In Brief: June 17, 2021

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This week, Veronica Roth, Marie Lu, and Alexandra Bracken examine dystopia; Lydia M. Sigwarth revisits the library and librarian that changed her life; and Alexis Nedd and Alanna Bennett talk e-sports.

“What Makes You Different, Makes You Dangerous”

In commemoration of the 10-year anniversary of the start of the Divergent series (HarperCollins/Tegen), Veronica Roth (r.) spoke with fellow authors Marie Lu (l.) (Skyhunter duology) and Alexandra Bracken (c.) (Lore) during a June 1 Crowdcast conversation titled “Revisiting Dystopia,” centering the past and present of dystopian YA. Five indie bookstores around the U.S. co-hosted the ticketed event: Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, The Book Stall in Winnetka, Ill., Main Street Books in St. Louis, Mo., Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, and R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Conn.

Dear to Me

On June 11, Lydia M. Sigwarth (l.) celebrated the release of Dear Librarian (illus. by Romina Galotta, FSG) at the Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque, Iowa, the library featured in the picture book, which follows five-year-old Sigwarth, who finds a home in the library when her family experiences being unhoused. Deb Stephenson, the life-changing librarian in the book, joined Sigwarth for the event. Ira Glass and Stephanie Foo of This American Life, the team who first discovered Sigwarth’s story, provided introductions; the event also included a reading, along with a slideshow of submissions from the Dear Librarian contest.

Let the Games Begin

Hosted by Café con Libros in Brooklyn, N.Y., debut YA author Alexis Nedd (r.) (Don’t Hate the Player, Bloomsbury), held a virtual launch event on June 14. Screenwriter and culture writer Alanna Bennett was in conversation with Nedd; the duo discussed toxic masculinity in e-sports, creating a team of characters typically excluded from gaming spaces, Nedd’s adult ADHD diagnosis, its impact on her writing process, and how one of her lead characters shares her ADHD.

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