Kids On Congress: Our 2019 Kids and Young Adult Author Lineup!

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Our children’s and YA programming at the Festival has grown so much over the years that we’ve had to turn Congress Avenue into Kids On Congress, an energetic thoroughfare of book talks, author signings, and activities for kids and children’s literature lovers of all ages.

Of course, we have so many amazing authors, we can’t keep it all contained to Congress Avenue. This year, you’ll find children’s and YA authors in the Kirkus Reviews tent on Eleventh Street and at First United Methodist Church on Colorado Street. You’ll also find bilingual storytimes and panels in our Latinx Lit tent at the Congress Ave/8th Street intersection.

Here is a look at some of the highlights. We’ll announce our full schedule of sessions and book signings in October. Stay tuned! And remember, everything here is FREE and open to the public to attend.


Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaks about and signs her new picture book, Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You.
Justice Sotomayor is one of the most inspiring speakers you will ever hear. We are honored to welcome her to the Festival with this wonderful new picture book, available in both Spanish and English, that encourages young readers (and all of us) to embrace our differences and love who we are. Special instructions for the signing will be announced in October. We’re excited to share this opportunity to meet her!

R.J. Palacio speaks about and signs White Bird: A Wonder Story.
We are over the moon to welcome the bestselling author of Wonder, R.J. Palacio, to the Festival with her debut graphic novel, which once again centers kindness and courage alongside Palacio’s beautiful illustrations.


Graphix Con Panel featuring Raina Telgemeier, Gale Galligan, and Molly Knox Ostertag.

We’re kicking off the Festival Weekend with an epic Graphix Con panel featuring acclaimed middle grade graphic novelists at First United Methodist Church, featuring Raina Telgemeier, Gale Galligan, and Molly Knox Ostertag. They’ll talk about their new books and the art of creating captivating graphic novels young readers can’t put down!

Kwame Alexander presents The Undefeated.
Bestselling poet and Newbery Award-winning author Kwame Alexander returns to the Texas Book Festival with a powerful, moving new picture book that celebrates black life in America and pays tribute to the struggle of black Americans. The Undefeated is one of the most remarkable and beautiful new picture books of the year, a must for the shelf of readers young and old. Kwame is planning a special presentation in our Kirkus Reviews Tent that includes a musical performance!

When I Was a Kid: Writing Books Inspired by Our Childhoods.
Newbery Award-winner Meg Medina, bestselling author Ibi Zoboi, and Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad will take the stage in the Kirkus Reviews tent to share their latest books, all fictional stories inspired in different ways by their childhoods. This is a panel with major star power, featuring three of the biggest names in children’s literature who inspire kids every day with their words.


Writing the Civil Rights Movement for Kids.
Bestselling author Sharon Robinson, the daughter of baseball player Jackie Robinson, will be joined by Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Jerry Pinkney and author Barry Wittenstein to discuss their new books that remember and celebrate the Civil Rights movement. What can young readers learn from the past?

Also grab a seat in the Kirkus Reviews tent this year to go Astro-nuts with Jon Scieszka and Steven Weinberg as they share the first book in their brand new series, AstroNuts Mission One: The Plant Planet. And stick around to climb up into the 117-Story Treehouse with the one and only Andy Griffiths. For even more middle grade authors, including Maulik Pancholy, Gordon Korman, Daniel José Older, Stu Gibbs, Juana Medina, Lisa McMann, and more, stop by our Next Chapter tent, where we’ll have panels for chapter book readers all weekend long.

For our youngest readers, we have so many wonderful picture book authors and illustrators in our Read Me A Story tent! Judy Schachner, Duncan Tonatiuh, Raúl the Third and many more will share their new stories.

In our Latinx Lit tent, be sure to catch our bilingual storytimes and a special conversation between Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award-winners Yuyi Morales and David Bowles.

Our YA programming is on FIRE this year! We’re thrilled to host a very special conversation with Rainbow Rowell about her latest, Wayward Son, the highly anticipated sequel to Carry On. Rowell will be in a special spotlight conversation in our Kirkus Reviews tent.

Also not-to-miss in our Kirkus Reviews tent is a special conversation with author Ruta Sepetys about her engrossing, page-turning new historical novel set in late-Fifties Spain, The Fountains of Silence.

The YA HQ tent is packed with amazing panels and authors all weekend long, including sessions with Maureen Johnson, L. L. McKinney, Mariko Tamaki, Hafsah Faizal, Tiffany Jackson, Lilliam Rivera, and so many more!

Phew! That doesn’t even cover everything. Check out all of the children’s and YA authors and illustrators over on our author page. We’re thrilled to welcome so many amazing storytellers to this year’s Festival! We can’t wait to see you there!


See all Kids On Congress authors, along with previously announced authors, here.