Events

I’ve been thrilled to present FREE PERIOD at bookstores, libraries, festivals, schools and professional organizations including the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN), the American Library Association (ALA) LibLearnX, Texas Library Association (TLA)the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA), the California Independent Booksellers Alliance (CALIBA), the New England Independent Booksellers Association (NEIBA), New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) and the Mountain and Plains Independent Booksellers Association (MPIBA). I am currently booking Fall 2024 appearances for bookstores, festivals, libraries, schools, and the like.

FREE PERIOD Upcoming Events

Columbus Book Festival
Columbus Library Main Branch
July 13-14, 2024

California Reading Association 57th Annual Conference
Virtual event
October 4, 2024 at 5:40pm Pacific

New Jersey In-Person Event Day!
Details to follow
October 5, 2024

Brooklyn In-Person Event Day!
Details to follow
October 10, 2024

Boston In-Person Event Day!
Details to follow
November 20, 2024

NCTE – National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention
Boston, MA
November 21-24, 2024

The Cuterus Uterus Road Trip Crew!

Past Events

Past Events

Meet the Author & Craft Party!
Growing Minds Bookstore – Catonsville, MD
June 15, 2024

I met Jen from Growing Minds Bookstore in Maryland at a NAIBA/NEIBA booksellers retreat and have loved following her work online so I jumped at the chance to visit in person for a period product drive she is hosting to support The Childrens Home! The store is absolutely adorable, cozy, and welcoming with comfy places to read, a café room where we held the event, a fantastic middle grade selection, and even a case for books written by kids! Imagine having your story in a real bookstore when you were little?! We chatted about FREE PERIOD, my middle grade comedy centering period equity with @scholastic, how to keep going as a writer even when it means being brave enough to start a story over!, made bracelets, bookmarks, and postcards, and even gave out a few crochet uteruses 😉 You can get signed copies of FREE PERIOD with swag at the store now and check out downtown Catonsville just outside of Baltimore while you’re there for the public art, restaurants, and shopping! If you walk around with a guitar you will not be the only one in this town dubbed Music City! And the biggest thank you ever to Jessica Ricole – you know her as the fabulously talented graphic novelist whose MAGIE AND THE SOULES hits selves in 2025 from Andrews McMeel, but I also am so lucky to know her as a super supportive writing friend.

The Bronx Book Festival
Fordham Plaza – Bronx, NY
June 8, 2024

Thank you so much to the Bronx Book Festival for an amazing day together! It was incredible to hear how Nashae Jones and Mo Netz create literature for children – their middle grade stories are fun and funny, thrilling, and emotional. Exactly the kinds of books kids want to read for the summer! And our moderator Genee and all the volunteers were so welcoming! I also got to see authors in person whose books I’m super excited for or already love!! Below are some of their MG and YA reads to add to your TBR.

Launching this Tuesday so get ready to celebrate:
⭐ The Wilderness of Girls by Madeline Claire Franklin (check out her partner’s t-shirt – I was howling!)
⭐ The Cookie Crumbles by Alechia Dow and Tracy Badua (Knives Out x British Bake-off for MG readers – take all my money)

Out now:
⭐ Courtesy of Cupid by Nashae Jones
⭐ The Lumbering Giants of Windy Pines by Mo Netz
⭐ Free Period by moi
⭐ Bite Me, Royce Taslim by Lauren Ho
⭐ Forgive Me Not by Jennifer Baker
⭐ True True by Don P. Hooper
⭐ Curveball by Pablo Cartaya and Miguel Diaz Rivas

And thank you to Schoalstic for being out in front on periods, in this case with an advertisement for FREE PERIOD on the schedule. I may have screamed that’s my book when I saw it LOL

Finally I got rainbow cookies. And I already ate them all. Plus an olive loaf. Yes my stomach hurts. Yes it was worth it. Happy weekend friends!!

Period Poverty Awareness Week Kickoff Event with free. Hingham
St. John the Evangelist in Hingham, MA
May 19, 2024

Today starts Period Poverty Awareness Week and this year’s theme is Period Supplies Are School Supplies. Which is also the theme of my debut novel FREE PERIOD, out now from @scholastic, a comedy where a couple of besties fight to get maxi-pads into their school bathrooms and more generally help everyone have fun and get more comfortable talking about menstruation. So of course I was thrilled to attend the @free.period.ministry (they’ve distributed nearly a million period products over the last few years!!) kickoff with the real life students, nurses, non-profits, legislators, advocates, and suppliers doing this work every day.

