We’re excited to return to the Dallas/Fort Worth area with our Reading Rock Stars program for the third year! We’re bringing eight celebrated children’s authors and illustrators to four Title I elementary schools, where we will give each student their very own autographed book, as well as a set of all books for the school library—a total of 1,930 books! Our 2019 Reading Rock Stars Houston program is made possible by our generous sponsors: H-E-B: Tournament of Champions, M.B. & Edna Zale Foundation, Central Market, Ruth and Steven Hodge, The Miles Foundation, The Ryan Foundation, and The Sid W. Richardson Foundation. We’re so grateful for their support!
T.R. is a children’s book author. Her novel, Zora and Me, co-written with Victoria Bond, won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent and was nominated for an Edgar Award in the category of Juvenile Fiction. She holds an M.A. in cultural anthropology and is an adjunct lecturer at the City University of New York Publishing Certificate Program where she teaches a course on children’s book publishing. She and her husband live in Westchester County, New York with their daughter, and very cuddly dog.
T.R. Simon is presenting her novel Zora and Me: The Cursed Ground in Dallas and in Fort Worth
Raúl Gonzalez / Raul The Third was born in El Paso, Texas. His father was from that town while his mother was from the neighboring Mexican city of Juárez. Raúl spent his childhood in both cities. In addition to his extensive work as a painter (which has been exhibited in New York, Boston, and Los Angeles), Raúl is a comic book and graphic novel illustrator. He works on the SpongeBob Squarepants comic, among other titles. In 2019, Kwame Alexander’s new imprint Versify will launch a series of bilingual children’s books written and illustrated by Raúl. Raúl resides with his wife and son in Medford, Massachusetts.
Raúl is presenting his picture book Lowriders: Blast from the Past in Fort Worth
Kelly Starling Lyons grew up in Pittsburgh and is a children’s book author whose mission is to transform moments, memories and history into stories of discovery. Her books include CCBC Choices-honored picture book, One Million Men and Me; Ellen’s Broom, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book, Junior Library Guild and Bank Street Best selection; Tea Cakes for Tosh, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and winner of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Award for Juvenile Literature (sponsored by the AAUW of North Carolina) and Hope’s Gift, a Storytelling World Award winner, IRA/CBC Children’s Choices selection and SIBA Okra Pick. Learn more at www.kellystarlinglyons.com.
Kelly is presenting her chapter book Jada Jones: Rockstar in Fort Worth
Arree Chung is the author and illustrator of the Ninja! series, which includes Ninja! and Ninja! Attack of the Clan. You can usually find him playing basketball or riding his bike near his home in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Arree is presenting his picture book Ninja! in Dallas and in Fort Worth
Patricia Valdez is a scientist who loves writing for children. She earned her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley and currently works at the National Institutes of Health. Originally from Texas, she now lives in the Washington, D.C. area. Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor is her first picture book.
Patricia is presenting her picture book Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor in Fort Worth
Juana Medina was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia and came to the U.S. to study at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). She now lives in Washington, DC, where she teaches at the Corcoran College of Art. Visit her at juanamedina.com.
Juana is presenting her picture books Juana and Lucas and I’m a Baked Potato! in Dallas and Fort Worth
David Barclay Moore was born and raised working class in Missouri. Throughout his adolescent years, David kept mainly to himself and read too many novels and comic books. After studying creative writing at Iowa State University, film at Howard University in Washington, DC and language studies at L’Universite de Montpellier in France, David moved to New York City on May 31, 1995. He had $500 in his pocket and a place to stay for two weeks.
Over the years in New York, he has worked in different creative and writing capacities with: Sony StudiOne, DreamWorks TV, Barbra Streisand’s Barwood Films and @radical.media, among others. An Independent Television Service (ITVS) Queer X-Change workshop invitee during the summer of 2009, David was asked by ITVS to present his documentary proposal on homosexuality and the Black Church for development. He was also a Semi-Finalist for the 2008 Sundance Screenwriters Lab for an original screenplay and a 2006-07 Yaddo Fellow in creative writing & film. He was selected as a 2002-03 Independent Feature Project / Project Involve Honoree for Screenwriting & Narrative and was a Grantee in the 2001 Artists Mentor Program at Film/Video Arts.
David is presenting his novel The Stars Beneath Our Feet in Fort Worth
Emma J. Virján was born under an Aries moon, on a Wednesday, her dad’s bowling night, which explains her passion for shiny, hardwood floors and extra crunchy snack bar French fries.
She loves to draw, sing out loud and take walks with her dog, Bella, who is often allowed to sleep on the couch.
Emma makes her home in Austin, Texas, where she spends her days writing and drawing.
Emma is presenting her picture book What This Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig in Fort Worth