Junior Lit Chat Author Talk & Book Giveaway with Jewell Parker Rhodes

Friday, May 10, 2024

Junior Lit Chat with Jewell Parker Rhodes. Image features book cover art for Soul Step

# Triumphant Stories to Inspire Young Readers

Jewell Parker Rhodes grew up in a three-story brick house in Pittsburgh, raised by her grandparents. All together, there were nine family members under one roof. "To escape the heat and clutter, my grandmother and I sat on our stoop while she told me stories – stories about our family, slavery, her Georgia childhood, stories about love and death and life."

"I didn’t realize it then, but my grandmother was also carrying on the African American oral tradition, turning me into another storyteller in a line that’s continued for generations," Rhodes said. Now, she is a New York Times bestselling and award-winning educator and writer for both youth and adults. 


Join us for a special Junior Lit Chat Author Talk at the Brentwood Branch Library on Friday, June 7, from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. This program is open to all kids (ages 5-12).  The first half hour of the program will be a presentation by the author; the second half hour is time for book signing. A limited number of copies of Bayou Magic will be given away to participants, first come, first served.

Register now! 

Note: Funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Photo of Jewell Parker Rhodes with her dogs

Jewell Parker Rhodes is the author of the Louisiana Girls children’s book trilogy, which includes Ninth WardSugar, and Bayou Magic. Her children’s books have received the Parents’ Choice Foundation Award, the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, among others. Towers Falling, her middle-grade novel, was published in 2016.

Rhodes grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Drama Criticism, a Master of Arts in English, and a Doctor of Arts in English (Creative Writing) from Carnegie Mellon University. Jewell is the Founding Artistic Director and Piper Endowed Chair at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. 

She visits hundreds of schools across the country and is a regular speaker at colleges and conferences. She says that the driving force behind all of her work is to inspire social justice, equity, and environmental stewardship. 

James Weldon Johnson Young Writers Festival inspired by Sharon Coon

She will be our special guest at the James Weldon Johnson Young Writer's Festival (June 5-8) in the Conference Center at the Main Library. To participate in the festival and for a chance at a prize or scholarship, youth in grades 3-12 are asked to submit a poem or dramatic monologue to the Brentwood Branch Library by May 28, 2024. Note: Young writers attending the festival will have even more opportunities to learn from Dr. Rhodes through free workshops!


Check out Jewell's books in our catalog!



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