Category Archives: Profiles

Meet the TRCA 2018 contenders

Meet the authors of the ten books shortlisted for the 2018 Teen Reader’s Choice Award. This year’s contending novels include realistic fiction, fantasy fiction, dystopian fiction, mystery fiction and science fiction and explore subjects as diverse as race relations, transgender persons, mental health, traditional families, and immigration.


Kelly Barnhill author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Kelly Barnhill, author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon, describes herself as a former teacher, bartender, waitress, activist, park ranger, secretary, janitor and church-guitar-player. She is a mother of three whose husband designs sustainable houses.

Her novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon, a New York Times Bestseller and a School Library Journal Best Book of 2016, was awarded the 2017 Newbery Medal.


Angie Thomas author of The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi. A former rapper, she holds a BFA in Creative Writing. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was a Goodreads Choice Awards Best Young Adult Fiction winner, a School Library Journal Best YA of 2017 and a National Book Award Longlist title.

Film rights for The Hate U Give have been optioned by Fox 2000 with Hunger Games and Everything, Everything actress Amandla Stenberg to star.


Donna Gephart author of Lily and Dunkin

According to Donna Gephart, a self-described nerd, her love for libraries and reading led her to a career as an author. Lily and Dunkin received a Voice Award from the Palm Beach County Action Alliance for Mental Health and a Rainbow Award for Best Transgender Book. Lily and Dunkin is a Junior Library Guild Selection novel and an Amazon Best Book of the Month.

Originally from Philadelphia, Donna now lives in South Florida with her family, including her dog, Benji.


Cherie Dimaline author of The Marrow Thieves

Cherie Dimaline, a member of the Georgian Bay Métis Nation, was named the Emerging Artist of the Year at the Ontario Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Arts in 2014. She is also the first Aboriginal writer in residence for the Toronto Public Library.

Her recent young adult novel The Marrow Thieves won the Governor General’s Award for English-language children’s literature  and the $50,000 Kirkus Prize in the young adult literature category.


Rebecca Podos author of The Mystery of Hollow Places

Rebecca Podos is a graduate of the writing, literature, and publishing program at Emerson College, where she won the MFA award for best thesis. Rebecca’s debut novel, The Mystery of Hollow Places, was nominated for a 2016 Agatha Award. The novel, whose main character Imogene Scott is the daughter of a bestselling mystery writer, was a Kirkus Prize 2016 Nominee, and a Junior Library Guild Selection title.



Traci Chee author of The Reader

Traci Chee is the author of The Reader, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and a 2016 Kirkus Prize finalist. Chee loves poetry and paper crafts, and dabbles at piano playing, egg painting, and hosting potluck game nights for family and friends. She studied literature and creative writing at UC Santa Cruz and earned a Master of Arts degree from San Francisco State University. According to Traci, she grew up in a small town with more cows than people. She currently lives in California with her dog.


Jeff Zentner author The Serpent King   

Jeff Zentner’s book The Serpent King is a recent winner of the William C. Morris Award and the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award.

Zentner, who began his creative life as a guitarist and eventually songwriter, lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

As a kid, his parents would take him to the library and drop him off, where he would read until closing time. He worked at various bookstores through high school and college.


Nicola Yoon author of The Sun is Also a Star

Nicola Yoon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything, and The Sun Is Also a Star. She grew up in Jamaica and Brooklyn, and lives in Los Angeles with her daughter and husband.

A lover of kimchi and karaoke, Yoon  majored in electrical engineering at Cornell University she but discovered her knack for writing by accident when she took a creative writing class as an elective.



Adam Silvera author of They Both Die at the End

Adam Silvera, a former children’s bookseller, literary marketing assistant, and book reviewer for children’s and young adult novels, grew up in the Bronx revering the work of J.K. Rowling.

All of Silvera’s novels have received multiple starred reviews. His third novel, They Both Die at the End, is a New York Times bestseller, a Book Riot Best Queer Book of 2017, and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.



Sandhya Menon author of When Dimple Met Rishi

Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of the smash-hit When Dimple Met Rishi. She was born and raised in India on a steady diet of Bollywood movies and street food. A confessed dessert nut she loves anything containing Nutella or chocolate. She currently lives in Colorado with her husband and two children.

When Dimple Met Rishi was a Summer 2017 Top Ten Indie Next Pick and one of Teen Vogue’s 10 Diverse Books by YA Authors of Color to Read in 2017.


Frances Hardinge talks about The Lie Tree

Biography of Francisco X. Stork

Nicola Yoon Discusses Debut Novel, Everything, Everything


Josh Sundquist author of We Should Hang Out Sometime