The Kids Are All Right

One of Unbound’s core missions is to encourage a love of reading and writing in all ages, but especially the young. Our events for younger readers take place in two different ways and places, and on two different days.


The day before the festival proper, we’re putting on the third “Authors in the Schools” project, which will bring authors into multiple classrooms throughout the Columbia Public Schools system, from Kindergarten to Twelfth Grade.


Our keynote speaker this year is none other than Jacqueline Woodson, one of the most beloved writers of children’s literature working today. She has won just about every available award and prize (including, to name just a few, the Caldecott Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award, the Newbery Honor Medal and a National Book Award.) She is also the Poetry Foundation’s Young People’s Poet Laureate, and this year the Library of Congress appointed her National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Jacqueline will be speaking at the Missouri Theatre to an audience of middle school students from across the CPS District on Friday.

This year’s other participating authors are:

Derrick Barnes

Reginald Dwayne Betts

Kevin Coval

Jay Sexton

Javaka Steptoe

Karma Wilson

Deborah Zemke


On the morning of the festival itself, the following authors will be doing presentations at the Warehouse Theatre on the campus of Stephens College:

Karma Wilson (10.00 – 10.45)

Javaka Steptoe (11.00 – 11.45)

Derrick Barnes (12.00 – 12.45)

The singing princesses from TRYPS will entertain the crowds with their songs at 9.30.

In addition our friends from Children’s Grove will provide a variety of fun kids’ activities in and around the Warehouse Theatre on Saturday morning.

Programming for children’s events this year is made possible by generous grants from the Assistance League of Mid-Missouri, the Friends of the Daniel Boone Regional Library, and the Columbia Public Schools Foundation.