If you are from Massachusetts, please go to @massnow to find out how you can take a simple action today to get your state’s school period product bill passed this year – it has passed your senate but your reps need to hear from you to get it out of committee and to the house floor for a vote.

Thank you so much to Kenzie Blackwell of @free.period.ministry for bringing us all together in a day of conversation, community building, and action to get everyone the period products they need, to my fabulous conversation partner @thecreativeconfidant for your thoughtful questions, and to the other speakers and panelists – you are such an inspiration:
⭐️ Free. Student Ambassadors
⭐️ Naitasia Hensey, Mass NOW
⭐️ Kerry Carter, Hope & Comfort
⭐️ Mary Ellen Duggan, Northborough / Southborough Schools
⭐️ Ellen Cynar, Unicorn
⭐️ Rep. Joan Meschino (3rd Plymouth)

If you are not in Massachusetts, check out @periodsupplies to find local groups in your area that you can get involved with. And if you are a parent please ask your kids what is actually happening in their schools. Often getting a law passed is just the beginning as students have to keep advocating for products to actually be stocked.

Brooklyn Public Library Period Party!
Brooklyn Heights Library Branch, Brooklyn, NY
May 14, 2024

I was beyond lucky to visit Teen Time at the Brooklyn Public Library in Brooklyn Heights today. We chatted about FREE PERIOD, my middle grade comedy from @scholastic about a couple of chaos monsters fighting to get maxi-pads into all school bathrooms, confirmed that 8th grade senioritis is REAL and here in mid-May, had an incredible discussion about what is happening on the ground in schools with students making plans to advocate for the products that are supposed to be in their school bathrooms but are not stocked, and most importantly if you asked cheese connoisseurs Helen and Gracie from the book—made crafts and ate really good pizza.

The library creating this space for discussion, making a period pantry available to tweens and teens, and just having products out for people to see is an incredible example of normalizing and de-stigmatizing periods. I’m really in awe of what Shamima Sharmin is doing at this branch and how all the Brooklyn librarians in the Cycle Alliance are making such a huge difference and encourage you to check it out!

Also for my Brooklyn friends, I’m sharing a slide with information on the Center for Anti-Violence Education’s PACT Activist (their youth program) menstrual product drive if you’d like to donate. More to come on their great work soon.

We’re half way through Menstrual Health Awareness Month – hope you are finding this a helpful time to get the care and support you deserve!

Possible Futures Bookstore – Reading, Signing, & Crafting!
New Haven, CT
May 5, 2024

Have you ever seen the Cuterus Uterus Crew looking so classy? Walking into @possiblefuturesbooks is like arriving at your most welcoming friend’s home where they have the best taste in books and a super chill, super adorable dog. I am so lucky to have spent the day sharing FREE PERIOD, my middle grade comedy about period equity out now from @scholastic, with Lauren and the incredible store community in New Haven, CT. We book talked, crafted together, fixed Tamp’s eye, made new friends, and discussed periods, including what is happening in our schools. Thank you so much to Dr. Marian Evans for getting period panties for everyone (!!!), discussing product options and sustainability, and all you’re doing to break down stigma and create period justice. Thank you to @rhondaroumani – we finally got a signed copy of her fantastic MG debut TAGGING FREEDOM (you can order a signed copy from the store!) and @lilo_thelostprincess for your support – I love your page!! Everyone’s bracelets, bookmarks, and “pads for all” postcards were so creative, and seeing the kids work together is the real magic. Follow @possiblefuturesbooks for their upcoming events! My heart is full, and my entire family fell in love with this store. Drop loved it so much that she lives there now. Can’t wait to go back. Happy Menstrual Health Awareness Month friends!!!

