Katherine Paterson, Rita Williams-Garcia, Jeannine Atkins, Ekua Holmes, and Heather Lang will be speaking at An Unlikely Story Bookstore in Plainville, Massachusetts on May 4, 2017.
Katherine Paterson, Rita Williams-Garcia, Jeannine Atkins, Ekua Holmes, and Heather Lang will be speaking at An Unlikely Story Bookstore in Plainville, Massachusetts on May 4, 2017.

A Perfect Date Night with Your Daughter! Take Her to Hear About Heroines From All Walks of Life– and Be Inspired!

Join acclaimed authors for young people KATHERINE PATERSON, RITA WILLIAMS-GARCIA, JEANNINE ATKINS, and HEATHER LANG, and award-winning illustrator EKUA HOLMES on Thursday, May 4 for Celebrating Heroines in Fact and Fiction.

The literary and artistic work of this lively panel is of special interest to girls and young women, celebrating heroines in fact and fiction. It is our hope that when young people, parents, teachers, and librarians read and share these authors’ books, it will provide inspiration, encouraging everyone to explore their own creativity and leadership potential in the greater world, both personally and professionally.

Grace GreeneThis panel discussion, created especially for tweens, teens,parents, teachers, and librarians, will be moderated by librarian extraordinaire Grace Worcester Greene (pictured at right). Children who are in the fourth grade and up are welcome to attend accompanied by an adult.

Celebrating Heroines in Fact and Fiction will be held May 4 at An Unlikely Story Bookstore & Cafe (created by Jeff Kinney) in Plainville, Massachusetts starting at 7:00 p.m.

Copies of books by the participating authors and illustrator will be available for purchase before and after the presentation. Librarians and teachers who show their ID are eligible for a professional discount on their book purchases. Book signing will take place immediately following the presentation.

Free Book Bag Raffle
Each attendee will be given a free ticket to win one of TWO complimentary book bags containing books by the participating authors. You must be present to win.

Don’t Miss Out!
The event is FREE, but you need a ticket to attend. To register, click here.

Event Details
Education Resource Guides

About the Speakers

Katherine PatersonKatherine Paterson is the author of Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved, both winners of the Newbery Medal. She has won the National Book Award twice and has received both the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and Hans Christian Andersen Medal. She served as the second United States National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Katherine is also a vice president of the board of directors of the NCBLA. Her most recent books are Stories of My Life (Dial); Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving (Chronicle Books) with illustrations by the renowned scherenschnitte artist Pamela Dalton; and A Stubborn Sweetness and Other Stories for the Christmas Season (Westminster John Knox Press).

Katherine Paterson recommends El Deafo (Amulet Books, 2014), written and illustrated by Cece Bell, as a Great Read for ages 8-12. Check out more Great Reads here.

Learn more about Katherine Paterson and her books on her website Terabithia.com and her Facebook page.

To watch a video interview with Paterson by Reading Rockets, click here.

Rita Williams-GarciaRita Williams-Garcia is the author of the Newbery Honor-winning novel, One Crazy Summer, which was a winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, a National Book Award finalist, the recipient of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and a New York Times bestseller. The sequel, P.S. Be Eleven, was also a Coretta Scott King Award winner and an ALA Notable Children’s Book for Middle Readers. She is also the author of six distinguished novels for young adults: Jumped, a National Book Award finalist; No Laughter Here, Every Time a Rainbow Dies (a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book), and Fast Talk on a Slow Track (all ALA Best Books for Young Adults); Blue Tights; and Like Sisters on the Homefront, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Rita Williams-Garcia lives in Jamaica, New York, is on the faculty at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in the Writing for Children & Young Adults Program, and has two adult daughters, Stephanie and Michelle, and a son-in-law, Adam.

Learn more about Rita Williams-Garcia and her books on her Facebook page.

To watch a video interview with Williams-Garcia in which she discusses her favorite book and the need for diverse books, click here.

Jeannine AtkinsJeannine Atkins writes mostly about strong girls and women. Her historical verse includes Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science (Atheneum); Stone Mirrors: The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis (Atheneum); and Borrowed Names: Poems about Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C. J. Walker, Marie Curie and Their Daughters (Holt). She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband and dog, who makes sure she gets in the woods each day, and teaches writing in the MFA program at Simmons at the Carle.

Jeannine Atkins recommends Love that Dog (2001) and Hate that Cat (2008), both by Sharon Creech (HarperCollins), as Great Reads for ages 8-12. Check out more Great Reads here.

Learn more about Jeannine Atkins and her books on her website JeannineAtkins.com, and find her on Twitter at Twitter.com/JeannineAtkins.


Ekua HolmesEkua Holmes is a fine artist whose work explores themes of family, relationships, hope, and faith. Her first picture book Voice of Freedom, Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement (written by Carole Boston Weatherford and published by Candlewick Press), was awarded a Caldecott Honor, a Robert F. Sibert Honor, and the Flora Stieglitz Strauss Award from Bank Street College. Voice of Freedom was also named a Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Honor Book, and its illustrations received the Society of Illustrators Original Art Silver medal and the Coretta Scott King John Steptoe award for New Talent.

