Celebrate International Women’s Day with these inspiring authors!

Today is International Women’s Day and we are kicking off our March is for Role Models initiative with a list of this year’s BtB women authors! Each of these books is the basis for an in-classroom program this school year.

The authors visited classrooms throughout NYC to teach workshops, answer questions, sign books, and empower students to tell their own stories. Andrea Davis Pinkney said it best: “They meet us. That makes the process real, but then they become storytellers. Stories connect them to the world in which they live and allow them to share their experience.”

Check out some of the great authors and books we’re working with this year:

Coe Booth – Kendra
The novel’s titular protagonist grapples with growing up in the Bronx, friends, family, and boys with real emotional resonance.

Zetta Elliott – BirdShip of Souls 
Bird tells the story of a young boy who copes with his real-life troubles through his love of drawing. Ship of Souls, written for a slightly more mature age group, is an urban fantasy about a Revolutionary War-era spirit trapped in a bird who needs the help of a misfit boy and two of his new friends.

Isabel Hill – Urban Animals
This fanciful exploration of animal motifs in architecture is written in rhyme, making it even more appealing to young readers.

Youme Landowne – Pitch Black 

An eye-opening graphic novel for adults and kids alike about Youme’s friendship and collaboration with a homeless man living in New York’s subterranean tunnels.

Elizabeth Levy – Danger and Diamonds
A fun romp about two 11-year-olds, Philippa and Phillip who live on a cruise ship and must get to the bottom of a mystery involving some suspicious passengers.

Patricia McCormick – Purple Heart
In this novel for teens, Patricia takes a nuanced look at life in a war zone and the moral complications which ensue. Check out her ongoing program here.

Andrea Davis Pinkney – Sit InAlvin Ailey 
Done in collaboration with her husband, illustrator Brian PinkneySit In celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in and Alvin Ailey recounts how the famed dancer went from his home in Texas to New York, where he hones his talents and forms his own troupe.

Susanna Pitzer – Not Afraid of Dogs
A charming story about a brave boy who is only afraid of dogs, and how he overcame that fear. Click here to learn more about Susanna’s program at PS 46.

Francine Prose – After
Prose’s dystopian teen novel explores what happens when, in the wake of a Columbine-like shooting at a nearby school, a new guidance counselor and his new rules turn a school into something much bleaker.

Doreen Rappaport – Helen’s Big World
A unique biography of Helen Keller’s life, featuring her own words and illustrations by Matt Tavares. Check out the ongoing program here and here.

Amy Waldman – The Submission
The critically acclaimed first novel of this New York Times veteran journalist tells the story of a fictional jury who unknowingly chooses a Muslim-American as the designer of a 9/11 memorial and the emotional reverberations which ensue.

Renee Watson – Harlem’s Little Blackbird
A beautiful, evocative biography of Florence Mills, the oft-orvershadowed but still vial figure of the Harlem Renaissance.