Hudson Children’s Book Festival
Hudson, NY
May 4, 2024

Thank you Hudson Children’s Book Festival @hudson_cbf, your amazing volunteers, and all the wonderful readers for such a special day chatting about FREE PERIOD, my laugh out loud middle grade story about period equity from @scholastic, and spinning the Wheel of Weird. See my story highlights under HCBF for all the shenanigans. Save the date on May 3, 2025 for the next festival! In the meantime, @spottydogbooks is an incredible indie to visit – I could have spent all day in there!! @hudsonarealibraryny is such a welcoming library and literally looks like a castle. And the views all over were breathtaking! I’m already planning a return trip to see Olana this summer 👩‍🎨🖼️🎨

The Uterus Goes to Washington

Happy Menstrual Health Awareness Month! Periods are so important to me that I wrote a whole laugh out loud funny book about them for tweens called FREE PERIOD (out now from @scholastic) where a couple of chaos monsters fight to get maxipads in their school bathrooms and get everyone more comfortable talking about the issue. If you’re in Washington, DC, you can now get signed copies with swag at these fabulous independent bookstores – I am so grateful to them for being out in front on periods:

📚 East City Bookshop @eastcitybookshop
📚 Solid State Books @solidstatedc
📚 Kramers @kramerbooks
📚 Busboys & Poets @busboysandpoets

No matter where you live, you can call the congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121, ask to speak to your representative, and let them know you support the Menstrual Equity for All Act, legislation introduced by Rep. Grace Meng to take a “whole-of-government approach to combat period poverty and improve access to menstrual products.”

In real life, the student-led movement for menstrual equity is bringing menstruation out of the shadows and showing it is a normal part of daily life that we have to deal with to get equal access to education. But whether you have what you need largely depends on where you live, and you know who doesn’t care about your zip code? The uterus! It is going to shed that lining whether your local school board thinks pads are a “luxury” or an essential part of bathroom care just like the toilet paper and soap already provided in public bathrooms. Calling your rep is a meaningful, quick, and free action you can take today to support these students.

Interview with Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist Samantha Antonietti of Core Dynamics


I couldn’t have picked my pelvic floor out of a line up when I was younger, so I am definitely including in discussions now that I’m a parent. For Menstrual Health Awareness Month, I wanted to learn more about how the pelvic floor relates to periods and was thrilled to get the chance to talk to Dr. Samantha Antonietti PT, DPT, CAPTCC, SFMA, FMS (@sam_coredynamicspt) with Core Dynamics Physical Therapy (@coredynamicsphysicaltherapy) in Englewood, NJ. She told me that having pain or difficulty using tampons can sometimes be a sign of pelvic floor issues and something a therapist can evaluate! This discussion is not medical advice, but is for informational purposes only.

Texas Library Association (TLA) 2024
San Antonio, TX
April 16-19, 2024

Thank you Texas Librarians for an amazing day in San Antonio!! I loved chatting with you about FREE PERIOD, my middle grade novel centering friendship and period equity, treating pads like the necessities they are, the absolute fact that yes you can make your own crochet uterus and I hope you tag me when you do, and using literature to show how kids can resolve conflict in fun and engaging ways! Make a batch of Tampretzels and chat it out together! Getting interviewed by Van was completely amazing sorry for just giggling the whole time LOL and I loved seeing so many author friends and celebrating their stories! The highlight was absolutely our panel moderated by Becky Calzada where I got to chat with Chris Barton and Crystal Allen!! I’m so grateful to the Texas Library Association and Scholastic for this wonderful opportunity to share my debut novel.

The Book & Nook – FREE PERIOD Signing and Crafting!
24 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Warwick, NY 10990
April 6, 2024

Thank you so much to @thebookandnook in Warwick, NY for a wonderful afternoon of periods, books, and crafting! Candace has created such a welcoming and beautifully curated space that I could have spent all day in there! Stop by to grab a signed copy of FREE PERIOD, my middle grade debut centering friendship and period equity from @scholastic, along with an indie swag pack full of stickers, recipe cards, bookmarks, and a bracelet while supplies last. You can also find some of my all-time middle grade faves on their shelves like LEI AND THE FIRE GODDESS by @maliamaunakea and COURTESY OF CUPID by @nashae.jones. And there is probably no way you’re walking out of there without buying a sticker because there are so many fun ones. Check out their full event listings on the store website, especially Independent Bookstore Day on April 27 when Barbara Dee will be reading and signing her new book UNSTUCK! There is so much to do in Warwick now that spring is coming from the drive-in movie theater to shopping to hiking to multiple candy shops including this black dirt onion chocolate that was an absolute must and turned out delish! Make a day of it!

