We’re particularly excited about this year’s “Authors in the Schools” program. In addition to Jacqueline Woodson, we have a host of other wonderful writers who will be visiting Columbia area schools on the Friday before the festival, and also appearing at Stephens College on Saturday morning. One of these authors is Kansas City native, Derrick Barnes.
Derrick is a graduate of Jackson State University with a BA degree in Marketing. He is the author of the critically acclaimed picture book CROWN: An Ode To The Fresh Cut (Denene Millner Books/Agate Bolden) which won a multitude of literary awards, making it one of the most decorated picture books in the history of children's literature. The awards/prizes include two 2018 EZRA JACK KEATS AWARDS (one for New Writer and an honor for the magnificent illustrations). It was also a HUGE winner at the American Library Association's Youth Media Awards, taking home FOUR Honor awards: the Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, Newberry Honor, and the Caldecott Honor. In October of 2018, CROWN also took home the lucrative and highly coveted Kirkus Prize For Young Readers.
His first two books were published by Scholastic in 2004; Stop Drop and Chill, and The Low Down Bad Day Blues. His first YA novel, The Making of Dr. Truelove was published by Simon Pulse in 2007, and was recognized by the American Library Association as a Quick Pick For Reluctant Readers. He is also the author of the best selling chapter book series entitled Ruby and the Booker Boys (Scholastic). His 2011 middle grade hardcover classic We Could Be Brothers was rereleased in paperback in 2017 by Just Us Books. Prior to becoming a published author, Derrick wrote best-selling copy for various Hallmark Card lines and was the first African American male staff writer for the company. His next book, entitled The King of Kindergarten, will be published by Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin in the Spring of 2019. Derrick resides in Charlotte, NC with his enchanting wife, Dr. Tinka Barnes and their four sons, Ezra, Solomon, Silas, and Nnamdi (Nom-dee).