The 2019 Kirkus Reviews Tent

We’re pleased to once again partner with Kirkus Reviewsthe prominent American review magazine and one of the most trusted voices in book discovery, to present a full weekend of literary sessions for readers of all ages in the Kirkus Reviews Tent on Eleventh Street.

Kicking off the weekend is a high-power panel of the 2019 Kirkus Prize Finalists. The Kirkus Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world, with a prize of $50,000 bestowed annually to authors of fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature. Don’t miss this chance to hear them talk about their acclaimed work.

The Kirkus Reviews Tent is in the center of the Festival, close to the Book Sales Tents and the C-Span2/BookTV Tent. Be sure to stop by!


Meet the 2019 Kirkus Prize Finalists!
10:00AM – 11:00AM, Saturday 10/26
Kirkus Reviews, the nation’s leading pre-publication journal of book reviews, is proud to sponsor the annual Kirkus Prize, which bestows $150,000 divided by three winning writers. At this panel, you’ll hear the finalists of this year’s Prize—some of this year’s most intriguing and insightful writers—talk about their most recent books. Featuring Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson (The Undefeated), Jerry Craft (The New Kid), Laila Lalami (The Other Americans), Rosalind Harvey (The Other Side), Alicia D. Williams (Genesis Begins Again). More authors to be announced!
Author(s): Kwame Alexander, Kadir Nelson, Jerry Craft, Laila Lalami, Rosalind Harvey, Alicia D. Williams

Forget Astronauts, Introducing The AstroNuts!
11:00 am – 11:45 am, Saturday, October 26
Uh-oh! Looks like humans have no place to go after Earth. Worry not! The AstroNuts are here! Hybridized to find other planets, AstroWolf, LaserShark, SmartHawk, and StinkBug are here to find another planet for humans to live. Join us as this major new series by kid lit legend Jon Scieszka and illustrator Steven Weinberg launches us into outer space adventure!
Author(s): Jon Scieszka, Steven Weinberg

The Undefeated with Kwame Alexander
12:00 pm – 12:45 pm, Saturday, October 26
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 a love letter to black life in the United States and 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 that includes a musical performance!
Author(s): Kwame Alexander

Writing the Civil Rights Movement
1:15 pm – 2:00 pm, Saturday, October 26
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–and all of us–learn from the past?
Author(s): Sharon Robinson, Jerry Pinkney, Barry Wittenstein

When I Was a Kid: Writing Books Inspired by Our Childhoods
2:30 pm – 3:15 pm, Saturday, October 26
Newbery Award-winner Meg Medina (Merci Suarez Changes Gears), bestselling author Ibi Zoboi (My Life As An Ice Cream Sandwich), and Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad (Proudest Blue) take the stage 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. Don’t miss it!
Author(s): Meg Medina, Ibi Zoboi, Ibtihaj Muhammad

No Treehouse is Complete without 117 Stories!
4:00 pm – 4:45 pm, Saturday, October 26
Get ready for another zainey adventure with Andy and Terry as they upgrade their tree house to 117 stories! We love this hilarious, bestselling series. This absurdly funny ninth book in the series will surely inspire you to have your own 117 story treehouse.
Author: Andy Griffiths


Repeating the Past: Historical Fiction About Turbulent Times
11:00 am – 11:45 am, Sunday, October 27
Spain under Franco in 1957 sets the scene for young Americans who find themselves faced with the dark shadow of fascism in Fountains of Silence, the highly anticipated new historical novel. Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history’s darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence—inspired by the true postwar struggles of Spain.
Author: Ruta Sepetys

 Story For Miles: Writing Big Fiction
12:00 pm – 12:45 pm, Sunday, October 27
In an era of 7 second videos and 33 character tweets, two novelists dare to bring us sprawling epic stories that span generations and embrace multiple perspectives. Award winning author Elizabeth McCracken (Bowlaway) and debut author Namwali Serpell (The Old Drift) take on BIG family sagas that hold our attention.
Author(s): Elizabeth McCracken, Namwali Serpell

Everything We Didn’t Know: Riveting Memoirs of Family Secrets
1:00 pm – 1:45 pm, Sunday, October 27
In complex, beautiful memoirs, literary icons Dani Shapiro (Inheritance) and Adrienne Brodeur (Wild Game) explore the corrosive effects of long-held family secrets. With stories that reach far beyond the personal, these memoirs each pose larger questions about the nature of identity and what it means to rebuild in the aftermath of betrayal.
Author(s): Dani Shapiro, Adrienne Brodeur

We’ve Been Through It: Stories of Strength and Survival
2:15 pm – 3:00 pm, Sunday, October 27
True stories of making it through the hardest, darkest human experiences are some of the most powerful and shared literature on our shelves. But what does it take to write the books? Authors Laurie Halse Anderson (Shout), Jaquira Díaz (Ordinary Girls), Cyrus Dunham (A Year Without A Name), and Jeannie Vanasco (Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl) share their stories of strength, survival, and the power of the pen to transform.
Author(s): Laurie Halse Anderson, Jaquira Díaz, Cyrus Dunham, and Jeannie Vanasco

A Conversation with Rainbow Rowell
3:15 pm – 4:00 pm, Sunday, October 27
Bestselling author Rainbow Rowell sits down at Texas Book Fest to talk about her brand new book, Wayward Son, the sequel to her #1 New York Times bestselling book, Carry On. What happens when the hero’s journey is over? What comes next when your life has only just begun? Don’t miss this amazing conversation!
Author(s): Rainbow Rowell, Mariko Tamaki