Books of Wonder Great Middle Grade Reads
Virtual via Crowdcast
March 23, 2024

Huge thank you–like a three-foot-tall-crochet-uterus-size thank you–to Rosalind and the whole team at @booksofwonder for such a lively and fun discussion of new middle grade titles today:
⭐ FREE PERIOD by moi out now from @scholastic
⭐ GUT REACTION by @kirbylarson and @quinn.wyatt
⭐ THE PARTITION PROJECT by @saadiafaruqi
⭐ COYOTE LOST AND FOUND by @dangemeinhart
We chatted about everything from inspiration, fave and difficult characters, balancing humor with tough issues, to advice for young writers who want to tell their own stories. Watch a replay on the store’s Crowdcast channel and order signed copies of all the books either in-store or online. I’ll add the link in my stor!es. You can find the activities I discussed on the Resources page of aliterese.com – check it out for free lessons, crafts, and other smart shenanigans. You can also use the Contact page there to request a free 20-minute virtual Q&A if your class or club decides to read FREE PERIOD. Enjoy the rest of the weekend friends!

Children’s Book World Virtual Visit
Virtual via Crowdcast
March 13, 2024

Teacher and librarian friends! I’m thrilled to share this recorded conversation led by the amazing Brein Lopez, manager @cbwchildrensbooks and champion for literature!!!, featuring FREE PERIOD by moi and GUT REACTION by Kirby Larson and Quinn Wyatt. Link in b!o and stor!es 🙂 Loved chatting about how fun books tackling tough issues like periods and chronic illness can make readers feel less alone, develop empathy for others, and use their own voices in their personal lives and as part of collective action for change. You can find the Conflict & Empathy Lesson I discussed on the Resources page of aliterese.com along with lots of free discussion guides and activities. And you can use the Contact page there to reach out about scheduling a free virtual Q&A about FREE PERIOD for your library, class, or club.

Finally a huge thank you to @caliba_20 where I was lucky enough to meet Brein Lopez and @pacificnwbooksellers where I met Kirby Larson and Quinn Wyatt (and got a signed copy of their amazing book!) for creating community and making these connections between booksellers and authors so we can share more stories with young readers!!!

International Women’s Day Signing Tour
Various Cities
March 6-10, 2024

The giant crochet cuterus uterus went on a road trip to celebrate International Women’s Day and the launch of FREE PERIOD, my middle grade novel of friendship and period equity available now from @scholastic. It began at the Judy Blume Rest Stop as all magical quests should and somehow kept getting better and better before ending in New York’s stunning Hudson Valley. See the Road Trip in my highlights for all the shenanigans.

Everyone has a right to period care that includes the minimum of safe and effective products, access to bathrooms, menstruation education, and healthcare. We deserve to talk about these issues without shame or stigma. Even better if we can find some joy and laughs. Which is where my romp of a book & three-feet of floof come in. Carrying around a giant uterus may rival a plate of Maxi-Pad Cupcakes as a great conversation starter.

I’m so thankful to everyone who talked periods with me and the incredible independent booksellers taking a chance on two 8th grade chaos monsters who use their pranking powers for good with bestie banter, wildly weird crafts, and delightfully disgusting desserts. I hope you’ll grab a copy from your favorite indie or borrow it from your library (I will never get over the audio being on Hoopla!!). If you don’t have a fave store yet, below are some fantastic ones where you can get a signed copy with fun swag:

⭐ The Curious Reader – Glen Rock, NJ @thecuriousreader
⭐ McNally Jackson – New York, NY & Brooklyn, NY @mcnallyjackson
⭐ The Enoch Pratt Free Library & Dreamers Make Believers – Baltimore, MD (check with the Penn Ave library branch to see if there are any copies left!)
⭐ Books of Wonder – New York, NY @booksofwonder
⭐ WORD – Jersey City, NJ & Brooklyn, NY @wordbookstores
⭐ Children’s Book World – Haverford, PA @childrensbooksworld
⭐ The Little Boho Bookshop – Bayonne, NJ @littlebohobookshop
⭐ Books Are Magic – Brooklyn, NY @booksaremagicbk
⭐ Asbury Book Cooperative – Asbury Park, NJ @asbury_book_cooperative
⭐ Greenlight Bookstore – Brooklyn, NY @greenlightbklyn
⭐ Sleepy Hollow Bookshop – Sleepy Hollow, NY @sleepyhollowbookshop
⭐ Hudson Valley Books for Humanity – Ossining, NY @hudsonvalleybooksforhumanity

