Welcome to the new season of Author and Audiences, and we're starting off with my recent in-person conversation with two incredible middle-grade authors - Dhonielle Clayton and P. Djèlí Clark- during Banned Books Week 2023
Dhonielle Clayton is an NYT bestselling YA and middle grade author. She is COO of the hugely influential non-profit We Need Diverse Books, and also the President and founder of Cake Creative and Electric Postcard Entertainment. Her new middle grade book, The Memory Thieves, is the second in the Conjureverse quartet, and follows on from the first book, The Marvellers.
P. Djèlí Clark is the award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy for adults. He’s currently visiting schools around the country to share his middle grade debut novel, Abeni’s Song, an African and African Diaspora-inspired fantasy adventure for middle-grade readers which was released this summer by Tor Publishing’s young reader imprint, Starscape.
Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in libraries, bookstores, and schools. The annual event highlights the value of free and open access to information and brings together the entire book community in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas.
We Need Diverse Books is a non-profit that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. It aims to put more books featuring diverse characters into the hands of all readers and build a world where everyone can find themselves in the pages of a book.
And by Phen's MG debut, Abeni's Song, from his favorite Connecticut bookstore, River Bend Books, or or support this podcast by buying it from the A&A store on Bookshop.org.
You can find Dhonielle at www.dhonielleclayton.com, and on Instagram as @brownbookworm
You can find P. Djèlí Clark at www.pdjeliclark.com and on Instagram as @pdjeliclark
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Music by Oleg Kirilkov - #We StandWithUkraine