Festival Info

Live I Am My Own Hero

What happens when kids become the heroes of their own story? Authors Mike Jung (THE BOYS IN THE BACK ROW), Donna Barba Higuera (LUPE WONG WON’T DANCE), and Daniel Nayeri (EVERYTHING SAD IS UNTRUE) explore how their characters become the source of incredible connections—forming bonds and agreements—despite their different perspectives or approaches to a particular conflict or issue. Each author talks about the importance of giving children the agency to problem solve.

WHEN: 11:00AM EST on Saturday, 2 May 2020


Mike Jung is the author of Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities, Unidentified Suburban Object, and The Boys in the Back Row, and contributed to the anthologies Dear Teen Me, Break These Rules, 59 Reasons to Write, (Don’t) Call Me Crazy, and The Hero Next Door. He is a library professional by day, a writer by night, and a semi-competent ukulele player during all the times in between. Mike is proud to be a founding member of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks team. He lives in Oakland, California, with his wife and two young children. Find Mike at www.mikejung.com.

Daniel Nayeri was born in Iran and spent a couple of years as a refugee before immigrating to Oklahoma at age eight with his family. He is the publisher of Odd Dot, an imprint of Macmillan, making him one of the youngest publishers in the industry. He has served on the CBC diversity committee and the CBC panel committee.

Donna Barba Higuera’s debut novel Lupe Wong Won’t Dance is forthcoming form Levine Querido, in September 2020. Donna’s 7oung Adult and Middle Grade books feature characters drawn into creepy, situations, melding history, folklore, and or her own life experience into reinvented storylines. She still dreams in Spanglish. She lives in Washington State with her family, three dogs and two frogs. She is a Critique-Group-Coordinator for SCBWI-Western Washington and teaches “The Hero’s Journey for Young Authors” to future writers. Follow Donna on Twitter at @dbhiguera.