FREE PERIOD Book Launch with Writers LIVE!
Enoch Pratt Free Library at Pennsylvania Avenue
Baltimore, MD
March 5, 2024

Thank you so much to the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore Schools, Dreamers & Make-Believers booksellers, and Scholastic for making my launch day so special with school and library visits where copies of FREE PERIOD were donated to each young reader in attendance. Your generosity is just incredible! I was floored by the students’ discussions of FREE PERIOD and their thoughtful questions. And another huge thank you to my writing buddies for also coming out – Meg Eden Kuyatt @meden_author, the award-winning author of GOOD DIFFERENT with more fabulous books on the way, and Jessica Ricole @jessica.ricole, an incredibly talented author illustrator debuting with her graphic novel MAGIE AND THE SOULES in 2025, the first of many! I am so lucky that this was my second trip to Baltimore this year to present FREE PERIOD, and I can’t wait to go back!!

Radio & TV Tour
Virtual
March 4, 2024

I was thrilled to speak with Desiree Shepard on Your California Life about FREE PERIOD, my middle grade novel of friendship and period equity, and how we can use humor, heart, and friendship to get comfortable talking about periods and our care needs. Thank you so much @yourcalife and @desi_wins for being out in front about menstrual equity and including the topic in your celebration of Women’s History Month! Watch the interview here and find the links to all my radio and podcast interviews in my media kit!

FREE PERIOD Book Launch with Craftivism Workshop!
The Curious Reader
Glen Rock, NJ
March 3, 2024

Thank you so much to Chris, Cami, and everyone at The Curious Reader for an incredible book launch. It was amazing to chat friendship and periods, craft together, and sign books. They’re real books! That you can buy in a store! I still can’t believe it. And we had a literary miracle—there were enough crochet cuties for everyone to take one home. Squeeeeee! All my gratitude to the kids, their grown-ups, family, and friends who came out to support FREE PERIOD and me. My heart is full!! Will share more pics later this week. Oh and you can get signed copies of the book at The Curious Reader right now…and I left a glitter sticker for each one!

NAIBA and NEIBA Book Buyers Summit
Rhinebeck, NY
February 25-26, 2024

I spent the most amazing afternoon with booksellers in Rhinebeck to discuss FREE PERIOD (out next Tuesday on March 5!!!), how bookstores are breaking down stigma and helping create a future where period care is treated as a human right, and of course crafts!! Can you believe this little felt cutie kit?!?! And there were tampon themed vases?!?! It was like I walked into an actual dream. Thank you so much to Tracy and Sydney for putting together such fun felt and vase crafts and the working lunch 💕 And to @scholastic, @neibabooks, @naibabooksellers, and all the wonderful booksellers!!

Middle Grade Debut Panel hosted by Utopia State of Mind
Virtual
February 11, 2024

I had the best time chatting with Lili on her Utopia State of Mind Youtube channel along with some of my favorite middle grade authors to discuss what it is like to debut today:

COURTESY OF CUPID by Nashae Jones
THE CURSE OF THE EELGRASS BOG by Mary Averline
OLIVETTI by Allie Millington
DAUGHTERS OF THE LAMP by Nedda Lewers

We covered everything from our books, writing craft, paths to publication, as well as topics like difficult family situations and activism in children’s books. I love Lili’s incisive questions and enthusiasm for sharing literature with the world. Click on the event link to see a recording of this panel and follow her channel for all the upcoming events she has in 2024.

World Read Aloud Day (WRAD)
February 7, 2024

My first school visits! Ahhh! What an amazing day reading with students in Vermont, New York, Ohio, and Michigan. Look at that super cute graphic one of them made me! It was incredible to hear how much they picked up on after only a few pages of the book. Not only about the period issues, but also the relationships between the characters. And it was great to see what everyone loved their friendship bead bracelets and bookmarks that I send in the FREE PERIOD swag packs ahead of time. I am so grateful to the schools and non-profit after school programs for including me in their WRAD experiences and can’t wait to volunteer again next year.

