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.
Spring 2015 Teen Author Series Events
Rita Williams Garcia Una LaMarche | Like No Other
Friday, February 20, 2015
Like No Other begins when Devorah, a Hasidic Jewish girl, meets Jaxon, a second generation Caribbean-American boy, when the two are stuck in an elevator during a hurricane power outage. Despite the fact that they wouldn’t speak to each other under normal circumstances, the two make an undeniable connection and forge a forbidden friendship that blossoms into first love. The book was named a Junior Library Guild Selection, a Los Angeles Times Summer Reading Guide Selection, and an Entertainment Weekly YA Novel to Watch Out For.
Deborah Ellis Michio Kaku | The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku is a renowned popularizer of science and co-founder of String Field Theory, continuing Einstein’s quest to unite the four fundamental forces of nature into a single grand unified theory of everything. In his no. 1 New York Times bestseller The Future of the Mind, he tackles the most captivating and complex object in the known universe: the human brain. Dr. Kaku provides a look at the astonishing research being done in laboratories around the world, revealing what the future may hold and how the latest advancements in neuroscience and physics will affect our daily lives.
Meg Medina Tim Federle | Better Nate Than Ever
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Tim Federle danced in the original casts of The Little Mermaid and Gypsy on Broadway before coaching the young stars of Billy Elliot. His debut novel, Better Nate Than Ever—described as “Judy Blume as seen through a Stephen Sondheim lens” (Huffington Post)—was named a New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2013 and a Favorite Book of 2013. The book, inspired by Federle’s adventures backstage, follows small-town boy Nate Foster as he hops a bus to New York City to crash an audition for E.T.: The Musical and chase his dream of stardom.
John Lewis and Andrew Aydin Christina Baker Kline | Orphan Train
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Orphan Train is the compelling story of Vivian, a 91-year-old widow once orphaned as a child, and Molly, a troubled teen who has been shuffled from one unstable foster home to another. The two women develop a bond, with Vivian treasuring her Irish immigrant roots and Molly finding comfort in her ancestral Native American tradition. The novel sheds light on an era when thousands of orphaned children were taken from crowded cities to face uncertain futures in the rural Midwest and connects with the importance of heritage and memories in shaping who we are, the value of intergenerational relationships, and the fundamental power of family.
Kill Shakespeare Jason Reynolds | When I Was the Greatest
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Set in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bed-Stuy, Jason Reynolds’s debut novel When I Was the Greatest follows a teen named Ali who does his best to stay out of trouble, despite the drugs and violence ever-present in his neighborhood. He is focused on school, boxing, and his family, but the same can’t be said for his best friend Noodles, who is always getting into trouble. The book addresses race and class divisions in New York, taking ownership of one’s actions, and standing up for what’s right, capturing the heart and the hardship of life for an urban teen.
Holly Goldberg Sloan A.S. King | Glory O'Brien's History of the Future
Friday, April 10, 2015
“One of the best Y.A. writers working today,” A.S. King is known for her heartfelt, witty stories that “capture the disorientation of adolescence brilliantly” (New York Times Book Review). Her books include the 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book, Please Ignore Vera Dietz; Everybody Sees the Ants—an Andre Norton Award finalist and a 2012 YALSA Top Ten book for young adults; and Ask the Passengers, recipient of the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and called “another thoughtful, and often breathtaking achievement” (Booklist). In Glory O'Brien's History of the Future, she tells the epic story of a girl with the astonishing power to see a person’s infinite past and future.
Holly Goldberg Sloan Matt de la Peña | The Living
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Matt de la Peña is the author of the critically-acclaimed young adult novels Ball Don't Lie, Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, I Will Save You, as well as the award-winning picture book A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis. His “breathtaking” (New York Times) novel The Living is a disaster epic, survival story, and a coming of age novel told through the life of a 17-year-old boy who becomes aware of class, prejudice, and romance after a major earthquake flings him into shark-infested seas from a sinking ship. The novel was named a 2014 Pura Belpre Honor book and a 2014 ALSC Notable Children’s Book.
Holly Goldberg Sloan Jacqueline Woodson | Brown Girl Dreaming
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
The author of more than two dozen books for young adults, Jacqueline Woodson has won three Newbery Honors, a Coretta Scott King Award and three Coretta Scott King Honors, as well as the 2014 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Her books confront difficult subjects, including teen pregnancy, drug addiction, gender identity, and juvenile crime, with a gentle hand and lyrical prose. In Brown Girl Dreaming, Woodson tells the moving story of her childhood in poems, “offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story . . . but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery” (The New York Times Book Review).
The Field Family Teen Author Series is endowed through a generous grant from the family of Marie and Joseph Field.
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