SAN ANTONIO – Several well-known authors will be visiting some San Antonio schools as part of the San Antonio Book Festival’s Authors in Schools program.
The program aims at fostering a passion for reading among young children and teens by pairing award-winning authors with underserved, low-income schools in Bexar County.
This year, authors will visit four local schools between May 20-23 — James Russell Lowell Middle School and Sidney Lanier High School in the San Antonio Independent School District, and Henry B. Gonzalez Elementary and Loma Park Elementary in the Edgewood Independent School District.
New York Times bestselling children’s author Mac Barnett and award-winning illustrator, Shawn Harris will be discussing their book, “The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza” at Loma Park Elementary.
Rebecca Balcarcel, an award-winning children’s author based in Texas, will discuss her new book, “Shine On, Luz Veliz” at Lowell Middle School.
Authors David Bowles & Raul the Third will be presenting their graphic novel, “Clockwork Curandera: Witch Owl Parliament,” at Lanier High School.
Monica Brown, award-winning multicultural author of the children’s book “Small Room, Big Dreams: The Journey of Julián and Joaquin Castro,” will visit Henry B. Gonzalez Elementary.
Justin Reynolds, author of “It’s the End of the World and I’m In My Bathing Suit,” will be visiting the Carver Cultural Community Center for a presentation to students from Artemisia Bowden and Mirabeau B. Lamar Elementary Schools.
Each student who attends the session will receive a free, signed copy of the author’s book to take home.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the San Antonio Book Festival. In the last decade, the festival has donated more than 10,000 books to local children and teens.
“Celebrating our 10th anniversary milestone during a global pandemic required our team to consider what we wished SABF’s legacy to be in this city. We want to have a lasting impact on young readers in this city by providing meaningful literary experiences,” said San Antonio Book Festival Executive Director Lilly Gonzalez in a press release. “I see it as part of our mission to inspire San Antonio’s youth to read more. That core principle drove our decision-making in building this year’s Authors in Schools program. Teachers and librarians are the biggest champions of literature and literacy in our city. Over the past two years, they have faced insurmountable challenges while their labor has gone largely unrecognized. For our 10th anniversary, we’re including the teachers in our partner schools in the celebration.”
“The San Antonio Book Festival’s Authors in Schools program provides students with an opportunity to make real connections with the authors & illustrators,” said Loma Park Elementary and Henry B. Gonzalez Elementary Librarian Jeannie Zurita Hewgley in a press release. “Students are inspired by their message which encourages them to want to read more books.”
The San Antonio Book Festival is a free, family-friendly event that will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 21 at the Central Library and Southwest School of Art in downtown San Antonio.
This year, more than 90 local, regional and national authors are scheduled to attend including Julia Glass, Sandra Cisneros, Jericho Brown, Margo Jefferson, Natalie Diaz, Emma Straub and more.