ALA LibLearnX 2024
Baltimore, MD
January 19-22, 2024

I am home from ALA in Baltimore, and had such a great time! It was an amazing weekend of connecting with librarians and hearing how they are on the front lines of period equity along with so many other basic needs issues. They are truly the heart of our communities 💗 And yes of course I talked about maxi-pad cupcakes while everyone was eating and showed Ute tossing Drop to Maxi at pretend Camden Yards!

It was thrilling to see FREE PERIOD at the gorgeous Scholastic booth. Also thrilling to hear people negotiating over the 20 crochet cuterus uteruses I passed out. I hope everyone shares pictures of them in their new hometowns. And being supported by a Scholastic team that has put ending period shame front and center over and over again this past year made this all possible. THANK YOU!

Finally, I achieved Automatic Hero Status for bringing home art goodies from Jonathan and Booki. The spring line-up is truly amazing. There is a great group picture somewhere that I have to get! I’ve already mentioned on my Instagram how much I love all these books and you can see my grid for graphics and recommendations on all of them:

⭐ MEET ME ON MERCER STREET by Booki Vivat
⭐ ULTRAVIOLET by Aida Salazar
⭐ TIMID by Jonathan Todd
⭐ THE LIARS SOCIETY by Alyson Gerber

Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) 2023
Columbus
November 20-21, 2023

My heart is full after the ALAN Workshop, which stands for Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE, where I got to share FREE PERIOD and its period equity message with hundreds of teachers. And my TBR is now completely out of control!

First, we had an authors’ reception which was a bit of speed dating. Join a group of teachers for five minutes, pitch your book about chaos monsters and maxipads, chat about periods and other basic needs experiences, fling a crochet uterus into the middle of the table, and repeat. It was so much fun and meant I got to have personal connections with everyone from experienced teachers to those still in training.

Then there was the general session, including author panels, readings, and conversations. WOW. I’ve never seen anything like it – there were no concurrent sessions, you got to hear about ALL THE BOOKS. I was super lucky to present “Blossoming into Adolescence,” with Beth Shaum, the K-8 Librarian at St. Francis of Assisi School, and R.L. Toalson, the author most recently of THE FIRST MAGNIFICENT SUMMER. Do not miss any chance to talk with Beth—her questions taught me new things about my own book that I never considered before! And I loved being in conversation with R.L. as her story not only deals with a first period experience, but focuses on the central theme that we are enough, we are born magnificent, and worthy of love as human beings. I felt that over and over again through the presentations—how children’s literature can show us that we all matter and deserve to be heard—and am really excited for FREE PERIOD to be part of that movement.

Finally there were so many books—all the teachers get a box of books but they’re not all the same so there was intense swapping going on—I didn’t understand it all but it was fascinating to watch and now I wish I could go as an attendee! The workshop had even more than that going on – this is just what I saw from the author side!

Thank you so much to @thealanorg and @scholastic for this wonderful opportunity!! And happy 50th birthday!!

National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) 2023
Columbus
November 16-19, 2023

I had the most amazing morning at #NCTE23 meeting educators and loved hearing about how they’re breaking down period stigma! First up was a signing with Ann E. Burg whose next book is FORCE OF NATURE, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, a novel in verse about the life of Rachel Carson. You can see from the mini-review on my grid that I love this book! We were supported by the most amazing team from @scholastic throughout the conference. Lizette Serrano, Maisha Johnson, Katie Dutton, Daisy Glasgow, Jennifer Rivera, Sabrina Montenigro, and Meredith Wardell are the best!! I have to find a picture with Katie!

Then it was time for the Scholastic Literary Brunch emceed by Lizette and organized by Maisha. Yes I talked about maxipad cupcakes while everyone was eating and yes it was the best time ever 🙌🩸🧁😎 Ann and I joined Alan Gratz, HEROES: A NOVEL OF PEARL HARBOR, and Joanna Ho, WE WHO PRODUCE PEARLS, illustrated by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya. The review on my grid does not do this book justice – just get it on your TBR please. I’m even more in awe after hearing about Joanna’s writing process. And I can’t wait to read Alan’s latest historical and shout about it next!! Sounds like a story kids will love. Plus there was an intro video with more books on the topic of finding your voice that I can’t wait to read and share.

