Our outreach program, Real Reads connects teenage and young adult students with authors who resonate specifically with them. Texas Book Festival works closely with facilitators in order to create a culturally sustaining experience for youth and set a space for them to not only explore the author’s purpose and craft but also discover or grow their own aspirations as writers and storytellers.
Real Reads also provides a copy of the author’s book for every student and educational materials to engage students in critical book study. It also links participating groups with the author through in-person or virtual conversations. During these sessions, authors share their journeys and youth have an opportunity to ask questions and voice their opinions.
Previous Real Reads authors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Marcelo Hernández Castillo, Julissa Arce, Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, Angie Thomas, Nic Stone, Erika Sánchez, Matt Mendez, and Kwame Alexander. We are excited to report that in 2020, over 400 teens and young adults joined us in-person or virtually in Dallas and Austin. Next up, 150 students at Skyline High School in Dallas ISD will speak with Astronaut José M. Hernández and discuss his book, From Farmworker to Astronaut: My Path to the Stars. Real Reads is supported by AT&T.