Ekua Holmes is a native of Roxbury, MA and a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has devoted her practice to sustaining contemporary Black Art traditions in Boston, as an artist, curator of exhibitions, and as an active member of Boston’s art community. Currently Holmes serves as Assistant Director of MassArt’s Center for Art and Community Partnerships, and manages sparc! the ArtMobile, the institution’s vehicle for community outreach pursuing a mission of “igniting art and design in the neighborhood!”

Learn more about Ekua Holmes and her work on her website EkuaHolmes.com and Facebook page.

Heather-Lang-B&WHeather Lang loves to research and write about real women who overcame extraordinary obstacles and never gave up on their dreams. Her latest picture book biography, Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark, joins the “Shark Lady” as she uncovers the secrets of the world’s most feared fish.

Heather’s other award-winning picture book biographies include, Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine; The Original Cowgirl: The Wild Adventures of Lucille Mulhall; and Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman, Olympic High-Jump Champion. All four of her books were selected for the ALA Amelia Bloomer List, which honors children’s books with feminist themes. When she is not writing or doing detective work for her next book, she loves to go on adventures with her husband and four children.

Heather Lang recommends A Sick Day for Amos McGee (Roaring Brook Press, 2010), written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead, as a Great Read for ages 2-7. Check out more Great Reads here.

Learn more about Heather and her books on her website HeatherLangBooks.com. If you are on Twitter or Facebook, find Heather at Twitter.com/hblang and Facebook.com/Heather Lang.

Grace-Green-B&WGrace Worcester Greene has spent her career working in libraries with and for young people. Greene recently retired from her position as the Youth Services Consultant at the Vermont Department of Libraries, where she worked for nearly three decades. Previously Greene was the Head of Children’s Services at the Robbins Library in Arlington, Massachusetts. In addition to her library positions, Greene has served as adjunct faculty at several New England colleges teaching courses in children’s literature and collection development. Her professional activities have included memberships and leadership positions in multiple literacy and library nonprofits and organizations, including the Children’s Literacy Foundation, Vermont Center for the Book, and the American Library Association. Greene has also chaired the prestigious Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee and served as a member of both the Newbery and the Caldecott Medal Award committees. She holds an M.S. degree in Library Science. Greene currently resides in Vermont.

Grace recommends the picture book Sam Who Never Forgets, written and illustrated by Eve Rice (Greenwillow Books, 1977), as a Great Read for ages 2-7. Check out more Great Reads here.


Celebrating Heroines in Fact and Fiction will be held on the evening of Thursday, May 4, 2017 starting at 7:00 p.m. and ending at approximately 8:15 p.m. Copies of books by the participating authors and illustrator will be available for purchase before and after the panel discussion. Book signing by all participating authors will begin immediately after the panel discussion ends.

Event Details

RR_logo_sq SMALLER to 100PTThe National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance, in partnership with An Unlikely Story Bookstore & Cafe and WETA Public Television/Reading Rockets, will be holding Celebrating Heroines in Fact and Fiction on Thursday, May 4, 2017 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. in the Second Story of An Unlikely Story Bookstore located at 111 South Street in Plainville, Massachusetts.

You can find more information about An Unlikely Story Bookstore & Cafe on their website AnUnlikelyStory.com. And learn more about WETA Public Television/Reading Rockets, and discover a treasure trove of educational materials, at ReadingRockets.org.

Photo courtesy of An Unlikely Story Bookstore & CafeDirections
From I-495, take Exit 15 and proceed west, just 2 miles past the landmark Wrentham Premium Outlets.

Parking is plentiful and free. One lot is located directly behind the store. Look for a second large parking lot on the corner diagonally opposite the store.


The event is FREE, but you must have a ticket to attend. To register now, click here. Attendance is limited to 200 people, but the bookstore will create a waiting list.

Librarians and teachers who sign up for An Unlikely Story Bookstore’s email list are provided a professional discount once they have shown their ID.

Questions? Please email any questions you have about registration to info@thencbla.org. We promise to reply as soon as possible!

Education Resource Guides

For each of the participating authors and illustrator Ekua Holumes, we provide one or more education resource guides below that include engaging activities and discussion questions for use in your classroom, library, or home. We encourage you to print these guides and store them in binders for quick access.

  • Author Jeannine Atkins

Education Resource Guide for Atkins’ nonfiction book Finding Wonder: Three Girls Who Changed Science, including discussion questions, science activities, and art exploration exercises.

  • Illustrator Ekua Holmes

Discussion Guide and Teachers’ Guide (complete with Common Core Connections) for Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer created by Candlewick Press

  • Author Heather Lang

Classroom discussion and activity guides for Lang’s books: Swimming with Sharks, Fearless Flyer, Queen of the Track, and The Original Cowgirl

  • Author Katherine Paterson

Education Resource Guide for Katherine Paterson featuring materials regarding The Great Gilly Hopkins and The Same Stuff as Stars

  • Author Rita Williams-Garcia

Education Resource Guide for Williams-Garcia’s novel P.S. Be Eleven