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.
Winter and Spring 2014 Teen Author Series Events
Ishmael Beah Ishmael Beah | Radiance of Tomorrow: A Novel
Ishmael Beah reaped international acclaim with his 2007 New York Times bestselling memoir A Long Way Gone, a harrowing account of Sierra Leone's civil war and the fate of child soldiers that "everyone in the world should read" (The Washington Post). After his parents and brothers were killed, 13-year-old Ishmael was recruited to fight as a child soldier. Eventually released by the army and sent to a UNICEF rehabilitation center, he graduated from Oberlin College in 2004. He is a UNICEF Ambassador, a member of the Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Advisory Committee, and has spoken before the United Nations on the effects of war on children. Radiance of Tomorrow is a moving, tender parable about postwar life in Sierra Leone.
Ransom Riggs Ransom Riggs | Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Writer, filmmaker, and photo hound Ransom Riggs is the author of the "chilling, wondrous" (People) no. 1 New York Times bestseller Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, a unique mix of young adult fantasy and vintage photography that follows a teenage orphan to a deserted Welsh island and the abandoned, crumbling ruins of the titular facility.
Ally Condie Ally Condie | Matched trilogy
Ally Condie explores an "enthralling and twisty dystopian" (Publishers Weekly) future in which the government makes all of its citizens' decisions, including who they will marry and love. This New York Times bestselling young adult series, including Matched, Crossed, and Reached, excels at "exploring the individual cost of societal perfection and the sacrifices inherent in freedom of choice" (Booklist) as its heroine rebels against this system and discovers love on her own terms. The Matched trilogy has been translated into more than 30 languages, and Disney has optioned the film rights for the series.
Blue Balliet Blue Balliet | Hold Fast
Blue Balliett's first four mysteries—Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3, The Calder Game, and The Danger Box—were all New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestsellers where young characters are drawn into elaborate mysteries involving valuable objects. In Hold Fast, a young family is at the heart of a mystery that moves from Chicago's snowy streets to the shelter system to the dark corners of the public library. Balliett's many awards include the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Juvenile Novel, Chicago Tribune Prize for Young Adult Fiction, and an Agatha Award for Best YA Novel.
Kevin Powers Kevin Powers | The Yellow Birds
At the age of 17, Kevin Powers enlisted in the Army and later served as a machine-gunner in Mosul and Tal Afar, Iraq, where the infinite sky is "catacombed with clouds" and "soldiers stay awake on fear" (New York Times Book Review). Winner of the 2013 PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction and a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award, his debut book The Yellow Birds—the 2014 One Book, One Philadelphia selection— powerfully depicts the truth and tragedy of war.
Laurie Halse Anderson Laurie Halse Anderson | The Impossible Knife of Memory
Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times bestselling author of Speak and Chains, both finalists for the National Book Award for young people's literature, as well as many more books for teens and young adults. Her ability to address tough teen issues with honesty, humor, and sensitivity has earned her numerous awards, including the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award. In her new novel, The Impossible Knife of Memory, a teenage girl must learn to adjust to high school while caring for her veteran father who suffers from alcoholism and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Walter Dean Myers | Darius & Twig
Walter Dean Myers is "arguably one of the most important writers of children's books of our age" (Kirkus). The winner of two Newbery Honor awards, five Coretta Scott King Awards, and the Michael L. Printz Award, among many others, Myers is the author of Fallen Angels, Harlem: A Poem, Lockdown, and Monster, among many books. Darius & Twig is a novel about friendship and needing to live your own dream.
The Field Family Teen Author Series is endowed through a generous grant from the family of Marie and Joseph Field.
Content managed by The Office of Public Service Support 215-686-5372