Sonia Sotomayor (Photo: Elena Seibert)

Newsmaker: Sonia Sotomayor

October 16, 2018

Now she’s brought those stories to younger readers with two new books: The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor (Delacorte Press, September), for middle graders; and the picture book Turning Pages: My Life Story (Philomel, September). American Libraries spoke with Justice Sotomayor while she traveled to an appearance at Chicago Public Library. I understand that you … Continue reading Newsmaker: Sonia Sotomayor


Author Eric Klinenberg (Photo: Lisa DeNeffe)

Newsmaker: Eric Klinenberg

October 11, 2018

Klinenberg spoke with American Libraries about his lifelong love of libraries and the inadvertent lessons learned from Amazon stores. Your book opens with a discussion of the 1995 Chicago heat wave, which killed more than 700 people in just a few days. Why did you decide to start there? Eric Klinenberg: It was the first … Continue reading Newsmaker: Eric Klinenberg


Susan Orlean

Newsmaker: Susan Orlean

September 4, 2018

In the book you write, “Sometimes it’s harder to notice a place you think you know well…. I had to force myself to look harder and try to see beyond the concept of library that was so latent in my brain.” What is the most surprising thing that you learned about libraries or librarians while … Continue reading Newsmaker: Susan Orlean




Hasan Minhaj at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia on March 24. Photo: Laura Kinser

Newsmaker: Hasan Minhaj

June 1, 2018

You share some intensely personal experiences in Homecoming King about being the child of an immigrant. Was it hard deciding what to codify into comedy? In a comedy special you have only 70 minutes, so a lot of times you’re working with coffee and you need to boil it down to comedy espresso. I’m trying to … Continue reading Newsmaker: Hasan Minhaj


Junot Díaz

Newsmaker: Junot Díaz

May 1, 2018

Islandborn is your first book for kids. What was its inspiration? There were multiple inspirations. A lot of it was being a writer with godchildren, nephews, and nieces always saying, “Hey, will you write us a story?” And knowing that I should write them a story, because when I was growing up a kid of … Continue reading Newsmaker: Junot Díaz


Newsmaker: Jason Reynolds

April 12, 2018

This year’s theme for School Library Month is “Making Connections at Your School Library.” You’ve said reading the lyrics to Queen Latifah’s 1993 album Black Reign changed your life and inspired you to start writing poetry. When students connect with and see themselves in the music, multimedia, and books they read, it changes their relationship with reading completely. … Continue reading Newsmaker: Jason Reynolds


Newsmaker: Emilio Estevez

March 1, 2018

What was the inspiration behind The Public? I was inspired by a moving 2007 essay called “Written Off” by Chip Ward, now-retired assistant director of the Salt Lake City Public Library System, published in part in the Los Angeles Times (and in full at tomdispatch.com under the title, “What They Didn’t Teach Us in Library … Continue reading Newsmaker: Emilio Estevez


Misty Copeland. Photo: Gregg Delman

Newsmaker: Misty Copeland

February 1, 2018

Copeland is author of Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina (Simon and Schuster, 2014); Firebird (Putnam, 2014), with illustrator Christopher Myers, which won the 2015 Coretta Scott King Book Illustrator Award; and Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Grateful You (Grand Central Life and Style, 2017). She spoke with … Continue reading Newsmaker: Misty Copeland


Dolly Parton

Newsmaker: Dolly Parton

January 2, 2018

There are so many ways to promote reading and literacy. How did you decide to set up Imagination Library this way so that children get free books in the mail that they can keep? It started out with a simple dream, and a very personal one, 22 years ago. My father was a brilliant man, … Continue reading Newsmaker: Dolly Parton


Emil Ferris

Newsmaker: Emil Ferris

November 1, 2017

You worked on this story for several years while recovering from West Nile virus, getting a master’s at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and raising your daughter. Then this nearly 400-page book comes out, and cartoonist Art Spiegelman is calling you “one of the most important comics artists of our time.” How … Continue reading Newsmaker: Emil Ferris