July 14, 2022

Author Event!

Nine Authors Will Appear at 

JPL Children’s Book Symposium

METAIRIE, LA – Nine authors of children’s books will speak at the Jefferson Parish Library’s Children’s Book Symposium, 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Jane O’Brien Chatelain West Bank Regional Library, 2750 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey.

This event is free of charge an open to the public. There is no registration.

The purpose of the symposium is to connect authors with library patrons who want to become authors or illustrators of children’s books.

All of the symposium speakers are members of the New Orleans chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

PICTURE BOOK PANEL – 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Shannon Kelley Atwater, Alligators Don’t Like Flowers

Angelo the alligator was different in every way. With eyes bright blue and skin snow white, he loved to watch the butterflies and fireflies. One day he came upon a marsh filled with flowers and wove some into a crown. What happens when he wears his beautiful new crown?

Karen Konnerth, Calliope Kate and the Voice of the River

Kate, a tall-tale heroine born on a Mississippi River shanty boat, frustrates her ma's attempts to tame her until she astounds everyone by defeating a hurricane through the blaring cacophony of a steamboat calliope. A fact-based tale in the tradition of Paul Bunyan, Kate's adventure invites the reader into a unique aspect of American history while bringing to life a strong girl who never gives up and finds her true voice

Denise McConduit, The Boy Who Wouldn't Read

In this illustrated poem, young readers will meet Robbie, who doesn't like to read. When a sorcerer removes the words from everything around Robbie, the result is confusion. The boy soon learns that life without reading is nothing to wish for.

MIDDLE GRADE PANEL – 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Gary Alipio, Craziest Fishing Tale on the Bayou

Hatcher Hampton is turning 12. Per family tradition, he’ll be entering his first fishing rodeo, hoping to prove he’s better than his older brother. First prize wins $500—money that could save his family from being evicted from their home—and the winner gets his picture in the paper. Reality soon intervenes in Hatcher’s heroic fantasy as he faces pestering insects, a one-armed man, angry seas, boat blunders, and an old swamp legend.

Laura Roach Dragon, Ghostly Tales of New Orleans

Even the most unexpected places might be haunted by wandering phantoms. Locals know that New Orleans cemeteries are built above ground. And that thousands of visitors each year come to see the ghosts and spirits that might appear in these beautiful Cities of the Dead. And that the ghost of Marie Laveau was once seen dancing on a tomb, with a snake wrapped around her. Pulled from history, these ghostly tales for kids will change the way they see the Big Easy.

Marti Dumas, Wildseed Witch

Hasani’s post-seventh-grade summer to-do list is simple: get a bigger following for her makeup YouTube channel and figure out how to get her parents back together. What she does not expect is that an emotional outburst will spark a latent magical ability in her. Or that the magic will be strong enough to attract the attention of witches. Or that before she can say #BlackGirlMagic, she’ll be shipped off on a scholarship to a fancy finishing school for talented young ladies.

YOUNG ADULT PANEL – 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Leah B Eskine, CC's Road Home

Desperate to forget her past, sixteen-year-old CC arrives on her grandparents’ North Louisiana farm and asks, ‘will I ever feel normal again?’ She brushes aside her family’s attempts to break through her isolation and angst and hides her darkest secret from her beloved Gran. Even CC’s vivacious new friend, Addy, and a summer romance with steely-eyed Eric can’t persuade her to reveal what happened last winter in New Orleans.

M. H. Herlong, The Great Wide Sea

Ben, Dylan and Gerry are still mourning their mother's death when their dad decides to buy a boat and take them on a year-long sailing trip. Tensions flare between Ben and his father, but they gradually learn to live together in close quarters. Then one morning the boys wake up to discover their father has disappeared and they are lost. What happened to him? Where are they? And what will they do when a terrible storm looms on the horizon?

Laura Michaud, The Ghostwriter of New Orleans

James' life ends amidst crushed metal and flashing sirens. But when his soul is transported back to the familiar hallways of his New Orleans high school, he remembers nothing of his tragic end. As he struggles to make sense of his new existence, he learns that there are others like him, ghosts who haunt the school, who claim they are there to protect the students and the precarious balance between life and death.

For more information regarding this event, contact Chris Smith, Manager of Adult Programming for the library, at (504) 889-8143 or

In accordance with provisions of the American with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, as amended, Jefferson Parish shall not discriminate against individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs or activities. If you require auxiliary aids or devices, or other reasonable accommodation under the ADA Amendments Act, please submit your request to the ADA Coordinator at least 48 hours in advance or as soon as practical. A 72 hour advanced notice is required to request Certified ASL interpreters. ADA Coordinator/Office of Citizens with Disabilities 1221 Elmwood Park Blvd., Suite 403, Elmwood, LA 70123, (504) 736-6086,

The Jefferson Parish Library system consists of 16 locations that stretch from the Lakeshore Branch on the edge of Lake Pontchartrain to the Grand Isle Branch just steps away from the Gulf of Mexico. The library system consists of two large regional libraries and seven branches on each side of the Mississippi River. The East Bank Regional Library (4747 W. Napoleon Avenue, Metairie) serves as library headquarters. For more information, contact the library at (504) 838-1100 or

For more information about Jefferson Parish, visit Residents can also receive regular updates by following the Parish on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@JeffParishGov) or by texting JPALERT or JPNOTICIAS to 888-777.


Jefferson Parish Public Information Office

1221 Elmwood Park Boulevard, Suite 1002

Jefferson, LA 70123

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Gretchen Hirt Gendron, PIO