star Hotel. His first children’s book, A Different Pond, is published by Capstone Press.
Kickliy is the creator of the critically acclaimed Musnet series of books. Musnet was nominated for the 2017 Prix Angouleme for Kids Comics. Kickliy is also an accomplished oil painter. He lives somewhere between Minneapolis and Giverny. Kickliy will lead a group of kids is a fun drawing session where they will chat about art, comics, and learn to draw Musnet and his friends. Ages 8 & up welcome.
MIDDLE GRADE AUTHORS
Drew Brockington has flown a Space Shuttle, repaired the International Space Station, and served in Mission Control; all during a week at Space Camp. He works at his drawing table while his dog snores at his feet. CatStronauts is his first book. He lives with his family in Minneapolis.
Christopher Eliopoulos began his illustration career at Marvel Comics, and has worked on thousands of comics, including Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius, Pet Avengers, and Cow Boy, all of which he wrote and illustrated. He is also the illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Ordinary People Change the World series. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and their identical twin sons.
Nicole Helget is the acclaimed author of the middle grade novel Wonder at the Edge of the World and The End of the Wild, as well as three adult novels, The Turtle Catcher, The Summer of Ordinary Ways, and Stillwater. She has also co-authored a middle grade novel, Horse Camp. She lives in St. Peter, Minnesota.
Janet Tashjian is a middle-grade and young adult novelist who’s been writing books for children for over two decades. Her bestselling My Life As a Book series is illustrated by her son, Jake with whom she also collaborated on the Einstein the Class Hamster series. Janet co-authored the chapter book series Marty Frye, Private Eye. Janet currently lives in Los Angeles.
YOUNG ADULT AUTHORS
S.K. Ali is a teacher based in Toronto whose writing on Muslim culture and life has appeared in the Toronto Star. Her family of Muslim scholars is consistently listed in the The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World, and her insight into Muslim culture is both personal and far-reaching. A mother of a teenage daughter herself, S.K. Ali’s debut YA novel Saints and Misfits is a beautiful and nuanced story about a young woman exploring her identity through friendship, family, and faith.
M.C. Atwood is a creative writing professor at Rowan University in New Jersey. She has been an active member of the kidlit community since 2000, speaking at conferences, leading writing workshops, and emceeing events whenever she can. She is a bona fide cat addict and a lover of all things horror. The Devils You Know is her first YA novel.
Peter Bognanni is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His debut novel, The House of Tomorrow, won the LA Times award for first fiction and the ALA Alex Award and has been adapted into a feature film. He teaches creative writing at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Malinda Lo is the author of several young adult novels, including the forthcoming A Line in the Dark (Dutton, Oct. 17, 2017). Her novel Ash, a lesbian retelling of Cinderella, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and was a Kirkus Best Book for Children and Teens. She has been a three-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Malinda’s nonfiction has been published by The New York Times Book Review, NPR, The Huffington Post, The Toast, The Horn Book, and AfterEllen. She lives in Massachusetts with her partner and their dog.
Carrie Mesrobian is an instructor at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Her debut novel, Sex & Violence, was called one of the best books of 2013 by Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly and was a finalist for the American Library Association's William C. Morris Award for best debut young adult novel. A native Minnesotan, she lives with her husband, daughter, and dog.
David Oppegaard is the author of The Town Built on Sorrow, the 2016 MN Book Award finalist The Firebug of Balrog County, the Bram Stoker-nominated The Suicide Collectors, And The Hills Opened Up, and Wormwood, Nevada. He has worked as an optician, a receptionist, a standardized test scorer, a farm hand, an editorial assistant, a trash picker, a library assistant, a seasonal bookstore employee, and as a child minder on a British cruise ship. He teaches the occasional fiction class at Hamline University and currently works at the University of Minnesota. He lives in St. Paul, MN.