AASL 2023 Conference
Tampa
October 19-21

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I had the most amazing time in Tampa meeting with school librarians at the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 2023 conference. It is hard to put into words the excitement we shared over ending period stigma, and I am simply in awe of how they are able to help students through the library on this and other equity issues. First up was a signing with Perma-Bound who has one of my all-time favorite taglines: “The strongest books you can buy.” Grrrr! The entire team was so great, and we had a really fun time signing FREE PERIOD arcs, giving out friendship bead bracelets with phrases like pads-for-all, cuterus-uterus, squee!, and of course free-period, and chatting with librarians about how they’re planning to use the book in schools. Bonus: I met my “Fight Evil, Read Books” twin. Tampa it was meant to be!

Next was a panel on conflict in kidlit and how it can be addressed in respectful and engaging ways. Becky Calzada, the AASL president, Leander District Library Coordinator, and all around champion for the rights of children to read, Chris Barton, (GLITTER EVERYWHERE!, illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat), and Kerry Cerra (HEAR ME) were amazing to work with in the months leading up to the panel and we had such an engaging discussion with the librarians in attendance on how literature can not only help kids feel seen, but also about how storytelling can help them resolve disputes. I put a lesson together on this topic that you can find here and will be highlighting Chris and Kerry’s books in my next newsletter. Can’t wait to work with Becky and Chris again at the Texas Library Association Conference scheduled for April.

Finally, it was a party at the Follett booth for my final event where I signed FREE PERIOD, learned about librarians leading period clubs and running basic need banks out of their spaces, and gave out a record number of Crochet Cuterus Uteruses. So thankful for Follett’s support and the way they are out in front on period equity. Inspiring!!

Attending AASL gave me such a better appreciation of the wonderful and challenging work our school librarians are doing to ensure students not only have access to great books, but also are developing the critical thinking skills necessary to understand and evaluate what they’re read. So much hope for the future!! And FREE PERIOD is available to order through Perma-Bound and Follett for your library or classroom right now!!

Debutiful Lunch at MPIBA
Denver, CO
10/4-7

The MPIBA Fall Con was an incredible experience. I talked with booksellers about how we can break down period stigma with humor and heart! Hearing that some stores are planning their own period parties and bracelet crafting events made my year!!! Thank you so much to the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association, their kind and expert volunteers, and Scholastic!!

At the Debutiful Lunch emceed by Adam Vitcavage I shared FREE PERIOD, one of my fave lines from the book about using what is unique about each of us to create change, and the message that advocacy doesn’t have to be fancy or formal, it can be fun…and full of maxi-pad cupcakes. My TBR is toppling after learning about so many exciting books at that event, including from fellow MG debut author Davaun Sanders whose novel KEYNAN MASTERS AND THE PEERLESS MAGIC CREW is out in a week (Oct. 17, 2023)!!!

I was lucky enough to spend time with RozHilden (and Paula!) on the floor and that is like taking a master class in books for young readers. Congrats on your retirement Roz but also don’t go lololol And I got to meet fellow Scholastic author Kazu Kibuishi. What? Yes! For real! Can’t wait to see how the Amulet adventure concludes in WAVERIDER (Feb. 6, 2024).

Authors Reception at NEIBA
Providence, RI
10/3-5

I had the most amazing time sharing FREE PERIOD at the New England Independent Booksellers Association Authors Reception!

It was so much fun to sign books, help crochet uteruses find new homes, and squeeee! with everyone as they picked out their favorite friendship bracelets. But what really floored me was to hear so many people share their enthusiasm for breaking down period stigma in fun and engaging ways.

Meeting these incredible booksellers dedicated to children’s literature gives me such hope for the future! As does this absolute rock star of a sales rep Nikki Mutch!!

