Free Library of Philadelphia
Field Family Teen Author Series: The Field Family Teen Author Series promotes a lifetime love of reading by creating a personal connection between author and student. In addition, students get to know their local Free Library branch, an essential public resource for academic enrichment, recreational reading materials, cultural opportunities, and internet access.
“The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Field Family Teen Author Series is one of the best in the country.”
– Walter Dean Myers
“Philly’s Free Library has created a teen program that would make Oprah envious.”
– “Star Power” School Library Journal
How it Works
The Teen Author Series operates in partnership with Philadelphia high schools and middle schools—public, charter, magnet, and diocesan—and is open to classes in grades 7–12. Participation is by invitation only.
  • There is no cost to schools or students!
  • Each student receives a FREE copy of the visiting author's book to keep!
  • The Teen Author Series Outreach Coordinator will visit your classroom to talk about the author's book and deliver copies for each participating student to read in advance.
  • Students meet the author at their local Free Library branch for a one-hour presentation, Q&A, and book signing.
Get Involved!
Teachers and school administrators can contact the Teen Author Series Outreach Coordinator at or 215-686-5372 for information about current opportunities to participate.
Fall 2015 Teen Author Series Events
Eric Gansworth | If I Ever Get Out of Here
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Middle school is lonely for Lewis Blake, the only Native American in his class. That changes when a new seventh-grader moves to town.  The boys connect through their mutual passion for music, but Lewis has to lie to hide the reality of his family’s poverty from his new friend. Eric Gansworth is a professor of English and Lowery Writer-in-Residence at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. His debut young adult novel, If I Ever Get Out of Here is a powerful story of friendship, memory, and the joy of rock 'n' roll.
Kekla Magoon | How It Went Down
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Kekla Magoon’s riveting examination of a tragic racially charged shooting is a familiar scenario in recent national headlines, offering readers the perspective of the family, friends, and enemies of everyone affected. How It Went Down reveals the complicated relationships that surround a popular teen and the neighborhood that nurtured and challenged him. Kekla Magoon is the author of five novels, including The Rock and the River, for which she received the American Library Association Coretta Scott King New Talent Award and an NAACP Image Award nomination.
Kwame Alexander | The Crossover
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Recipient of the 2015 Newbery Medal and the 2015 Coretta Scott King Honor Award, Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover is a novel-in-verse about twin brothers who are basketball stars: “kings on the court, with crossovers that make even the toughest ballers cry.” A New York Times review describes the book as a “beautifully measured novel of life and lines,” which “for all the bells and whistles of a young man’s game … is most boldly and certainly a book about tenderness.” Alexander is a writer and literacy activist and the author of 18 books.
Coe Booth | Kinda Like Brothers
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Acclaimed YA novelist Coe Booth makes her middle-grade debut in Kinda Like Brothers, a powerful story of unexpected understanding and the foster care system told from the perspective of 11-year-old Jarrett, who is used to his mom taking in foster babies but has never before had to share his space with someone his own age. Booth is also the author of Tyrell, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature, as well as Kendra and Bronxwood. She teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts and mentors teen writers in the NAACP ACT-SO program.
e.E. Charlton-Trujillo | Fat Angie
Monday, December 7, 2015
High school freshman Angie sees herself the way everyone else does, as “Fat Angie,” until KC Romance, “a model kind of beauty beneath the bad-girl garb,” swans into her small, conservative Ohio town. When Angie and KC bond—first platonically, then romantically—Angie is motivated to change inside and out. e.E. Charlton-Trujillo offers a poignant story laden with weighty topics, including war, death, suicide, cutting, bullying, and homosexuality. The book received the 2014 Stonewall Award, and Charlton-Trujillo’s unconventional book tour to empower youth on the fringe was the subject of the feature documentary At-Risk Summer that will release in late 2015.
Ta-Nehisi Coates | Between the World and Me
Friday, October 16, 2015
Covering culture, politics, and social issues as a national correspondent at The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates has been applauded for his levelheaded and prescient reportage. His 2008 memoir, The Beautiful Struggle, details his father’s struggle to shepherd him and his siblings through the turmoil of a collapsing crack epidemic-era Baltimore. Coates has contributed articles and essays to a slew of publications, including Time, The Village Voice, and The Washington Post. An instant bestseller, Between the World and Me is an exploration of racial history since the end of the Civil War from “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer).
The Field Family Teen Author Series is endowed through a generous grant from the family of Marie and Joseph Field.
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