Chat Author YA | NEA

In partnership with Simon & Schuster

Providing book choices that represent the richness of students’ lives can make a difference in high school classrooms.

Four young adult authors join us to discuss the importance of various books for all students as part of the NEA’s Read Across America celebration.



Credit: Chris Spicks Photography

J.She is the New York Times and Indie instant best-selling author Ebon Wings, a young adult novel about a teenage black girl who must rely on the magic of her ancestor to protect her inner-city community from drugs, violence, and crime. Ms magazine calls it “the first fantasy we need right now”. She also wrote its sequel, Ashes of Gold. She is a former educator and first-generation student with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in educational administration and human development. When she’s not writing, Elle can be found mentoring budding writers, watching reality TV, loving her three little ones, or cooking something true to her Louisiana roots.

Marguerite Engle

Marguerite Engle

Credit: Marshall W. Johnson

Marguerite Engle is the Cuban-American author of numerous books, including the novels in verse Rima’s Rebellion; Your heart, my sky; With a star in my hand; The surrender tree, a Newbery Honor Winner; and The Lightning Dreamer. His verse memoirs include Rising earth and enchanted air, which received the Pura Belpré Award, a Walter Dean Myers Award Honor, and was a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, among others. His picture books include Drum Dream Girl; Dancing hands; and The flying girl. Visit her at

Ready On

Ready On


Ready On holds a master’s degree in fiction from Fairfield University, also his undergraduate alma mater. A Pushcart Prize-nominated writer, her short stories have appeared in Literary CRAFTS, mud season Reviewand City of Angels review. Loan works in book publishing and lives in Manhattan. A Phở love story is his first novel. Visit her website at and find her on Twitter @LoanLoan.

Brittany Morris

Brittany Morris

Credit: Kariba Jack Photography

Britney Morris is the author of TEAR DOWN and The cost of knowledge. She is also the founder and past president of the Boston University Creative Writing Club. She holds a BA in Economics. You can find her online at and on Twitter or Instagram @BrittneyMMorris.


Tanya Johnson Martin is a middle school reading specialist and reading team leader within the Howard County Public School System. Tanya is a member of the Howard County Education Association and has held several leadership positions within the county.

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