Bonus: I got to meet fellow Scholastic authors Jonathan Todd (TIMID – 4/2/24) and Ann E. Burg (FORCE OF NATURE illustrated by Sophie Blackall – 3/5/24) and can’t wait to dive into their stories. Thank you so much to Nikki, the Scholastic team, and the New England Independent Booksellers Association for this wonderful opportunity!

Look at those gorgeous books and crochet uteruses! All gone by the end of the night!

Scholastic Lunch at CALIBA
South San Francisco, CA
9/27-9/28

CALIBA Scholastic LunchMy heart is full after California Independent Booksellers Alliance‘s Fall Fest where the booksellers celebrated Roz Hilden’s 30 year career with Scholastic! I am so thankful for her support and dedication to young readers, and for the chance to present FREE PERIOD during the Scholastic Lunch moderated by the incredibly generous and insightful Brein Lopez with Children’s Book World in West Los Angeles.

Can you believe this pic of amazing kidlit? Don’t miss these titles in the coming months:

⭐️ OKAY, CUPID by Mason Deaver (1/2/24) is a YA romance where a cupid breaks a big rule – they fall in love with a person! The voice is as incredible as the premise. I am loving it so much and can’t wait to finish reading.
⭐️ MEET ME ON MERCER STREET by Booki Vivat (4/2/24) follows a young artist as she navigates big changes in her friendships and community. It is full of fun, energy, and hope, and of course Booki’s amazing illustrations—I know middle grade readers everywhere will love it!
⭐️ ON THE TIP OF A WAVE written by Joanna Ho and illustrated by Catia Chien (10/31/23) is a stunning picture book that shares how Ai WeiWei has created art, often on a monumental scale, using everyday objects to help people feel the plight of our fellow human beings – a beautiful way to get young readers thinking of how their own art can make a difference in understanding each other and improving human rights.(Bonus: we got a sneak peek of WE WHO PRODUCE PEARLS written by Joanna Ho and illustrated by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya (4/16/24) – excited to read!!)

And of course there was all the bestie banter, wildly weird crafts, and delightfully disgusting desserts of FREE PERIOD as we discussed using humor to break down period stigma and fight for a future of menstrual equity. Yes, I talked about Maxi-Pad Cupcakes while everyone was eating again 😉

Thank you again to CALIBA and their super supportive volunteers, Scholastic, and Roz for this wonderful opportunity!

CALIBA Book Haul
CALIBA Free Period pile
CALIBA Author Photo

Period Equity at PNBA!!
Portland, OR
9/19-21/2023

group photo of authorsPhoto credit to Teagan Tigani

Dinner at the Kids Table was such a joy! I got to talk to a huge room full of incredible booksellers, librarians, and reviewers from the Pacific Northwest about FREE PERIOD and using humor to break down period stigma and work with people who are different from you to take action. Oh yes we connected over pranking for change, maxi pad cupcakes, and uteruses riding skateboards while everyone feasted on scrumptious pasta and garlic bread! A dream come true thanks to the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association and Scholastic. And bonus! Everyone who attended got a signed book, FREE PERIOD friendship bracelet, Maxi-Graham recipe card, and the Pads on Parade bookmark designed by Bev Johnson—all connected to fun activities that can be used to break the ice and extend the reading experience.

But it wasn’t just me! Lily Taliaferro who manages the Children’s Department at Eagle Harbor Book Co. on Bainbridge Island, WA was our fantastic emcee as these legends took the stage:

Suma Subramaniam – THE RUNAWAY DOSA
Rosanne Parry – A HORSE NAMED SKY
Nisi Shawl – SPECULATION
Ryan La Sala – BEHOLDER

And Nisi and Ryan brought down the house with a rendition of the Miss Mary Mack clapping game. It was all captured with photos by Teagan Tigani, the brilliant and hilarious Children’s Book Buyer at Queen Anne Book Company (hearing her and Chris talk about read alouds has totally changed the way I look at picture books!).

Huge thank yous to PNBA’s welcoming staff and volunteers, especially Aspen who got me through my first signing ever. And finally to Chris Satterlund, Scholastic’s district sales manager and the best book champion an author could hope for. Her kindness, enthusiasm, expertise, and humor made this an amazing experience.

cuterus uterus
scholastic table at pnba
books collected at pnba
river in Portland
booksmarks, bracelets, and recipe cards
Ali at pnba
kids table authors speaking

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